Hi, I’m Liat from Tel Aviv. I’m 41 years old, married to Ofri, mother to 11-year old Shani and to two three-year old cats – Dani and Luli. I have a BA in communications and management, and an MA in international relations. I worked for a leading home textile company for the past 13 years.
My last position was VP Sales and Business Development in the International Market. Although Israeli work culture makes casual clothes acceptable and even the norm, I had to dress more formally for meetings with clients and guests from abroad. As a genuine fashion lover, I welcomed the challenge and the need to dress in style, but as a vegan, my options were somewhat more limited.
About eight years ago, Ofri and I decided that we loved animals too much to eat them. Two years ago we took the next step and became vegan, in order to reduce the suffering and harm caused to billions of animals each year by the animal products industry and its derivatives. As soon as we internalized the impacts of eating animal products, the transition was quite smooth. And since we live in Tel Aviv, one of the most vegan-friendly cities in the world, it wasn't even that difficult.
The biggest challenge that I faced when we became vegan was finding vegan shoes. I managed to find the casual footwear that I needed at regular stores, but finding more formal, high-quality shoes (that were also trendy and unique, of course), was much harder. I spent several years searching for shoes that were not made of animal products but the selection was very limited. The inexpensive chain stores carry plenty of imitation-leather and plastic models, but what I needed was high-quality, formal footwear that would last for a while. After searching, groping, and talking to other vegans, I realized that I was not alone, and that there is a significant demand for these unique, attractive, comfortable shoes in Israel.
The idea of combining two of my greatest loves – fashion and animals – began to take shape. I decided to take the plunge and open a business that would meet the needs of women like myself. My dream is for the selection to be so enticing that even non-vegans/vegetarians will buy shoes that are not made of animal products. I will manufacture them for us (yes, some of the shoes are even made in Israel), and make it easier to find the most beautiful, fashionable, high-quality products.
Shanili is a must-have for vegans, vegetarians, and fashion-lovers everywhere.
Thanks for your support every step of the way.