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August 25, 2011 - Image 46

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2011-08-25

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

ECONOMY

HERE AND NOW

Ferndale's Upscale Flea Market Thrives; Lux Israeli Simchahs Made Easier

Boutiques, businesses and brands you may not know — but should.

By Lynne Konstantin

RUST BELT MARKET

Nothing mass-produced or
manufactured overseas; only
handmade, salvage, prefer-
ably local and always unique
can be found at the Rust Belt
Market, Ferndale's own
offline answer to Etsy.
Driving home from an
artists' competition in Grand
Rapids one day, Tiffany and
Chris Best had an "Aha!" mo-
ment. Tiffany, a fiber
and acrylic artist and
landscape designer,
and Chris, a licensed
builder and entre-
preneur, had long
bemoaned the limited
opportunities for art-
ists, indie designers
and collectors to show
their wares.
Rather than wait-
ing for the next art fair
to come to town, the
couple found a market
in Brooklyn, N.Y. they
could model their own
interpretation of a high-
end flea market on. They
gave it a name that pays
homage to Michigan's industrial and manufacturing roots, emblazoning Ferndale's
long-shuttered Old Navy retail space with a sign that Chris built in their backyard.
Upward of 70 rotating artists fill the 15,000-square-foot space every weekend,
hawking photographs, metal sculpture, vintage furniture, antiques, Detroit Pride
T-shirts and more, while visitors listen to live, local indie music and snack on artisan
chocolates and gourmet pie.
Rust Belt Market, 22801 Woodward Ave., Ferndale (rustbeltmarket.com ). Open 11
a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. P7

HOME BREW

CELEBRATE IN THE HOLY LAND

Planning an event abroad is a daunting-enough task that what could
be a dream-come-true is only possible after countless hours of work.
Enter Pamela Franklin Azaria, who could really be on to something.
Since Azaria married her husband, Erez, 15 years ago, not a year had
passed when she didn't travel with him to visit his native home, Israel.
And when Azaria's mother passed away, the couple packed up their
three young children and left Birmingham for the Holy Land —for
good.
When her sister, who lives in Chicago, asked Azaria to plan her son's
bar mitzvah at the Mt. Zion Hotel in Jerusalem, they were both so
thrilled with the results, it was impossible not to ignore the next step.
So last November, the former marketing communications consultant
for Ernst &Young and Mercer HR Consulting met up with Israeli event
planner extraordinaire Sarit Ben Shitrit to form Celebrations in Israel
— an event-planning company to help foreigners (that's you and me) plan a spec-
tacular event, like a bar/bat mitzvah, wedding or a custom-designed tour of Israel.
The American-born Azaria knows what Westerners want in a good soiree. Her
area of expertise is working with clients to execute their desires. She also has the
home-field advantage to know what Israel has to offer.
Arming herself with experts like Ben Shitrit, who coordinates and negoti-
ates with each event's vendors, along with Ariel
Fogelman, a tour planner
who creates special-
ized itineraries for each
member of every group
— and Wendy Klier, who
provides outreach for the
Los Angeles market —
Azaria is also living her
own dream. "I get to replan my
own fabulous wedding over
and over again!"
Celebrations in Israel, Ramat
HaSharon, Israel
(248-238-4859; 312-788-8607;
celebrationsinisrael.com ).

PROFESSIONALS

Finding Disabled Workers Inclusion Under a Big Tent

Startup recruitment firm Big Tent Jobs LLC strives to place
"specially abled" employees.

By Pamela A. Zinkosky

Brewing Success at Arbor Teas

A2 couple saw success in the leaves
and founded their dream company.

By Stefani Barner

ri

sk Ann Arbor native Jeremy Lopatin the story of
how he came to be in business and he's likely to
say, "Well, you start with a wife who dropped out
of her master's program."
He's talking, of course, about Aubrey Lopatin, his
wife and business partner who, as a student of archi-
tecture at the University of Michigan, secretly nurtured
the dream of opening a small cafe. "One day, I realized
that I don't have to wait until I'm old to follow my
dream" says Aubrey.
And, after steeping that dream in a fortuitous brew
of gumption and opportunity, the couple founded
Arbor Teas. The Ann Arbor-based online tea seller has
been in business since 2003 and has grown steadily
each year.

ARBOR TEA SEE PAGE 14

12 September 2011

I RED TIMID

ompanies seeking techies call on IT recruiters. Top
brass-seekers look to executive headhunters. And
y now, firms casting their nets for disabled candidates
call Big Tent Jobs LLC, a Southfield-based placement
firm for what founder Adam Kaplan dubs "specially
abled" employees.
Why seek disabled candidates when able-bodied
citizens are clamoring for work? Because of their
unique qualifications and skills, Kaplan argues. There
are 30 million employable Americans with disabilities
— about one-fifth of the potential workforce — with
backgrounds in finance, information technology, engi-
neering and other desirable fields.
"There's no good business case for keeping 20
percent of the market out of your recruitment efforts,"
Kaplan said on A Wider World, a Detroit Public Television
program that aired last month.
The American Association of People with Disabilities,
a Washington, D.C.-based advocacy group, released a
statement in August noting the unemployment rate
for people with disabilities stands at 16.8 percent, a .4
percent increase over the same period last year.
Kaplan believes that statistic masks a much higher
rate, which he says is closer to 70 percent, when one
factors in those who are underemployed or have given
up looking for work. His unique business model fills the
void.
According to the latest information released by the
Bureau of Labor Statistics, more than 970,000 people
with disabilities were unemployed in July 2011.
"Typically, what you see in the marketplace is a
number of service agencies that support assisted
employment, but there's very little support and active
recruiting for talented and college-educated people
with disabilities;' he says. "This is allowing [employers]
access to a pool they wouldn't have access to; there's a
great deal of talent that's underutilized."
One client is Chelsea resident Bill Hintalla, who holds
a master's degree in business administration from
Purdue University and is an engineer with relevant

certifications, plus upper management experience. He
is blind in his right eye. He's also nearing age 64 — a
"disability" people don't talk about but that factors
heavily into employability, he says.
Hintalla met Kaplan during a job search program at
the Ann Arbor Institute for Independent Living, which
helps people with disabilities. When Kaplan spoke to
the job search group, Hintalla says, "you could see the
enthusiasm. He gave a lot of people hope. Once people
find out about our disabilities, they usually shun us. I've
never met a recruiter who wanted to work with people
with disabilities!'
Having lost sight in his eye six years ago, Hintalla says
telling employers about his disability is difficult."You
don't want to tell them. I've got all the tickets. I can
handle the interview, but when it comes to taking the

BIG TENT SEE PAGE 14

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