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How one woman is helping local artisans thrive in her new hometown

Meet Liya Geldman, the entrepreneur behind one of the coolest seasonal markets in the world.

Israeli journalist, photographer and entrepreneur Liya Geldman working on one of her many ventures.Israeli journalist, photographer and entrepreneur Liya Geldman working on one of her many ventures.Entrepreneur Liya Geldman working on one of her many ventures. (Photo: Courtesy photo)

Photographer, journalist and entrepreneur Liya Geldman is a woman of many talents and endless curiosity. She co-founded Market TLV, a seasonal market in Tel Aviv, Israel, that aims to bring together talented local artisans – florists, bakers, painters, photographers, illustrators and fashion designers – in a fun and unique environment.

Geldman came to Israel five years ago from St. Petersburg, Russia, on what was supposed to be a long visit after graduating from college. “I just wanted to stay for some time by the sea and then go back and start working in Moscow as a movie director, journalist and photographer,” Geldman told From The Grapevine. “But then life in Tel Aviv just changed my plans completely.” Geldman says the city, its people, its ideas and talented designers swept her away. “I felt that it was my duty to share these feelings."

Given Geldman’s knack for tightly curating beautiful things, the concept of Market TLV was a natural extension of her work and aims to gather eclectic creators and trendsetters in one place. “The idea was to make a market fun and interesting for all visitors, and to combine shopping with a yard party, a nice food court and bar, a DJ with live music and add some artistic content,” Geldman said of the event, held four times a year. “We want to offer a platform for small but creative Israeli brands to help promote their high-quality, handmade items.”

Market TLV provides a powerful platform for talented local Israeli makers to engage with potential customers in person. Market TLV provides a terrific platform for talented local Israeli makers to engage with potential customers in person. (Photo: Courtesy)

The concept has been a win-win for local artisans and attendees alike. Businesses, such as Rusty, a line of healthy nut butters, and L&L Candle Co., makers of small batch soy candles, benefit from the exposure and sales at the event. Guests experience a day of mixing and mingling, experiencing innovative new brands and trends, sampling delicious new foods and beverages and enjoying live music. The Market TLV team also creates an aesthetically beautiful, Instagrammable environment.

As Geldman continues to expand the Market TLV brand with her colleagues, she never takes an eye off her other projects.

Good memories from #winter_market_tlv. Photo by @erik_dener #tlv #enjoytobeinisrael

A post shared by MARKET.TLV (@market.tlv) on


She also runs a thriving photography company and serves as editor-in-chief of BeInIsrael.com, a website she started from her kitchen in Israel four years ago that’s grown into a popular digital destination that highlights the beauty and culture of Israel.

"When the tourist from Moscow or St. Petersburg comes to Israel, they want to really experience Israel, they want to go to see an Israeli band in a trendy club and dine at a restaurant of a famous Israeli chef,” says Geldman. Thanks to BeInIsrael.com's success, her team has grown over the past few years, which has enabled the site to take on exciting new projects and brand collaborations, and engage her audience in the real world. “We started to organize interesting events for our subscribers – like parties, New Year's Eve dinners, concerts, fairs, small fashion shows and meetings. Step by step we’ve built a new international community of Russian speakers in Israel.”

Below is a video from the site's recent birthday celebration:

“Our next step with BeInIsrael.com is to translate the website and our social media to English and combine these two communities together – online and offline,” Gelman told us. “We see that there is still room for competition in the English media market in Israel and we feel that every interesting project can get its place under the sun."

Geldman’s shined a light on countless local brands and innovators. So it seems only appropriate that we get to turn the spotlight on her.

Lindsay E. Brown is the managing editor of Eco-Chick, the web’s first ethical fashion, beauty and travel site for women. She has written for Whole Living Magazine, Edible, and Cottages & Gardens. Lindsay has been featured as a fashion and beauty expert on the Veria Living Network. Lindsay holds a BS in Global Business Studies and Marketing from Manhattan College, and received the 2012 Honors Award at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.

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