As a young father, Assaf would make toys and small furniture pieces for his young son and asked Ofir for his valuable input and feedback. The two friends realized they both strongly desired to create and produce, so they set up a joint business making children's furniture and toys. And this was just the beginning of their journey on the way to a successful Israeli small business!
Ofir and Assaf's Story
They both found work that took them away from Jerusalem after their graduation, and while they were happy to be working creatively, the two friends both yearned to return to Jerusalem.
In time they both found love, married, and became fathers. Assaf was happy to return to Jerusalem to work at the Israel Museum. When he would return home at night, he designed and created toys and furniture for his young son. Each item that he made he sent to Ofir to review and give feedback. Their friendship gave rise to a natural and productive partnership.
The two friends continued to bounce ideas off one another. When Ofir returned to Jerusalem, their collaboration deepened, and the men both committed to working at night with the hope of establishing their own business.
In the early days, the friends worked around the clock juggling their "day jobs" with the dream of their own business while still finding time to be husbands and fathers. They collaborated to create unique children's furniture and toys with no thought to the long hours. When they were approached by a large furniture company that wanted them to develop flat-pack children's furniture, it boosted their morale as they received tangible confirmation that they were making something desirable and marketable!
Their excitement was soon tempered by the reality that they could not produce the order as they had no factory of their own. Undaunted, the friends realized that they needed to stay firm in their vision but flexible in their approach.
In Israeli style, looking back, one may consider it a lucky choice, or you may also see the hand of God! The partners entered a Jerusalem city-wide competition, and out of thousands of entries, their one-of-a-kind laser-cut wood designs captured the judges' imagination. Their small company that did not have paid employees, an office, or a production facility won the first prize! The winner's purse allowed them to become a real company and move their office out of their car and into a building in Jerusalem! They invested in machinery and began production in earnest.
Their business has grown steadily in the years following winning the competition. They have refined their design process and innovated their production. Each item is made using computer-aided delivery of their designs to laser cutting machines that can perfectly cut the most intricate patterns. This meticulous attention to detail with each piece of wood being cut with surgical precision allows for easy assembly without the need for glue or nails.
Their vision is that kids and grown-ups will assemble each flat-pack educational toy or 3-D puzzle as they are a fantastic way to bring the Bible to life and learn about Israel, regardless of your age.
With each Touchwoodesign that you build, you are partnering with Assaf and Ofir to develop the land of Israel, create opportunities for their employees, and withstand the pain of BDS. (Boycott, divestment, and sanction movement) As a result of BDS, the partners have been expelled from European product fairs and had contracts torn up!
The story of Touchwoodesign perfectly reflects that of the State of Israel. It's about defying the odds, showing perseverance and belief in yourself and your abilities to succeed!
The products of Touchwoodesign are the results of Assaf and Ofir's desire to create items that are not only fun to use but at the same time, challenging and thought-provoking. And it's all inspired by their love for Jerusalem, the Holy Land, and the Bible! They make meaningful gifts for the entire family, like 2D and 3D puzzles based on traditional items of the Jewish festivals, like the Hannukah Menorah or a children's Dreidel (a spinning top played with children during Hannukah)! Touchwoodesign is just one of the hundreds of small businesses blending their talents with a passion for the Holy Land to make products that give recipients the opportunity to experience the goodness of Israel from afar!