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Talent leads to opening a hair salon

She believed in herself: Majlinda.

Talent leads to opening a hair salon

My name is Majlinda and I’m convinced that everyone is born with a talent. Mine is my passion for hairdressing. I was even giving the people in our neighbourhood hairdos when I was seven or eight years old. There aren’t any other hairdressers in our family, although my father did recognise my talent. He made it possible for me to go on a private hairdressing course while I was still at school.

I grew up in the seaside town of Durrës on the Adriatic coast. I was able to work in a salon after leaving school, but the salary was ridiculously low. I knew that I was born for this occupation. Although my family didn’t have the money for me to have my own hairdressing salon.

No good prospects without papers

I married at 19 and gave birth to a son. My husband and I first went to Greece hoping for a better income. I started working there as a cleaner in a hairdressing salon. I stood in for a colleague one day and my boss discovered my talent. From that point on, I worked as a hairdresser. But we didn’t have the necessary papers and weren’t able to stay. Like many Albanians, we decided to try our luck in Germany.

My father is happy about our return

We went to Freiburg in 2013 and got help there. We found an apartment, learned German, were able to work and my son started school. He already spoke three languages when he was 10 years old: Albanian, Greek and German. But after three and a half years our asylum application was rejected and we came back to Albania. My father was very happy that we came back. “When your child grows up and leaves, then you’ll understand me”, he says.

First contacts on the path to self-employment

We’d been able to save some money when we were in Germany and built a house for ourselves in Albania. I started working as a hairdresser again; 12 hours a day for not much money. One day I noticed on the internet that the German Information Centre on Migration, Vocational Training and Career (DIMAK) offers help to returnees.

I called the phone number and the team of advisors was ready to help. Shortly after that someone from the social organisations “Nisma Arsis” and “Terre des hommes” came to interview me on behalf of DIMAK. These two aid organisations cooperate in Albania. I then took part in a seminar on starting a business that was held near Durrës. It gave me the chance to discuss and review my ideas for self-employment.

Majlinda in her own hairdressing salon.

Help with setting up the salon

I was finally able to open my own hairdressing salon in September 2021, when I was 35. The financial support I got for equipment and work material meant I could put my plan into action. I have to say that it wasn’t easy for me and my family to get used to living in Albania again. But now we’re happy. You need to have self-confidence and not lose sight of your dream. I managed to turn my dream into reality.

As of: 07/2022

This text is written in simple language, which makes sure that it’s easy for everyone interested to understand.

My passion is hairdressing. Now I’ve realised my dream of having my own salon.

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