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Using a traditional craft to make a future for myself

Eine Frau lächelt in die Kamera und zeigt ihre Stickarbeiten.
Flutura happily presents her embroidery work.

Using a traditional craft to make a future for myself

My name is Flutura. I'm 33 years old and I come from Albania. I couldn’t find a suitable job after graduating from the Faculty of History and Philology at the University of Tirana. My husband and I had just got married at the time. We thought that Sweden would be the ideal place for our future together, so we packed two bags and travelled there.

I worked at an Indian restaurant in Sweden for a while. I liked the place. The décor was mostly handmade, from the tablecloths to the curtains. The restaurant owners had brought their country's handicrafts with them to Sweden. I wanted to do that too – show the world what Albania has to offer. I discovered my passion for embroidery.

Zwei Frauen arbeiten am Laptop.
Flutura at a consultation arranged by GIZ.

Unfortunately we weren’t granted a residence permit in Sweden, so we came back to Albania. We had to start again with nothing. But it all worked out for the best, because I had a child. I wanted to embroider everything for my daughter by hand. My passion became even more intense.

Well prepared for starting a business

Around this time, I learned about the training opportunities provided by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. GIZ helped me to turn my hobby into a career. I learned everything you need to know about setting up a business, marketing my own products and financial planning. I was also helped to buy the material I needed, such as threads, embroidery hoops and blank fabrics. I make individual products adapted to customers' wishes.

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The pandemic was a major setback, even though I could embroider a lot of masks. Fortunately though I got more help from GIZ – also of a psychological nature. So I still firmly believe in my business idea. I’m only at the beginning of my journey and still have a long way to go.

As of: 07/2021

The opportunities for advice and assistance described here are offered as part of “Returning to New Opportunities”.

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I’m only at the beginning of my journey and still have a long way to go.
Flutura