Seamstresses from Jorjiashvili turn an idea into reality
For more than a year, the small sewing shop “Niri” has been operating in the village of Jorjiashvili in Tetritskaro Municipality, offering a variety of services to the locals. The high-quality service at Niri is already known to the residents of the neighbouring villages, so the founders of the tailoring company, Nino Sarukhanov and Irina Vibliani, have no lack of work or popularity.
Nino, 41, and Irina, 46, live in Jorjiashvili and knew each other even before opening Niri. They also knew that they loved cutting and sewing, although Nino had long since abandoned her work at the sewing factory, while Irina offered to do work for only family members and relatives. The common interests of the two women were more closely united by the UN Women project “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus” and the initiatives of the Kakheti Regional Development Foundation.
The implementation of this project started in Tetritskaro Municipality (Kvemo Kartli region) in 2019, along with community mobilization initiatives, and its intention is to empower local women, share new, valuable knowledge and support them with small grants. Nino and Irina are two participants of this project. In the beginning, they participated in trainings on launching and managing a business, and then they studied local needs and discovered that people from not only their own but also neighbouring villages came to Tetritskaro for tailoring services. It was then that the women’s business idea emerged.
However, before turning their idea into reality, Nino and Irina decided to deepen their professional knowledge, so they received a training grant with the help of the project and trained in cutting and sewing. “We were both amateurs anyway,” Nino recalls. “We knew that this field was constantly evolving, so we had to adapt to the new reality. The training course renewed our knowledge and taught us different techniques.”
After the training, the women received funding from the same project to start a business and turned their sewing idea into reality. Now they even actively use social networks to promote Niri and offer new services to their customers, such as sewing bed linen in addition to clothes.
“We do what we love, and we see people who are satisfied with our work,” says Nino. “We feel support and motivation from them, and this means a lot. Besides, it brings us an additional, stable income for our families.” Irina adds: “This project motivated me to dare and have my own business, to turn my idea into reality.”
It should be noted that within the framework of the UN Women project, alongside Nino and Irina, 10 women in Tetritskaro Municipality received training grants, and 25 women’s businesses were financed. The founders of Niri themselves are planning to expand their business and purchase another sewing machine in the future. They say that the new equipment will make their activities more diverse.
The UN Women regional project “Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus” is implemented in cooperation with the Kakheti Regional Development Foundation, the TASO Foundation and CARE International in the Caucasus, with the financial support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the Austrian Development Cooperation (ADC).