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Hasmik – a Famous Tailor from Gyumri

Hasmik Khachatryan, a 59-year-old tailor, began her business in Gyumri in 2015. Under the “EU for Business” initiative, with the support of the European Union, she implemented the “EU4Shirak: Wool for Jobs” program, which expanded her sewing workshop, obtained sewing machines, and created new jobs for her fellow citizens. Hasmik uses wool from the Amasia wool factory. As a tailor, Hasmik sewed sleeping bags, hats, and other pieces for public use. In collaboration with the “People in Need” organisation, she supplied wool blankets to thousands of displaced compatriots settled in Armenia.

Hasmik, how did it all begin?

I am an engineer-technologist with a specialty in knitting. Before getting married, I worked but then devoted all my time to my family. When my children grew up, and there were many familial challenges, I decided to turn my hobby into work. I signed up at an employment centre and learned about various programmes designed to help small businesses. I applied, presenting my idea for a sewing workshop. I made it through the initial round, bought two small machines, and started sewing various items for women and children. Later, when I learned about the “People in Need” organisation’s programme, implemented with the support of the EU, I applied immediately. The representatives of the organisation came, became acquainted with my workshop, saw its potential, and gave me the opportunity to develop it. I bought three more sewing machines, which I desperately needed as my old machines had limited capabilities. I began working with the Amasia wool factory. At first, I sewed for my kids, and then people around them became very interested, which is how I started accepting orders.

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on many small and medium-sized businesses. How has the pandemic affected your work?

The pandemic had an extremely negative impact on us. Various restrictions were imposed, and we received almost no orders. I knew I had great potential, and my knowledge helped make the entire production process run smoothly. At this age, I understood that if I wanted to do something, I was capable of doing it, and I am doing it.

Is it under these circumstances that you discovered your potential?

I really enjoy interacting with people, but I always knew about my potential. Even when I participated in the business courses conducted within the program, when the mentors presented us with the details of running a business, I was surprised. I would come home and tell my children that I have the same way of thinking. There are many tailor shops in Gyumri where the prices are fair, as are the quality and service. However, people still come to me, and my clients do so with great pleasure. Seeing all of this creates great happiness for me, and I don’t regret for a second turning my hobby into my favorite work.