“It is never easy, but it is never too late. You just need to be hard working, patient and optimistic”
Anush Tsaturyan, who currently owns a very successful sewing shop in the town of Noyemberyan, Tavush region, started her business with only two Soviet style sewing machines. In spite of the hardships Anush experienced while living in the bordering town of Noyemberyan, where finding a job itself is a real accomplishment, Anush did not lose hope and decided to establish her own business. Through years of hard work and struggle, Anush achieved what she has today: a thriving business that is not only profitable, but that also gives Anush an opportunity to contribute to the development of her community. The sewing shop Anush owns enables her to do the job she likes, while still allowing her enough free time to help others through charity activities.
In 2012, Anush Tsaturyan was recognized as the Woman Benefactor of the Tavush region by former Prime Minister of Armenia, Mr. Tigran Sargsyan. This award was very important for Anush since it was the Turpanjian Rural Development Program (TRDP) of American University of Armenia that enabled her to participate in a number of corporate social responsibility projects, and as a result, to become the first business lady in the region.
Anush learned about TRDP when there was a high demand in the region for embroidery products. Thus, Anush decided to apply to TRDP to get financial assistance from the program to buy embroidery machines. After successfully completing the training course for the program, Anush received a loan and was able to purchase modern equipment and machines, which have dramatically increased both the volume and quality of production. As a result, she managed to expand her business, diversify production and serve a larger market.
“I can say with full responsibility that TRDP had its major role in the development of my business, and I’m very grateful for that. Today, under the enemy’s fire, we managed to open and operate a sewing shop due to TRDP’s assistance. TRDP activities are of national security importance for Armenia,” Anush states.
Anush Tsaturyan’s sewing shop produces all sorts of products, such as bed linens, clothing, tablecloths, curtains, costumes, bags, etc… The shop is a bright, clean space with many tall windows, shelves stocked full of fabrics and materials, and samples hung on the walls. Young women wearing uniforms and ties sit at their workplaces diligently sewing various products.
Due to networking and marketing opportunities organized by TRDP, Anush’s excellent reputation has already spread beyond the Tavush region to Yerevan and other regions of Armenia. Indeed, the success of her workshop is apparent in the satisfaction of her employees and the numerous photographs on the wall of meetings between Tsaturyan and various clients, officials, and charity beneficiaries. Anush has recently opened a branch of her workshop in another town of Tavush region, Ayrum.
Anush uses certain creative strategies to keep and attract new customers.
“When an old lady who ordered a skirt for herself comes to pick it up and brings a little child with her, we always give a few gifts to the child,” she states.
The beautifully designed curtains, dresses, and tablecloths produced in the workshop have customers in all the regions of Armenia, including the capital city of Yerevan, in the Russian Federation, Georgia, and even in the United States of America. In Yerevan, several shops are the loyal customers of Anush. Her products are exhibited at the famous “Vernisaj” market in Yerevan, where tourists in Armenia buy souvenirs. There are several kindergartens in Yerevan that for many years have been working with Anush.
Currently, Anush is researching the market and exploring the legal field to be able to take advantage of Armenia’s entrance into Eurasian Economic Union, and to export her products to and distribute her products in Georgia as well as Russia.
“Now when other people see our success, it seems to them that it is very easy, but it is not the case. I myself, as an entrepreneur, always advise everyone not to get disappointed, it is never easy, but it is never too late. You just need to be hard working, patient and optimistic,” Anush noted.
Anush greatly values the knowledge and skills she acquired from TRDP training. According to her, the most valuable skill she learned in TRDP training is to be flexible and elastic in any business. The training taught her many practical skills that she still uses in her business.
“I have also learned to manage business correctly and professionally. In business, one should be organized. If you are deciding to start a business, you should know everything in the field to be able to be a success. I’m always following new trends and importing innovation into our production,” Anush stated.
Now Anush Tsaturyan passes on her knowledge to others, to the younger generation. With the assistance of TRDP, she formed a groundbreaking partnership with the Noyemberyan State College and the Noyemberyan Department of Employment Service. She now organizes and teaches vocational courses for college students and unemployed women from Noyemberyan and the surrounding villages. At the end of each class, the students are trained and prepared for the sewing industry, and Tsaturyan picks the best students to work for her. Anush has recently received an offer from Javakhk to go there and give her vocational courses to the employees of the newly created sewing workshop.
As a life-long learner, Anush proudly admitted that she continues learning every day. She learns new and interesting things from her employees, students, and customers. Decisions in her workshop are made through direct consultations with her employees.
Anush has 18 employees, and six of them are working from their homes. With TRDP’s assistance, Anush provided sewing machines to six women from five bordering communities (Voskevan, Baghanis, Jujevan, Ayrum and Lchkadzor) of Tavush. In this way, Anush, together with TRDP, gave these women an opportunity to realize their potential and earn their own living.
Anush also actively cooperates with other TRDP beneficiaries. She sews uniforms for the employees of a bakery, and the bakery owner sells her bread baked in his bakery.
“Recently a child café called ‘Manchuk’ was opened in Ayrum with TRDP assistance. The owner ordered clown costumes from me and I have decided as a sign of gratitude to celebrate my grandchild’s birthday in his café,” elaborates Anush.
With the encouragement of the program, Tsaturyan has participated in many corporate social responsibility projects, such as preparing special gifts for pregnant women in border villages.
Anush tells us that after getting the status of the regional benefactor she engages in charity activities with even more responsibility and determination. She is sewing the costumes for 12 children from the Noyemberyan cultural center dance group and for several children from the “White Swan” dance group for free.
Anush, with excitement, shares one of the thousands of stories about when she could not remain indifferent to the needs of others. When in the bordering village of Voskevan, a woman gave birth to three boys at once. Anush, as a mother of a soldier serving in the Armenian army and as a responsible citizen of the Republic of Armenia, realized that she needed to prepare a gift for these kids and their courageous mother. Therefore, she with her employees, in a fast and furious manner, prepared special clothing, with beautiful embroidery, and blankets, and headed to the village.
“When I saw the excitement of the family I felt absolutely happy,” she said.
Most of all, Anush loves the smiles of her clients. “My client’s satisfaction is the best prize for my work.”
Anush suggested that our future applicants and all others who intend to establish a business should have a high sense of responsibility, organization skills, and patience, and be punctual. If you have all these characteristics, you will succeed.
“I regard sewing machines as live human beings. I will miss them immensely if I stop working,” concludes Anush.
Anush noted that when she observes the emigration processes going on in Armenia, she feels very upset. She keeps telling everyone that if one tries, one can find a job and make a living in his/her homeland; there is no need to leave the country.
By her example, Anush proved that it is possible.