EU4Youth in Armenia: from the fashion studio to mask production

09-06-2020

It began with a dream: with the help of EU4Youth, that dream came true, and now Lusine Arakelyan has turned over her new fashion studio in the Armenian capital Yerevan to the production of face masks and protective clothing for medical staff.

Last year, Lusine took part in EU4Youth life skills and entrepreneurship training programme. Now aged 36, the single mother of two children (a boy of 13 and a girl aged 8) had always dreamed of turning her sewing hobby into a business. This is what brought her to the EU4Youth: Employability and stability in Armenia, Belarus and Ukraine project.

Lusine worked odd jobs for many years but was frustrated and couldn’t find the way to launch into her real vocation. “This was my chance,” said Lusine, “it was now or never”. Having her own fashion studio was a childhood dream. She kept sewing, made some products for sale, but had no idea how to grow the business.

Lusine’s motivation was immediately apparent during the EU4Youth entrepreneurship trainings, and over the month of the training, she grew in the eyes of her mentors as a potential business owner.

Sure enough, her business plan was the best one, receiving the highest scores on the course. It won her a €4,000 business, with which she improved her sewing workshop, bought the necessary equipment, and expanded and promoted her own small business through social networks.

 

Lusine Arakelyan established the ‘LucyART’ clothing design studio. Within a short time, she already had a large number of orders, creating children’s dresses, curtains, bedding, and more – a few corporate orders have also come through, such as dresses for a well-known dance ensemble, items for a Chinese restaurant, and uniforms for the staff of the meat factory.

During the COVID-19 emergency, Lusine adapted and changed the scope of services offered. As there was very little demand for evening dresses or other clothes, Lusine began the production of medical masks and protective clothing for medical staff, revealing new opportunities for her business.

“Actually, dreams do come true if you believe in them,” said Lusine. Now, she plans to repay the help she received by offering support to new beneficiaries of the programme, and an internship scheme for those wishing to specialise in her field.