From dreams to newly created reality: sewing protective masks during the pandemic

May 14, 2020

Guidelines on when to use the mask

For more than two months now, small local businesses across Kosovo have been facing difficult times due to the COVID19 pandemic. Arta Qirezi who runs a tailoring business, was of the many individual businesses that had to be closed due to the coronavirus outbreak.

Arta started her embroidery/tailoring business, in late December of 2019 as one of the beneficiaries of Active Labour Market Programe within Youth for Kosovo project.

“I was fortunate to be one of the beneficiaries of the “Youth for Kosovo” project and to receive sewing machines which enabled me to start my own business,” says Arta.

As a newly established business, Arta’s dream is to further invest, innovate, and expand to be able to respond to new needs, but the COVID-19 pandemic is significantly impacting the work  and ability to find a “place under the sun” in today’s market.

But Arta did not despair. As a number of other businesses, she realized her skills can be used differently.

“Everything was going well; It was a new business and people just started to recognize my work. When the lockdown started and we were urged to use protective masks, purchase skyrocketed and soon, there was a shortage of masks to be found. I wanted to use my skills  by starting to produce face masks for local community and pharmacies. It was a  way to contribute to the response to the pandemic as well as save my business” Arta tells us when we talked to her.

With restrictions gradually being lifted Arta hopes she will be able to return to doing her business. She continues to produce non-medical face masks, for local residents.