…and what’s happening in Albania?

Warm greetings from Pitupi down here in the South of Europe!

As you know Pitupi is not only about selling baby and children’s clothes but it is also about making them. That is why in addition to starting a company in Sweden we are also setting one up here in Albania.

Production of clothes is was something new to all of us. Well, we can say it is not anymore as we have learned a lot on the way: from what machinery to choose for our elastic types of fabrics over to choosing the right colours (and we are talking about spectrometer nuances here) to be given to our GOTS certified supplier in Turkey.

What has been however the hardest part, is finding funding for our social enterprise. Sadly, in Albania it is not possible to get a loan from a bank as a start-up company. There are no state-backed schemes that provide securities for the banks. There is sporadic government support, but procedures are not very transparent, responsible people are hard to catch, and funding is generally very low.

At the same time my stay here has been very rewarding too because I have learned so much and I got many insights again about Albanian business culture. And again the confirmation that your contact network and knowledge of the mentality is key if you want to do business in a country like this one.

But I did not come here to complain a lot: I wanted to share with you also some good news: we are finally a fully registered company in Albania. Hoorayyy!!

Finally registeredSo what’s the way forward now?
We are going to start on a very small budget and produce the pieces of clothing that we sold via our crowdfunding campaign.

I am at the moment in the process of ordering our fabrics from Turkey. Also here we unfortunately had to compromise and will initially offer only three instead of six allover prints. There are however still endless possibilities to mix and match. If you are interested in learning which one of the prints we will choose, check out the start page of our website. We will order fish, elephants and boats.

We will open our web shop and normal operations here in Albania once we have secured enough funding to get this off the ground.

All in all and despite some difficult times in the past few months, I am still so glad to take part in creating and developing Pitupi, the learning curve is steep and I am enjoying the ride 🙂

Please do check in from time to time to not miss any developments in Albania and in Sweden!
/Maria