Behind the sewing machines at our local production HQ in Tøyen is amongst others Amina. She is responsible for production and administration for the sewing group Kulmis Social Enterprise. We figured that it was about time our customers got to know her, so we had a chat in the sewing room in Tøyen. Read the interview below!
How did you learn to sew?
I learned here in Tøyen.
When was that?
About two years ago.
When you started working with us?
What has become your favorite product to make? Are any of them more fun than others?
The beanie I think, because I didn't understand how it was made. When someone is wearing a beanie it's hard to imagine how it is made. When we learned how to sew the beanies I understood the process. I thought it would be harder to make since there are triangles that have to be sewn together. After I learned how to make it I got asked a lot by others how they were made.
Yeah, you really get a sneak peak behind the product!
Yes, and that's what I think is fun about it. I've never seen anyone make a beanie, I've always just bought them in their final form at the store.
Interview continues below photo.
What do you think of being the leader of the group?
I think it's fun because I've never been a leader before. I thought that I wasn't interested in being a leader. I like working with others, but now I have to be ready and take responsibility. It wasn't easy.
A bit challenging?
A bit challening becuase you have to have your head in two places at once - in the office and in the sewing room. When an order comes in you have to be ready to start sewing, answer emails or talk with someone from the county that has questions. So those two pieces are a bit challenging, but I take it one step at a time. I just keep calm and sometimes work from home when I have some extra time. One side is always thinking that you have to make the products, while the other side is thinking of all the people you have to get back to. So I have to be good at organizing my time. I thought we could get some more workers, but those who come to work for us are often interns and have to leave at the end of their internship because we don't have anything work to give them. In addition I'm always thinking about marketing and finding more investors and businesses that might want to work with us. The only partner we have now is Northern Playground, but we're trying to find others and hire more seamstresses, because we need more attention. We need the income too.
What does it mean for you and the others here to get assignments from Northern Playground?
It's really nice. We started this together and it's really interesting. They try and help us out, so we help each other in a way. They try and find other companies to work with us when they don't have assignments for us themselves. I trust them, they are really talented and help us out.
See all products made in Tøyen here.