Kidist Abera was born and raised in Bako town located in West Showa Zone, Ethiopia. Ever since she was a child, she used to enjoy helping out her families in every activity they may do. Living in an extended family whose lives has been entirely dominated by animal husbandry and craftsmen products; she was able to grasp the necessary skills in designing and animal husbandry areas.
Her enthusiasm and daring character gave her the golden opportunity to live the life she leads today. Taking her parents’ footsteps, soon after taking short term trainings, Kidist started her childhood dream and become a fashion designer. Not only she started the designing business but she also began a business in animal husbandry.
To talk about her journey in the fashion design and animal husbandry plus the success she has accomplished so far The Ethiopian Herald had a short stay with her. Enjoy your reading.
Herald: When did you start your business in fashion design and animal husbandry?
Kidist: Though I have been in the business since my childhood, I started my business in 2015. My childhood background in both areas has contributed a lot to easily get into the business.
Understanding that the fashion industry requires not only experience but knowledge, I have taken short and long term trainings. I believe that adding professionalism in the things we do gives us the opportunity to add values to our products.
Herald: When was your company established? How many employees do you have?
Kidist: Our Company, Kidist Fashion Design, was established in 2015. Apart from my husband and four children; we have so far created permanent jobs for more than ten women and temporary employees.
Herald: What are the major areas/ activities that you perform in the company?
Kidist: Our business comprises fashion design as well as animal husbandry. Currently, we produce men and women shoe made with threads, various types of cultural clothes, curtains, bedsheets, scarves and hats.
On the other hand, through our animal husbandry service, we supply dairy products such as milk, cheese, butter and related products.
Herald: Can you tell us some of the challenges that women encounter in this sector?
Kidist: As the saying goes “The road to success is always under construction”. Facing challenges in the business industry might be a common thing, but I consider myself as a lucky one in this regard since my experience in the family business made it easier for me to start the business.
I believe that our personality also matters when engaging in business. If we look at the path of successful business persons, we
can easily understand that their business did not flourish due to absence of ups and downs but with their resistant and consistent personality.
However, one thing that I consider as a challenge is the absence of adequate working, display and more importantly training areas. Creating more skilled designers in the industry was one of my goals though the inaccessibility of land or training areas has makes it hard to realize my dreams a reality. To this effect, I urge the concerned bodies to do their part and solve the challenges.
Herald: Could you mention if there is any training that you offer to upgrade the skills of your employees especially women?
Kidist: I have provided timely trainings for our employees. As fashion tends to change over time, we are expected to produce more fashionable and up-to- date designs to our customers to win their expectations.
Besides this, we arrange and offer them various designing trainings in order to improve their abilities and enhance our business in many ways.
Failing to meet customers’ needs makes it hard to succeed in the business. Taking this into consideration, we provide the necessary training every now and then.
By returning to my birthplace, I have also trained number of individuals voluntarily but as I could not be able to have the training area, I was forced to quit.
Herald: What is your take on the government’s support in backing women who are in business?
Kidist: I appreciate the government’s effort in supporting and empowering women. However, the support should be accessible to all women across the nation. Concerned institution should play their role in empowering more women and push them to the front.
These institutions must collaborate with the necessary organs so as to make the table fair for both genders. Providing equal opportunity and offering support is the first step to help women become front positions.
Through identifying the major challenges that most women face in the business, the government as well as concerned bodies should play their role in this regard. This includes the provision of working, display and training areas.
Herald: Do you think that you have contributed to the nation through your business?
Kidist: As our designs are becoming highly needed by Ethiopians residing abroad like America, Canada, China, Europe and African countries, I believe that we are contributing a lot in introducing our cultural clothe to the rest of the world.
Since cultural clothes have the power to introduce one’s culture and values, we are very privileged that we are selling our products to our customers abroad.
Herald: What are you hoping to share with our readers?
Kidist: I would like to take this opportunity to thank my families and my husband for their support in the things I do. Having their continuous support and encouragement by my side has put me where I am today.
I would also like to advise women to follow their dreams and make it a reality. Even though they might face a number of challenges and the road might not be bed of roses, by facing and taking the challenges as inspiration, they could reach anywhere they aspire to be.
It is with this thinking that I passed every challenge that I encountered. I believe that it is a must to sacrifice for the things that we want to accomplish in life. If we take the challenges as an inspiration and go further, it would be easier to get where we want to be in life.
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