Designer Swimwear from Kosovo: Valentina
As the Head of Public Relations at Kosovo’s Prishtina International Airport 'Adem Jashari', Valentina Gara is a professionally fulfilled woman, who loves to play an important role at the gateway to her homeland, where she deals with the media and events.
Back when she was a high school student, Valentina already used to dream of working with fashion, where she began sketching clothes out of pure passion.
When the Covid-19 pandemic hit the fan, suddenly there was very little action in the travel industry and Valentina had a lighter workload to deal with at her job. So she began doing fashion sketches during her quiet shifts, revisiting her high school dream.
A few months later, through research in fashion design related Facebook groups, Valentina happened to meet Lorika Govori, a tailor who had left behind a successful career as a bank branch manager to set up her tailor shop: Punë n’Dorë (Albanian for Handmade). Lorika’s story further inspired Valentina to follow her teenage years’ dream too. Valentina told Lorika about her unfulfilled wish to work with fashion, to which Lorika replied by telling how uncertain she, too, had felt about her future before leaving her career in banking behind and going after her dreams in the fashion industry. At that moment, they understood they had so much in common that it simply made sense for them to work together.
Valentina decided she would not quit her job at the airport, which she loves. Instead, she’d just have to push herself into a longer working routine. Except for her sister, nobody believed her. However, she was sure she’d be able to overcome any obstacle that would come and was willing to put her life savings on the line.
Picking the right product and launching a brand
Now it was time for them to choose what type of garments they would focus on. Needless to say, this is a strategic decision and there was careful research to be done. If they were to pursue their dreams together, they’d better do it right! During their research, Valentina and Lorika understood that there wasn’t a fashion brand in Kosovo focusing solely on swimwear made with high quality fabrics. There and then it became a no-brainer: they were going to launch Kosovo’s first high quality swimwear brand: VAL en TINA..
But who would they target? Kosovo’s domestic market would not be enough for their brand to become financially sustainable. Having that in mind, they decided to focus on the German and North American markets, as they have contacts in those markets that could help them introduce their products. Also, the size and purchasing power of the US market speak for themselves.
In addition to that, Valentina and Lorika were well aware of the importance increasingly given by fashion consumers to the ethical treatment of workers in the production chain of the garments they buy. As all the workers at VALenTINA atelier are of legal working age and work with real passion, Valentina and Lorika believe this will be a major added value for their target market.
Vesa, Albiona and Xhesa producing VAL en TINA’s handmade beauties - another day’s work at Punë n’Dorë.
“Floral” made with our Printed Jersey for Swimwear
Fabrics make all the difference
Last but definitely not least, Valentina and Lorika went sourcing for fabrics. It was of utmost importance for Valentina to have her sketches tailored in high quality fabrics. No compromise was to be made.
At one stage, it looked like it would be impossible to find high quality swimwear fabrics available for purchase with no minimum order quantity. It was as if high quality fabrics were only available to well established brands that can afford to order yardages Valentina and Lorika couldn’t even think of buying. Then Valentina found FabricSight on Google and there it was: a website that offered the exact fabrics she had been looking for, at great prices and with no minimum order quantity! “It was like finding an oasis!”, Valentina says. “You had all the colors, the fabric compositions I needed!”
“Adriatic” made with our Performance Nylon Jersey For Swimwear
“I was amazed by your great customer service, from which I got full support from an extremely knowledgeable guy named Andrea, who was always ready to quickly answer my questions. He gave me all the attention I needed, as if I was ordering thousands of meters even though I was ordering only a few meters. Right away I understood FabricSight was a serious company. I know that FabricSight will always support me and they are the reason why I didn’t give up on my dream at the last minute. Andrea was available even during weekends and helped me a lot by giving me all the visual information I needed on the fabrics and on the shipping process.”
“We now intend to keep FabricSight as our sole supplier of swimwear fabrics because I know that you can guarantee we will have the best fabrics for our future collections and we want to provide only the best quality to our clients.”
Valentina dreams of seeing celebrities wearing her swimwear one day. She wants to see Spanish beaches covered with girls wearing her creations.