Rita’s journey: a story of limitless ambitions
Rita’s journey started nine years ago, when she chose to enter the domain of fashion design
This talented 37-year-old mother of two was originally a teacher in a private school in Aleppo, and somehow all the crafts and artworks in the school used to end up at Rita’s skilled hands to manufacture. From those days her talents were recognizable but it wasn’t until the war started in 2011 that she stepped up and took a more serious step to invest in her skills and support the livelihood of her family alongside her husband Carlo who worked in a dental laboratory.
With the start of the war a massive wave immigration occurred most of Carlo’s dentist clients left the country, business wasn’t good for him, especially with the falling value of Syrian currency and the high costs of the raw material needed.
The couple were struggling to survive, Rita remembered how she used to recycle old fabrics into unique clothes as a hobby, and Suddenly, all the pieces fit together in one moment of inspiration she knew exactly what to do.
A tailoring and Moulage course that she attended in 2010 came in handy. it helped her a lot in refining her designing skills. Her talents stood out and her friends and neighbors started asking her to design and tailor outfits for them, they became her first supporters and gave her a push forward.
Back then all that Rita had was a manually operating sewing machine, a passionate designer’s vision and the persistence to face the obstacles. “the war affected us all, while some chose the easier path of leaving their country, others like us chose to stay in our homeland against all the odds”. The decision of staying was something they have to live with in every detail throughout the day, with everything that was happening from the falling missiles to the lack of electricity and the basic needs, she says “ at times when the whole city suffered from power outages, I had to wake up and start sewing at dawn to take advantage of day light, using my manual sewing machine which I made a lot of pieces with, I even made a beautiful wedding gown using it”.
Rita soon became well known for her unique designs and her clients list grew quickly, she didn’t have equipment to upgrade her business which became the main source of income since Carlo’s business was suffering immensely.
The falling missiles that were showering the city didn’t stop Rita, neither the bad circumstances, her dreams were growing like her clients and customers’ list, the passionate designer and her husband had bigger plans, the next step was opening a boutique but that was a leap in her career that required a more professional machines a well decorated shop.
Rita applied at the Christian hope center, she was hoping to find the support she needed to fulfill her dream and launch her career officially from her own boutique and that’s exactly what happened…
Procuring the new sewing machines and preparing the boutique didn’t take long, and Rita opened her doors to welcome customers with her lovely smile and enthusiasm.
“My ambitions are limitless” she says, “I’m looking forward for the future, I have a lot of dreams to achieve, sketch’s to execute, a Syrian imprint in the fashion domain, and I want to achieve them in my country and for my country ” the Syrian designer strongly believes in the local talents and the hand skills of the Syrian women in particular “ Aleppo once was an important station on the silk road and Syria was the cradle of the most delicate crafts. It’s a legacy we should keep and a heritage to proudly reclaim and revive”.