Tailoring Their Own Lives: Somborske šnajderke (Sombor Seamstresses)

Courageous and business-minded, hard-working and decisive, kind and affable, but most importantly brave and enterprising women, after staying in a safe house because of partner violence, Somborske šnajderke (Sombor Seamstresses), united in a common goal, developed a business of their own, in order to provide livelihood for themselves and their children.

Their goal is financial independence. The lack of personal means of living is often the reason why victims of abuse return to their abusers. As they say it themselves, “a woman leaving a safe house is an ideal candidate to become a victim again, if she isn’t economically integrated”. In order to prevent this scenario, Somborske šnajderke began sewing facial masks, practically starting from zero, in their own houses, wanting to contribute to the alleviation of the uncertainty at the beginning of the Covid pandemics. After that period, they continued providing sartorial services and, little by little, began to sew promotional articles for companies, as well as small and medium enterprises. They even had two independent fashion shows, where they presented their products, created and sewn by them.

“Our lives used to have limited horizons, but now, with the freedom we fought for ourselves, there is an infinite range of possibilities that we make for ourselves”, Somborske šnajderke note proudly, adding: “We are proud of our successes. But our greatest success is if we’ve managed to motivate and encourage other women as well”.

The project they are currently gathering financial means for is a sewing centre – Šnajderaj centar, which would bring the production together, under one roof, thus enabling better and more humane work conditions, playhouse for children and relief for women upon leaving support programs of the system. This way, they would be able to train and hire a larger number of women and accept a larger number of orders. Also, logistics expenses would decrease this way, because of the production taking place in one space, instead of the current situation, when they are sewing in five apartments of their seamstresses.

The first two collections of Obuci grafiku T-shirt have been sewn by Somborske šnajderke.

Read more about the Somborske šnajderke in Dunja Karanović’s text published in Liceulice magazine: https://bit.ly/41D2Oqr