Client storiesVIKTORIJA’S BROOMS – A SOUGHT OUT ITEM EVEN ABROAD
Viktorija Sljuka is a wife and mother of two boys who, after a bankruptcy was announced at Selenca Cooperative four years ago, lost her job and decided to support her family by doing what she knows best – producing sorghum broom.
Her former supervisor influenced her decision to take up broom production as he practically made her fall in love with this unusual but cost effective old craft. Viktorija, herself, organized manufacturing in makeshift rooms in the courtyard, by buying an old machine for sewing brooms without which the production could not have started, while making the rest gradually, by hand, with the help of her husband.
This three-year-old business is very dirty and physically demanding for a woman, however it is classified as an old trade and Viktorija takes great pleasure in it working with another four employees hired on a part-time basis, three of which are women. It was very difficult at the beginning since there was no other bank that was willing to support start-up of this business, except for Opportunity bank which specializes in providing financial support to small and micro businesses. Today, her brooms are sold at regional markets, as well as the local market and she produces around 160.000 brooms per year, while in the first year her production was on a much lower scale of 40.000 brooms per year. With a lot of hard work, continuous planning and management activities, help of her children when the deadlines demand it, she is succeeding in meeting the high demand and potent market, although still operating in difficult conditions, without storage for raw materials or land for the production of raw materials.