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Moldovan Fashion Designer Takes on Milan

New marketing materials and a modern production site helped a local clothing designer develop her line for international markets and expand her business. After attracting international buyers in Milan, her tailoring shop of seven grew to a manufacturing outfit of 40 employees.
​Georgeta Ieahia grew up wanting to be a clothing designer, and her talent helped her to attract her first clients when she was only 17. Encouraged by her early success, she attended the London College of Fashion and graduated in 2003. She returned to Moldova’s capital, Chisinau, and opened a small tailoring shop, Georgeta Design, employing seven people. By most standards, she was successful, producing clothing for scores of local residents. She also completed small orders for companies, but most of her work was for individuals. She dreamed of more.
 
To realize her dream, Georgeta first needed to market her clothes on the international stage. In 2006, the USAID-funded Competitiveness Enhancement and Enterprise Development project worked with Georgeta to prepare her for international specialty textile trade shows, helping her to develop brochures and have her work professionally photographed. Georgeta took her collection and new marketing materials to the Ready to Show Exhibition in Milan, one of the largest international clothing exhibitions.
 
At Ready to Show, Georgeta established several contacts with foreign buyers, presenting her with the opportunity to expand her business outside of Moldova. However, the talented designer lacked the production organization skills necessary to fulfill contracts with international clients. So, the project found an international production-flow consultant to help her prepare to launch a second business.
 
Thanks to her talent, the connections she was able to make at the trade show in Milan, and the supply chain assistance, Georgeta’s business is thriving. She still owns the tailoring shop, but she has built a new, industrial-size enterprise called Actual Confectii in 2007, which employs 40 people and has the capacity to expand. She then completed an order of 3,000 pieces in three styles for fashion giant Max Mara.
 
“The experience of working with Max Mara, in combination with the advanced production organization assistance provided by USAID, will pave the way to making my dream of becoming a full package designer come true,” said Georgeta.

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