“Agape” - dream business with only a dollar

Half a year ago she knew neither about a start-up capital and a manufacturing process, nor especially a business plan. However, today Anoush Ayvazyan is a successful businesswoman, and her “Agape” project is a favorite Artsakh brand. The order flow is inexhaustible, the team is regularly growing, the assortment expanding while all this started with only a dollar and prayers for the dream project to come true.

“Everyone in our family worked, only I was at home with my children. One day I felt that I also needed to do something, to get rid of daily worries, to realize myself. I couldn’t come back to my previous job, lecturing at the university, as my children were young. I asked the God to prompt me of what I could do. The God listened to my prayers giving me an idea to create hair ornaments, later he prompted the name for my business, Agape, that is translated as ‘divine love’ ”, says Anoush.

What did she have? Inspiration, a desire to launch a business on her own and 1USD she was keeping in her wallet symbolically.

“I converted this dollar to drams (approximately 480AMD) and bought textile. In my spare time I started preparing hair clips, then tried to do earrings, various female jewelry. Everything I did, I did by myself, thinking of a design, sketching, sewing, needlework, even though before the marriage I didn't even hold a needle in my arms, I did sports”, confesses Anoush.

She first placed her production in her acquaintances’ shops, but handicraft didn’t seem to interest the buyers. Even her relatives didn’t believe in her commercial success. However, unlike her surroundings, Anoush didn’t hesitate even for a moment and persistently continued to create new things. After about a month, she created a special Facebook page and the interest for her production started to grow. “Agape” obtained its first buyers and orders. In just a couple of months these ornaments became a beautiful addition to many Stepanakert girls’ festive dresses.

Today, Anoush’s inspiration is only growing, the dollar invested in the business has multiplied many times, she is already an employer herself. An artist and two assistants work with Anoush in her team, though they hardly succeed to keep up with orders. Anoush plans to involve new people, expand the assortment, create jewelry with natural stones, local flowers and make her craft recognizable abroad.

“I am happy to do this business. I think over the design for a long time, carefully select the customer’s preferred textile, pattern, take into account every detail that may seem trivial, even putting beads, jewelry and paintings one by one brings great pleasure to me”, she remarks.

Anoush confesses that in her childhood, she had a dream to lock up in a candy shop and eat all the sweets there. Today her dream is to lock up in a textile shop, though the young entrepreneur’s biggest dream is receiving international orders and bringing her company to the international level.

 “I am ready to cooperate with all interested professionals, artists, designers, as well as leather bag and jacket manufacturers. I can suggest interesting solutions with Armenian design ornaments for leather products. I am confident that such things will be in high demand among buyers”, notes Anoush adding that today it is possible to start a successful business in Artsakh even with a dollar.