Özgül is an example of how passion can work as a strong driver in life. After working 15 years in the food industry for a private company, she decided that her love for fashion and design should become her profession. Despite she knew how challenging it would be, she founded her own clothes design company, Soie Design, 2 years ago and has not stopped creating ever since. We were lucky to interview Özgül directly at her boutique in Ankara, where she produces and sells a range of artistically conceived products, from clothes, to furniture and paintings. Recently, she started cooperating with a local painter, turning his works into patterns for her clothes, so that each piece is truly unique. She remembers going through considerable difficulties at the initial stages of her business creation, especially in terms of financial instruments to turn her dreams into reality. “The range of financial schemes available for women in Turkey is limited, and even when they do actually grant economic support, the amount is pretty low. The biggest problem is that State support schemes require some form of warranty as a prerequisite for funding, which means property, and property is mostly in the hands of men in Turkey.”, she explains.
This lack of support relates especially to the period of maternity, during which women entrepreneurs in the private sector are left alone in balancing between family and professional requirements.
Özgül found much more help in her family and husband, who believed in her potential since the beginning, allowing her to develop what is now a renowned fashion boutique in Ankara. “Being an entrepreneur in Turkey is a challenge, as much as becoming one. However, it is extremely rewarding and satisfying when you realize it is possible. Women are natural leaders, and excellent organizers given their experience as mothers. My only wish for the future is that our government can recognize our potential and create more support schemes for women like me.”, she tells us.
For more information: https://soiedesign.com.tr