Nebije Qotaj, with 11 female and 2 male employees
Maddalena Casadei, Wilfried Amanshauser
Nadja Zerunian and Andrei Georgescu,
Pauline Thurn und Taxis photography
Mark Glassner product photography
It takes courage and determination to rise as a woman in a traditional Albanian fishing village. After fish stocks diminished and many villagers lost their livelihoods, Nebije Qotaj decided to set up her workshop NESA, dedicated to a traditional regional skill: kilim weaving. As no material was available, she started processing and dyeing local wool. After her first successes, she began training and hiring more women, a commitment that has altered the dynamics in this traditional Muslim village. She now employs 11 local women, all of whom are the sole breadwinner in their families.
Co/rizom is supporting Nebije in tapping into new markets by developing a contemporary collection of flat woven carpets based on traditional patterns in vibrant colours. The carpet-weaving process has been documented for a Netflix pilot, and the carpets have been shown at Vienna Design Week.. An extension will be launched at 5vie / Salone del Mobile in June 2022, ready for distribution through Powered by People and the co/rizom network.