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Ana is the heart of ‘Zestrea’ and where all threads lead. She finds the people who can still master old handicraft techniques. She found Gladiola, she found Zorin, she found Diana. And she firmly believes that people can make a living working with their hands. That's why she and others founded the meeting place in the school’s back room two years ago. After the Dior thing shook everyone up. “Until then traditional techniques, patterns and shapes had been pretty much forgotten,” says Ana. Traditional costumes were worn only by folklore ensembles and on special occasions. “But suddenly lots of people wanted to buy these vests, buy something traditional and local.” So craft became Ana's mission. On top of working in a kindergarten and, as an actress trained in Bucharest, offering acting courses. She’s a small person with a great talent for dedication. She checks fabric samples, researches old sample books and translates customers' wishes. A lot of the work produced is still a little rough, and the skills and products still have to be developed. Sometimes things don't work, the fabric is too smooth, the embroidery is placed incorrectly. But Ana senses how proud people are when their efforts are recognized and their work is exhibited internationally. 

Text:  Jasmin Jouhar
Photo(s): Nafez Rerhuf