Atelier Darnisse (Atelier Women's home)

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Atelier Darnisse (Atelier Women's home)

Nebr, TunisiaNebr, Tunisia
Year Founded:
Organization type: 
for profit
Project Stage:
$10,000 - $50,000
Project Summary
Elevator Pitch

Concise Summary: Help us pitch this solution! Provide an explanation within 3-4 short sentences.

The workshop was officially opened in November 2010 with the idea of creating a laboratory of textile arts.It is called Darnissè from the transliteration of two Arabic words that indicate the "house of the ladies", in fact, the workshop is organized as a living room, where gather, work and learn.

WHAT IF - Inspiration: Write one sentence that describes a way that your project dares to ask, "WHAT IF?"

What if a living room was a work place?
About Project

Problem: What problem is this project trying to address?

There is a certain degree of political risk related to the "democratic transition" experienced by Tunisia at this time. In addition, the workshop is located in a tiny village, cut off from the national development plans, a village that seemed to have stopped in the past, stuck in a kind of social and economic stagnation in which it is hard to involve women because they are often seen as protectors of the domestic hearth rather than as workers

Solution: What is the proposed solution? Please be specific!

The first solution is get in touch with the people of the village and gain the confidence not only of women but of the entire families, showing them that the workshop can be not only a place where women meet together and learn from each other but also an opportunity for a new business and a personal and professional growth. We aim to open the centre every day, organizing meeting of exchange of knowledge by learning new techniques of embroidery and knitting, especially addressed to the youngest. And we will try to ensure their constant presence at the workshop and at the courses by giving them a small daily monetary compensation that will help them to understand importance of independence economy as a first step to personal independence.
Impact: How does it Work

Example: Walk us through a specific example(s) of how this solution makes a difference; include its primary activities.

We aim at organizing public meetings not only with local authorities to present the activities, but also in the capital (Tunis) with women who have positions of great importance(lawyers, doctors, etc.) and start the formations in the business area.We have already involved the “Istituto Italiano di Cultura di Tunisi” that ploclaimed himself willing to organize exhibitions with the products made by the women of the atelier. On the other hand, however, the workshop also aims to be a center of production quality, investing in raw materials of good quality and aiming for their uniqueness. The aim is to create products not only unique, but that also have a value added which consists in social and cooperation commitment.

Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Also describe the projected future impact for the coming years.

The main impacts of the atelier will be: the creation of an opportunity for social advancement and development for the village, the promotion of training activities (the workshop has also committed himself during the past in activities of women's literacy in the village), and the creation of new jobs. The atelier which today involves 17 women occasionally engaged in crocheting, knitting, chassis (with two frames already available) aims in a short time to increase the number of women (reaching at least the number of 30 women within a year), increasing also the number of frames and training courses in the use of this tool, since it is a work quite old often carried out by old women.In a long term, the atelier also aims to become a point of reference for the textile craft market, this is why it is committed in finding the best raw materials that are entirely handmade, with care and patience

Financial Sustainability Plan: What is this solution’s plan to ensure financial sustainability?

The project will ensure its sustainability due to real self-sustaining entrepreneurial activity that may finance with the proceeds of the products manufactured. Having decided to use Italian raw materials we has already entered into an agreement with The Italian Culture Institute of Tunis which is declared himself willing to help Darnisse in the promotion of our products and the fundraising for the purchase of raw materials.

Marketplace: Who else is addressing the problem outlined here? How does the proposed project differ from these approaches?

The workshop aims to be a center of production quality. We have invested so much in the raw materials (which often come from Italy) because we take in high esteem the quality of the products and their uniqueness. Surely our market is a niche market, interested in products that often are not cheap (the work by hand requires long time) and are difficult to sell in the village where the atelier is located. However, Tunisia has a wide range of consumers interested in these products especially in the capital (Tunisi) and in the main touristic centers of the country.

Founding Story

The idea of creating this laboratory of textile arts was born by chance. It all started when I met, in 2009, in one of the poorest areas of Tunisia, Kef, a group of women from a poor village, Nebr, almost cut off from the national and regional development plans, a village that seemed to have stopped at an indefinite period of the past and be stuck in a kind of social and economic stagnation. No job opportunities, no social or economic cultural activities promoted by the locals or addressed to it. Speaking with these women we found that most of them were able to knit, crochet and use the loom and that they were also very good. From here it all started and we have created the atelier.