Entrepreneur Reconsiders and Develops Bag Business Inherited from Her Father

Speeches Shim

Monday, November 16, 2020
Valentyna Metiolkina always travels with her bag.

Entrepreneur Valentyna Metiolkina from Severodonetsk, Luhansk Oblast, inherited a travel bag sewing business from her father. Years before, her father had seen the utility of good strong bags that small businesses could use to haul their products to market.

“My father quickly saw the demand and began making them,” Valentyna explained.

She inherited the business after her father died In 2012, but was pregnant at the time and had neither the time nor a desire to take over his business. Several years later, she changed her mind. 

In 2019, Valentyna decided to rekindle the business, but soon realized that demand for the large travel bags her father had once sewn had significantly decreased. 

“So I decided to reformat this business a bit,” Valentyna said. “I started making bags for general use. These can be travel bags, backpacks, cases, air travel bags. Many people want to take a light, durable bag on a trip. I use strong fabric – oxford, polypropylene -- and special thread that makes the bag durable for travel,” explained Valentyna.

Valentyna sought information on how to further develop her new business, and in May, she joined the Small Business Mentoring Support Program, supported by USAID’s Economic Resilience Activity (ERA). Valentyna began receiving specialized business development advice. She developed a detailed business plan and learned how to position her products with modern marketing techniques. She developed a better understanding of social media and how to use it to develop her business. Today customers order her  bags via her personal Facebook page.

Currently, Valentyna is working on the design and content of a new website, expanding her product line, and further formulating a business development strategy.

“I want my enterprise to become huge. I am ready to sew bags for all Ukrainians,” Valentyna explained.