Tell us a little about yourself

My name is Nellie and I am an 18-year-old girl who is in her last semester of high school. There are many different creative things that I enjoy doing. I always have some new project in my free time that I'm working on. It can be anything from drawing to knitting. I love to read and spend a lot of the time I spend commuting to school reading.

What are you studying for and why did you choose that field?

I am taking the textile and design course at S:t Erik's high school. This means that I study sewing, pattern construction, fashion history, technical drawing and design. The line is the foundation needed for several professions in the fashion world such as tailors, fashion designers or pattern designers.
When I was going to choose a line for high school, I knew that I would like to have a more practical and creative schooling. Since I was little, I have always been tinkering and doing something creative. I got an interest in sewing when I was 8 years old. Since then I have always tried to teach myself how to sew. When I then found out that there was a line in high school where I could do everything that I think is fun, I felt that it was a clear choice.

Why do you like to sew?

Sewing is like many crafts where you create something from what is around you. It's about seeing a vision and then finding a way to create it. That's what I love about sewing. What's fun about creative crafting like sewing is the problem solving required to find the best and easiest way to bring your vision to life.

How did you come to intern at Watoto Arts?

When I was looking for an internship, I was looking for a place where you can learn about what it's like to have a slightly smaller company. When I found Watoto Arts, I thought it was a fantastic concept that really makes a difference for the children in today's society. It is so nice to be part of something that makes all children feel included.

How has your internship been, what have you had to do?

During these 8 weeks, I got to experience what it's like to run a business. Thus, there have been several different tasks for me to do. I have had to help develop new doll clothes and sew them. Since then, I have also had to help with sewing dolls and work digitally with illustrations.

What kind of digital material is it that you have had to produce?

Fatma had an idea to make cut-out dolls that parents can print at home and give to their children. I took inspiration from the dolls' existing clothes but also the uniforms of different professions. Then it was just a matter of illustrating the dolls and different types of clothes for them. The cut-out dolls can now be printed, cut out and then the children can fill in hair and skin as they wish.

What is it like to work for a family company?

It has been a very interesting experience that has given me a lot of experience of what it is like to run a family business. It is a freer work environment where you can try different things. I have seen how collaborations are done between Watoto and other companies. In these collaborations, I have seen the entire process from start to finish in product development. I've had a lot of fun and learned a lot about what it takes to run a business. I have also learned about different types of programs in the embroidery machine and how to design faces for the dolls in those programs. It has also been very interesting to see how a family business handles efficiency in its production.

What do you want to do in the future?

What I want to do in the future is still very unclear to me. I definitely want to study further eventually in something creative. I have a hard time seeing myself in an environment that doesn't have some type of creativity involved.

Three short facts about you:

  1. I love to knit and crochet.

  2. I am interested in interior design.

  3. I am surrounded by many in my family who are artistic and creative.

May 20, 2023 — Fatma Guettou

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