URUMQI, May 23 (Xinhua) — Compared with running her embroidery workshop covering 1,500 square meters, Brkez Saymu is more proud that she helps nearly 200 rural women enrich themselves with their own skills.
In 2002, the then 32-year-old businesswoman opened an embroidery shop in Kashgar Prefecture, northwest China's Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region. After enjoying initial success, she expanded her business and set up a rural cooperative a year later.
"Since I made money out of the business, I'd like to build the cooperative and mobilize the women in our village to join me," she said. "They all have the embroidery skills but never thought they could make money from them. I wanted to offer them an opportunity."
Currently, the workshop of her cooperative, which mainly produces handicrafts and other embroidery products, has nearly 200 women embroiderers and more than 50 sets of equipment.
Brkez Saymu is not alone. After nearly 10 years of development, the company founded by Bahguli Olaltei, another women entrepreneur from Altay Prefecture, has 12 workshops along with more than 6,800 professional embroiderers.
"My mother is a famous embroiderer in our village, so influenced by her, I liked embroidery since I was a kid," she said. "I had already mastered basic skills of making clothing and tapestries at the age of 15."
Olaltei's company provides free training for local rural women embroiderers to help them enhance their skills. They can also do their work at home for their own convenience.
As a perfectionist, Olaltei has never ceased to seek better embroidery skills since starting her business. She goes to Beijing, Hangzhou and other localities to learn the latest skills each year, aiming to better combine traditional Xinjiang embroidery with modern craftsmanship.
"Only by constantly learning can we design better works," she said.
In recent years, Xinjiang's culture and tourism and other departments have adopted a slew of measures, including advancing the protection of embroidery production and training of embroidery inheritors, to attract more rural women embroiderers and help them increase their income.
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