“I would advise young women to take all the risks and to try to transform their own ideas into good professional projects”
Tamara Pelević, Owner and Director of Tamara Luma
- Shoe designer and pattern-maker
- Studied design in a fashion school in Florence
Tamara Pelević studied shoe design and pattern-making, followed by a traineeship with a shoe designer in Italy, where she opened her first workshop. With a passion for women’s shoes, she wanted to combine personalised services and custom designs with comfort. A couple of years later, her company ‘Tamara Luma’ moved to Montenegro and has since expanded the footwear range to bags, hats and bracelets. With her colourful creations, she endeavours to deliver beyond her customers’ expectations.
WEgate: Tell us more about your company
Tamara Pelević: My idea was to produce custom-made, high-quality women’s shoes which are also comfortable. Quality has always been a priority, so all my products are made with high-quality Italian leather, including the soles.
The first Tamara Luma atelier opened in Cortona, Italy, in 2007. Three years later, we moved from Tuscany to Podgorica in Montenegro, where we extended our range with leather bags, sandals and belts.
Our next goal is to produce a limited edition of leather sandals with original designs. Once again, we want our products to be very comfortable so we use high-quality calfskin and kidskin.
We are also looking for new market outlets to expand the business.
What or who inspired you to set up your own business?
I studied shoe design and pattern-making at Polimoda, a fashion school in Florence. I have always felt passionate about women’s shoes, particularly handcrafted ones. After my studies, I did a traineeship at Sutor Mantellassi, an Italian company making luxury shoes. I learnt about traditional custom-made shoes from traditional craftsmen and women.
What challenges did you face when you decided to launch your company? Did you have any sort of support from organisations?
There were many risks and challenges at the beginning. One of the main ones was getting the money to buy certain work machines that we needed. The institution Investiciono-razvojni fond (IRF, Investment and Development Fund) offered me favourable credit which allowed me to develop my craft in a more professional and responsible way.
Entrepreneurship is still often considered a man’s territory; what advice would you give young women who want to become an entrepreneur?
I would advise young women to take all the risks and to try to transform their own ideas into good professional projects. They will face many challenges, but they have to be persistent. This is very important.
What is your favourite part of your job?
The most important and my favourite part of the job is to please our clients and then to receive their sincere appreciation for our service and good-quality products. Every client can buy a unique pair of shoes or a unique leather bag which, in turn, can make them feel unique themselves.
Entrepreneurship is like jumping from rocks: every time you jump, you have to spread your own wings.