Around the Quads
Update from Kabul
By Laura Butchy ’04 Arts
Much has changed at Tarsian & Blinkley since 2005, when CCT first reported on the women’s clothing business founded by Sarah Takesh ’95 in Kabul, Afghanistan.
Started in 2003, Takesh’s company employed Afghan women to embroider women’s apparel in a central Kabul workshop. Today, her enterprise has transformed into a locally owned business that operates in a three-floor facility on the outskirts of Kabul. Employing 500 people, including 350 women, the expanded Tarsian & Blinkley has shifted focus to include goods for the local market, such as sweaters, t-shirts, socks and uniforms. In addition, the company operates a smaller facility near the Pakistan border, and a second building three times the size of the Kabul facility should open next to it by the summer.
Takesh (far right on cover) began shifting control of the company to her business partner, an Afghan tailor, in 2006, when the challenges of operating a local business as a foreigner became increasingly difficult to manage. Now Takesh resides in Dubai with her husband, Saad Mohseni, an Afghan national who owns a regional media organization with television stations in Afghanistan and Iran. She continues to fly to Afghanistan to assist with the business but has turned over control to the local owner as she prepares to have her first child. She also is thinking about her next venture, which may include designing furniture.
“It’s a strange feeling I never expected to have in middle age,” Takesh says, “but I am convinced that the big thing I was supposed to do in life hasn’t happened yet!”
Laura Butchy ’04 Arts is a freelance writer, teaching artist and dramaturg in New York City.