Seedlings of Determination
Lidiya Daskalova is an Economist by profession, but she has been working at the Women’s Market for 15 years.
I ran into her while looking for seedlings for my balcony pots. She sells a variety of seedlings grown in Zlatograd, her Rhodope hometown, which she brings to Sofia to sell at the market.
Lidiya is a joyous and bright woman. When you see her, you’d think she is the happiest, but her story is not all sun and rainbows.
In September 2006, Lidiya’s father passed away in Zlatograd.
He was the pillar of the family.
Her mother passed away when she was young, so she was raised by him and her brother.
Her father was also an economist and he had opened a consulting firm where Lidiya also worked.
Sadly, when he passed away, Lidya and her brother were struck by reality and found themselves sunk by loans and bills. They needed to figure out what to do, and how to get through this crisis.
“We were unaware that my father had loans, and we lacked an alternative. It’s as if everything fell apart with his death, “she says.
Lidiya had always been passionate about growing her own plants and having a garden. Also, her brother had heard that in Sofia there is a big market full of opportunities, so they decided to take the risk and adventure in a new direction.
“When we arrived at the market I did not expect I’d be here after 15 years. At the beginning, I did not like it at all, we even got robbed the first week,” she adds.
Lidiya and her brother’s journey was tough, but they succeeded, and now they are well known amongst the producers in the market, and they have regular clients too.
“Everyone recognizes us. We are nice people from the Rhodope, and we don’t like lying, so that’s how we keep our customers, “she says with a smile.
She demonstrated to me that determination and courage can get you far, even in the darkest of times.