For ten years Sasko Miladinov had worked for "Astibo", one of Stip's flagship socialist companies. Stip was known as the Manchester of Macedonia, home to large textile and clothing factories. By the mid-90s, at the peak of Macedonia's economic transition, most of these companies were buried in debts and daily strikes interrupted the work.
"Private factories were not allowed in Yugoslavia, but I was not satisfied with the income I earned. Then I saw that private companies can operate and I was convinced that I can do that too. I started my own trading company in 1994 because I had not enough investment to build a factory, but my idea had always been to start production."
In 1999 Sasko Miladinov started to produce his own shirts with a team of 150 workers. The premises he had rented quickly became too small. By 2003, he had moved his production to a newly constructed factory with production space of 5,000 square meters. Total investment costs amount to more than