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Sandra
Sandra Vásquez L. is 39 years old. She lives with her husband and two children, aged 21 and 16, in Los Jardines neighborhood, in the city of Cartagena, the most historic city in Colombia which also attracts most tourists.

Sandra has a dressmaking workshop in her home where she mainly makes women's blouses, skirts and dresses. She learned this trade twenty years ago, helping a friend in another workshop. She then decided to start working independently and bought her first sewing machine. Today she has a good customer base made up of neighbors, family members, friends and people from other areas of the city who she has been recommended to. The success of Sandra's business lies in producing made-to-measure clothes because she believes that no two women have identical bodies.

As well as making clothes, Sandra usually advises her customers about what type of fashion and color best suits their figure. She uses the profits from her business to cover 40% of her family's expenses and she has also been able to pay for her eldest son's university studies.

This is Sandra's sixth loan with Fundación Mario Santo Domingo and she plans to invest it in buying fabric, threads and accessories. She used her first loan to buy an industrial sewing machine and her second to buy an overlock sewing machine. This has allowed her to substantially improve the finishing steps of making her clothes.

Sandra's monthly sales amount to 1,200,000 Colombian pesos and her profit margin is 45%. Sandra divides her time between her dressmaking business and making ceramic decorations. Her youngest son helps her to decorate these in his free time. She says that you have to be clever when it comes to making income because, as far as work is concerned, you can't afford to put all your eggs in one basket.
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La señora Sandra Vásquez L. tiene 39 años, vive con su esposo y dos hijos de 21 y 16 años en el barrio Los Jardines de la ciudad de Cartagena, la más turística e histórica de Colombia. Ella tiene en su residencia un taller de modistería en el cual produce principalmente blusas, faldas y vestidos de mujer. Aprendió ese oficio hace veinte años ayudándole a una amiga en otro taller, luego decidió independizarse y compro su primera máquina de coser. Hoy cuenta con una buena clientela formada por vecinos, familiares, amigos y referidos de otros sectores de la ciudad. El éxito de su negocio está en producir prendas sobre medida, porque según ella, no existen dos mujeres que tengan cuerpos idénticos. Además de confeccionar, la señora Sandra suele aconsejar a sus clientas qué tipo de moda y color es el que mejor se acomoda a su figura. Con los ingresos que genera su negocio aporta a la financiación del 40 % de los gastos familiares y ha podido sufragar los estudios universitarios de su hijo mayor. Este es el sexto préstamo que tramita con la Fundación Mario Santo Domingo y planea invertirlo en la compra de telas, hilos y accesorios. Con el primer préstamo recibido compró una máquina de coser industrial y con el segundo una fileteadora, esto le ha permitido mejorar sustancialmente el acabado de las prendas.Sus ventas mensuales ascienden a $1.200.000 COP y el margen de utilidad es del 45%. La señora Sandra alterna su oficio de confeccionista con la producción de adornos en cerámica. En la decoración de estos últimos le colabora su hijo menor en sus ratos libres, ella dice que hay que ser ingeniosos a la hora de generar ingresos porque en materia de trabajo no se pueden colocar todos los huevos en la misma canasta.

Additional Information

About Fundación Mario Santo Domingo

Fundación Mario Santo Domingo (FMSD) is a non-profit organization in northern Colombia dedicated to developing programs for the country’s poorest communities. In addition to numerous social services, FMSD runs a microfinance program to strengthen micro-businesses in the areas where it works. The organization also offers several non-financial components as part of this program, including training to help entrepreneurs start their own businesses.

About Colombia

  • $11,100
    Average annual income
  • 468
    View loans »
    Colombia Loans Fundraising
  • $15,266,825
    Funds lent in using Kiva
  • 1,915.0
    Colombia Pesos (COP) = $1 USD

Success!! The loan was 100% repaid

A loan of $650 helped Sandra to buy fabric, threads and accessories.
100% repaid
Repayment Term
15 months (Additional Information)
Repayment Schedule
Monthly
Pre-Disbursed:
Dec 22, 2010
Listed
Jan 3, 2011
Currency Exchange Loss:
Covered
Ended:
Feb 15, 2012