Total loan: $5,000


Redwood City, CA, United States / Clothing

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A loan helped hire more craftsmen, increase my inventory and help with marketing.

Shahrbano's story

Layela's vision in Shahrbano’s words: I will never forget the small workshop on the corner of a small street in Lahore, Pakistan. It was underground and three workers were busy stitching and embroidering. I could see the craftsmanship and skill that was in their minds and showing through their hands. I also knew the conditions they likely lived in- and wanted to do something to help improve their lives and their families’ lives. Being able to help them would not only help preserve this talent but also showcase it to the world. I have brought together my passion for art, design, and helping others through my clothing line called Layela. I created and have been working on Leyla for two years, since I began high school. I design my own clothing line and oversee the production process in Lahore. I have partnered with my cousin in Pakistan who has graciously helped me along the way. I sketch the designs and send along fabric and color references, which I pick out based on availability, to her workshop. Once the clothes have been made, I work on marketing in the US to the target customer, using the popular craft makers’ website, Etsy. The final step is making sure the order is custom made for each customer, in both size and specific elements. An important component of the project is the focus on social entrepreneurship. A portion of my earnings from the project will benefit the manufacturers back in the workshop. The project has allowed me to be creative while also making a difference.