A loan of $800 helped to buy fabric, thread, lace, ribbon and other sewing supplies and materials.

Luzalva's story

Luzalva M. D. lives in Barranquilla’s 20 de Julio housing project, which is both a commercial and residential area. She manufactures children’s clothing and needs a $1.500.000 loan to buy raw materials like fabric, ribbon, lace and thread at wholesale and retail.

She started her business in 1990 having learned to be a seamstress in Bucaramanga. She was employed at a tailor shop but later became independent and currently works with her daughter, who does the cutting, and another worker, who does the finishing on the items and who uses her skills to decorate and adorn them, and with Susana who designs and sews; she works a long shift from 8am to 8pm because she adores her art.

Luzalva M. sells by the dozen to customers in a shopping center near her shop called, Metrocentro and to customers located in colmenas (densely populated apartment buildings) in downtown Barranquilla. Competition is high but she is preferred thanks to the quality of her finishing and her strict adherence to delivery schedules. She buys most of her raw materials weekly but some of them like, details, buttons and decorations, every three days.

This is her 9th loan through Fundación Mario Santo Domingo, an organization she has been collaborating with for 12 years, both in loan programs and in training sessions. Being tied to these processes has made it possible for her to modernize her equipment. This is how she was able to purchase two over lock sewing machines (special sewing machines to do finishing on garments) and do some home improvements to her apartment.

Her great dream is to set up a store in a prestigious shopping center but she knows that she must wait and continue to make merchandising efforts that will help her increase production and sales of children’s clothes in order to generate at least one additional job. This is precisely her great challenge.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz

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