A loan of $650 helped to buy fabric, threads and accessories.


Sandra's story

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.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Linda Oxnard



Loan details


Lenders and lending teams



Loan details