A loan of $650 helped to buy an industrial sewing machine, a steam iron and bolts of fabric.

Odila's story

Odilia, 51, makes clothes for women, men and children. Her main products are blouses, pants and dresses. She started this work at the age of 18 when she learned it by tradition because her mother was also in this occupation and Odilia grew up helping her. Her desire for self-improvement led her to study at SENA, the National Learning Service and to complete a course in Commercial Direction. To put everything she’d learned into practice, she opened her first sewing shop with her cousin at her aunt’s house and strengthened her skills there and gained much experience and a good clientele to such an extent that she was able to relocate to a more comfortable, strategic place.

She worked in this shop with her cousin for two years but eventually moved to a different city and Odilia started anew to run her business by herself. She did this for five years and her micro business grew, she became more technologically adept and she perfected her skills.

When she formed her own family and had her daughter, she concentrated on her for the next five years and when she was ready to return to work again she retook her art working in various workshops as an employee. There she learned how to make party dresses, wedding gowns and haute couture in general. This was how when she was ready again to start a business of her own, her sister-in-law helped her because she took out a loan in her name to buy her first machines and with that she was able to acquire regular customers to be able to pay for this purchase and with profits is exactly what she did.

Her shop currently has two plain machines, one overlock machine and one family machine. She has approximately 150 customers and she sells on credit and for cash. To accept a contract she asks for a 50% down payment and the remainder is paid upon delivery. She pays cash for her supplies in nearby stores.

She lives with her 15 year old daughter who helps her very much in the business because her creativity is bottomless and Odilia takes advantage of it because she is genius when it comes to clothing design, something that she’s passionate about. Odilia is very proud of her daughter and she works every day to provide her with more opportunities to be successful at whatever she likes which is precisely designing the clothing line.

Her Kiva loan is the first financing from Fundación Mario Santo Domingo that she’ll use to buy an industrial blind stitch machine to better finish the articles of clothing, a steam iron and bolts of fabric to make women’s dresses and have stock available to display for Mother’s Day, one of the seasons of highest commercial movement when Odilia’s profits usually increase helping her to reach her dreams.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Polliz

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