A loan of $325 helped to buy fabrics for costumes, and used clothing.

Sonia Esther's story

Sonia is 62 years old. She has a store in the city center, where she sells used clothing and fabrics to make costumes.

She opened her business two years ago, when she began to sell used clothing in Rio Frio, a small town in the department of Magdalena. Rio Frio is a spa town which welcomes many tourists visiting its beautiful cool river, where families meet to spend time together and enjoy themselves.

Little by little, Sonia began to make a name for herself and meet customers in the city of Barranquilla, located three hours away. She often traveled there, and this is how she came across the opportunity to set up a stall in the market. Everything grew from there.

She sells all kinds of used women's clothing, including jeans, blouses, vests, skirts and pants. She displays them on cords that hang in her store, and this attracts customers' attention because they associate them with a good price. She accepts cash for her goods and works from Mondays to Sundays. A friend of hers chooses and buys clothes from all over the city for her to sell in her store, and Sonia buys fresh stock three times a week. She also sells fabrics to make costumes. This is a successful business in the season leading up to Carnival, because the celebrations attract all types of buyers who want to make their own costumes.

It is for this reason that she is requesting a loan from Kiva, to buy fabrics for costumes and used clothing, which will increase her selling potential and guarantee that her investment is successful.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Chloe Pilpel

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