A loan of $475 helped to purchase shoe soles, accessories, brooches and other decorative items for responding to client orders.

Kricia's story

Working on her sewing machine from home, Kricia decorates and personalizes shoes for her clients, including adding synthetic and leather soles to existing shoes. She is 21 years old, and began working in this trade when she was 19 alongside her mother and siblings. Her mother had been taking government sponsored courses at the SENA - National Learning Service - in technology and technical education, and she encouraged her children to start up small businesses. Kricia's mother taught her some of the leather-working techniques she had learned in her courses, and Kricia learned very quickly.

Kricia leverages the income she generates from her business to cover her university education in chemistry and pharmacology. When designing and making her shoes, Kricia makes sure her creativity and personal touch are present throughout the entire process: she takes a client’s foot measurements, draws out a model design, stretches and manipulates fabric over a cardboard shoe sole, makes corrections and adjustments to fabric and sizing, takes a mold for the sole, cuts out the sole from the desired material, folds, glues and sews key parts together, and finally mounts the upper portion of the shoe onto the desired sole.

Her goal is to improve and expand her business gradually, and to finish her university degree so that she can begin a career as a pharmacist and have two sources of income. Kricia plans to use the support from this loan to purchase shoe soles, accessories, material and brooches for responding to an order from a client on the island of San Andrés. Kricia enjoys a customer base of people who know her for her quality work, and she wants to expand on that base to increase her clientele and begin designing and selling purses and bags in local supermarkets and other locations in the country.

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Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer Gillian Goodrich

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