A loan of $650 helped to buy leather, acrylic boards, steel knives, a millstone, grinders, glues, fittings, hemp, and frames.


Carmen's story

Carmen, 53, lives with her husband and has four grown children. Eighteen years ago, she began making handicrafts and leather goods, a profession she started learning when she took a weaving class at a religious school when she was 10. She also learned cooking and other crafts, which became her main source of income as an adult. People began to take notice of her merchandise, and over time she bought equipment for her house, including an over-stitch machine. Her friends recommended her, and she has built a market that supports her.

Carmen makes a variety of artesania, leather goods, painted frames, mulit-use items, underwear, biscuits, and even special foods in her workshop. She sells for cash and also offers credit terms of one month. She pays cash for her supplies at specialized warehouses that offer fittings, accessories, and more.

Her goal is to expand and eventually buy a house at the corner, where she can boost sales, feel more comfortable, and better serve her customer. She is applying for her first Kiva loan through Fundación Mario Santo Domingo, which she will use to buy leather, acrylic boards, steel knives, a millstone, grinders, glues, fittings, hemp, and frames. Her biggest challenge is to keep supporting her children in their college studies.

Translated from Spanish by Kiva volunteer



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