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Tailor Devi Goes Solo To Support Family

Tailor Devi Goes Solo To Support Family
Renuka Devi works on a project on her new machine she bought using the Small and Micro Business Grant on January 24, 2018. Photo: Sheldon Chand
January 25
10:49 2018

Trying circumstances in Renuka Devi’s life made it impossible for her to remain in the workforce earning a meager salary to support her family.

Her husband, a retired foreman, began having heart problems. He, too, was forced to stop working.

She came to terms with the fact that earning $80 a week employed as a tailor was not a sustainable source of income, especially when she had to support her family.

The mother-of-two then quit her job and, in 2012 opened a small tailoring shop in Nausori she called Shelley’s Ladies Tailoring.

With just one sewing machine to start with, business was slow.

In 2015, she applied for and received the Small and Micro Businesses Grant of $1000.

She used it to purchase an additional sewing machine, boosting her productivity and income.

Averaging weekly revenues of close to $300, the Nausori native is now an employer herself.

“With just one machine, I wasn’t able to produce much,” she said.

“So when I received the grant, I used a bit of my savings and purchased a new machine worth $1500 and now can take many more orders.”

Tailoring for her has never felt like a chore. Ms Devi enjoys brainstorming with her customers before she starts working on a final product.

Mentally, she said, tailoring keeps her alert. Renting a store in the heart of Nausori town, however, does not come cheap.

But for Ms Devi, it only adds to the host of challenges she has already had to overcome. One day, she hopes to have a bigger store and increase her capacity to supply on a much larger scale.

“While the grant has been helpful, I think it’s essential that it be used appropriately and I urge recipients to do that,” she said.

Edited by George Kulamaiwasa



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