Wednesday March 20, 2013
‘A stitch in time’ saves ex-clerk from poverty
By NIK NAIZI HUSIN
LIPIS: She struggled to make ends meet as a general clerk earning less than RM400 a month. But determined to break from the low-paying job, V. Sumathi took a leap of faith and attended sewing classes, eventually starting her own business.
The 31-year-old is now the proud owner of a boutique in Benta town centre near here after enrolling in a sewing course under the Empower Skills and Entrepreneurship Training Programme and obtaining a loan to start the business. This took several years of hard work and perseverance.
“On average, I make more than RM2,000 monthly now, taking up orders from regular customers, villagers and friends,” she said.
“With additional income, my family can now enjoy a better quality of life.
“My husband can also take time off from work and spend more time with our two children.”
Relating her success story, Sumathi said she had no experience in sewing previously.
“I started from scratch, using an old sewing machine. On several occasions, I thought of giving up but decided to soldier on for the sake of my family,” she said, beaming with pride.
Sumathi slowly picked up the skills and started sewing part-time while still working as a clerk.
Following support from her family, she eventually quit her job and ventured into the business full-time.
“One must never give up and keep trying to attain success in life,” she said.
“Family support is important too as without them, I would not dare to go it alone,” she said, crediting her husband and children for standing by her.
“I managed to save enough to repay my loan and purchase two new sewing machines. Due to an increase in orders, I had to hire an assistant to help me run my boutique.”
Pahang Housing, Transport and Public Amenities Committee chairman Datuk Mohd Soffi Abdul Razak congratulated Sumathi on her success, adding that she should serve as a role model for others.
The training programme aims to assist locals start businesses, boost their employability and marketability, and help increase their income.
Courses include customer frontline services, cooking, sewing, fashion design, baking, make-up and bridal services, mobile phone repair, computer networking and ICT-related training.
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