Seline Agatha’s is the story of a lady who loves and lives for what she does. She has been dressing the women of Molo for the last eighteen years when she was barely a woman she quips. She proudly tells me that tailoring has put food on her table and taken care of all of her five children’s school fees needs. Her last born is in her final year of high school and two of her daughters are waiting to join University. She does everything she is required to do in order to stay in business and retain her loyal clients.
Moto Hope Micro-Lending has come through for her business on two separate occasions and had a long term impact on it. We have so far loaned her a total of $400 to increase her fabric stock as well as restock and upgrade her sewing tools and equipment.
She says she loves Moto Hope Micro-lending because of the affordable interest rates (1%) and friendly re-payment plans. With MHML loans, Seline is able to get good quality fabrics: cotton, ankara, satin among others from Busia(Uganda).Her clients do not have to search for and bring their own fabric as they can chose from the variety that she has in stock. She is able to make all the designs on the posters displayed in her shop she says. Her peak period is between September and January and she makes sure to have all the needed stock and time to satisfy her customers’ needs.
She has only changed shop twice; the first time in 2007 during the unfortunate post election violence that hit Kenya affecting Molo region adversely. Since then, she has designed and made clothes from her shop which is strategically located at the heart of Molo market behind the open air market where there is a lot of human traffic.
She displays the clothes she makes outside her shop and these attract more clients as well as entice her loyal customers to make more. The only time she has loses customers is when they permanently move out of Molo town. The trick she says is to defy the stereotype; “tailors are liars”. She ensures that the dresses are ready for collection on the promised dates and always gives back to her client all the remnants from their fabric when they come to collect their clothes.
Seline also trains aspiring tailors especially young people (mostly those unable to join higher institutions of learning) to give them the skill that will enable them to be able to provide for themselves in future. After successful completion of their tailoring course, she employs them temporarily so they can get the required tailoring and business experience and expertise before they can go and set up their own businesses or gain other such employment.
She is currently training two students, one a grade twelve graduate who did not attain the required grade to join University but has talent and passion for tailoring. Seline says she derives a lot of fulfillment from empowering these young people with the necessary skills to be able to sustain themselves. Her business is not just for her family, but for other families in her community!