Time flies! At the blink of an eye, the Ampang Sewing Centre has been in operation for 1.5 years since 1 July 2019. We started off blessing 12 Afghan refugees with a job as tailors, and since then more than 40 refugees have been given jobs at this Centre. All of them have built a good reputation with their high quality work, and today we have a regular group of customers from online and retail boutiques as well as some corporate job orders. We have also sewn for NGOs, churches, schools, companies and individuals.
The Sewing Centre started off with clothes alteration services and individual walk-in customers, but we realized very quickly we would not be able to sustain doing just that. That’s when we started our own retail line, The Craft Shop, with fabric bags and pouches, cushion covers, etc. We were also looking for customers to give us bulk orders.
At the peak of the Covid-19 pandemic in Apr/May 2020, we unexpectedly received some large orders for PPEs, which kept us going through this difficult time and enabled us to engage many refugees who were laid off from their previous work. Even when the pandemic levelled off, we were able to get significant orders for fabric masks from Earth Heir, World Vision, MCRD (Methodist Crisis Relief Development) and Community Excel Services Bhd (DUMC), which enabled us to continue helping the enlarged team of workers at the centre.
The current focus is on customers who have their own fashion lines in either retail or online businesses. We are also keen to work for companies who need corporate gifts, uniforms and anything which requires sewing services.
Our plan for the new year is to expand into the shop floor unit next to our current location, to enable us provide work for a bigger group of refugees. We will also need to widen our business base to help support this effort. To this end, we seek every help in introducing potential clients to explore business opportunities with us.
We will also incorporate a nice showroom for the Craft Shop within the newly acquired space.
Contribute by Lilian Si