By Jessica Roy

Mama Mary Tailoring and Dressmaking

Isdorah is the tailor who was in charge of preparing uniforms for Blessed Heart Centre. Her shop, Mama Mary Tailoring and Dressmaking is conveniently located just a few steps from the school, making the process very simple and collaborative. Her shop is named after her last born daughter, Mary who goes to school at Blessed Heart. Isdorah has been in the tailoring business for years, and she has worked in different markets before she opened her shop. 

She makes different types of clothes and bags, but this is the first time she worked on an order for an entire school. This was a project of many firsts for Isdorah. From registering her business officially for the first time, to opening a bank account for the business, and preparing a quotation for the order. All these are new skills she has learned after she was selected to provide the uniforms. She says that this experience has built her capacity to deliver and manage large orders. “If another large order comes along the way, they will find me ready with all the documentation needed”.

As we chat with Isdorah, we begin to unpack how her work on the uniforms is benefitting so many others. On this specific project she has worked with eight other people. From additional tailors who helped with sewing, to the sweaters supplier, the team helping with the school badge for the sweaters, and people supplying thread, buttons, zips and socks. This job was a perfect demonstration of building the local economy from the ground up. 

Since Mama Mary Tailoring shop is so close to the school, students have been passing by the shop with excitement to check on the progress of their uniforms. Isdorah is proud to be working on this project since she is also a parent at the school. She mentioned that the students can get alternations or repairs done in the future which is perfect for the school and the parents. Additionally, the kindergarten teachers have been able to collect a lot of the left over fabric from the shop to make bean bags and other playing materials for their students. Nothing is wasted! 

Working with local tailors who are based in communities has unlocked a new kind of partnership. One that incorporates not just Isdorah, but her assistants, suppliers, and the school. This model empowers the community to create wealth while investing in their children and the future.