Maricris, 48 years old, mother and wife to a local upholsterer in Antipolo, Rizal. A graduate of secondary education, she started sewing for a living to help her husband in meeting their growing family needs. Her beginnings saw her making curtains and pillowcases from an industrial sewing machine that she merely rented.
When she started with Grameen Pilipinas Microfinance, Inc., her main goal was to have a personal tool of trade, and save the money set aside for renting a sewing machine. Fulfilling this changed the game for Maricris. By her second loan cycle, she was already subcontracting from a garments business and started to rent more machines that she also hopes to eventually purchase.
When the Philippines was placed in community quarantine and immobilized business, Maricris quickly shifted from garments manufacturing to production of PPEs. Agile thinking helped Maricris and her family tide over the crisis until the easing of the quarantine.
At present, Maricris maintains five seamstresses and seven sewing machines, six of which she already owns. In a simple town where most women are home-based with very limited or zero capacity to earn, Maricris’ small business is a ray of hope for the families in her community.
With her increased capacity as an entrepreneur, she was able to create opportunities for these women to support their families. She continues to hope that her business will keep growing and withstand the challenges of the “new normal.”