Member Highlight: Irma
Irma has always had a love for sewing. Starting at the young age of 11, Irma would create clothes in her home in Mexico, establishing herself almost as a prodigy in her town. Upon moving to California, Irma opened a tailoring business in which she continued to hone her skills. However, the more time she spent in the tailoring industry the more she saw that these essential skills were fading away. Therefore, with the help of her first loan of $1,500 from Grameen America, Irma opened her own tailoring school in 2012. Currently, Irma teaches a class size of 6 students on sewing techniques, pattern-making and tailoring.
Since joining in 2012, Irma has taken out a total of 10 loans, borrowing almost $40,000 towards her tailoring school. As a previous owner of a tailoring business, Irma already had the necessary equipment. Therefore, her loans predominantly go towards investing in legal services to accredit her school. She wants each of her students not only to leave with a refined set of skills but also with a diploma they can feel proud of issued by the state of California.
With the help of Grameen America, Irma hopes to expand her classes and already has three teachers waiting to come work at her school. Furthermore, she plans to incorporate other trade industries, such as carpentry and mechanics, to offer a second source of income for skilled workers and a diverse range of classes for those within the community.