- Category: Entrepreneurship
- Published Date
- Written by Brenda Twea
For Blantyre-based Esther Mponya, a mother of five, her interest in sewing stemmed from the needlecraft lessons she received in her primary schools days.
But she seriously ventured into tailoring in 1997 when her husband bought her a sewing machine.
“My interest in sewing started when I was at Mchacha Primary School in Chikhwawa. I would make dolls, design little dresses and other things. When I got married, I asked my husband to buy me a sewing machine and I started tailoring,” she says.
Her business has since grown from operating on a veranda to a shop she now owns in Chilobwe Township in where she is also imparting skills to others through her Mponya School of Tailoring.
On a good week, Mponya says she can saw 10 national wears. She also makes anything from toilet sets, cushion covers, men’s suits, skirts, dresses, shirts to shorts, among others.
Mponya, who comes from Bangu Village, in Chikhwawa, says through her tailoring she has managed to send her children to school, including supporting a son who went through the University of Malawi’s College of Medicine and is now a medical doctor.
“The benefits are many in the business. My husband works at College of Medicine, but I believe it is important to support each other in running the affairs of the home,” she says.
Mponya is also proud to have imparted the skill to one of her daughters, who she believes could carry on the trade if she retired.
Among other plans, the tailor and designer would like to increase the number of tailoring machines to enable her to train more people at one go.
She encourages women to emulate her example. “A lot of women consider certain businesses as masculine. Some women have sewing machines just lying idle in their homes when they can actually use them to make money.
“It is high time women realised the importance of doing their part in providing for the family because I am able to help in developing my
family through this business.”