By JOYCE INGIPA
MOTHER-of-two Hellensville Kevin taught herself how to sew by watching her in-laws sewing at home.
Today, the 26-year-old from Bena in Eastern Highlands confidently rates herself as a skilled seamstress.
“I sew 16 to 20 meri blouses a week and sell them for K20 or K10 according to the size. I make between K300 and K400 a day.”
She took an interest in sewing when watching her in-laws from Pangia in Southern Highlands at home in Morata, Port Moresby.
“I picked up the art of sewing from watching them sew in the house. When no one is in the house, I cut out newspapers and practise on their sewing machine.”
Hellensville attended the Boreboa Primary School in Waigani before going on to the Badiagwa Secondary School. She could not get through Grade 10 so had to upgrade her marks through the Flexible Open Distance Education programme. In 2010, she finally completed Grade 12 through the programme.
But her education took a pause when she got married in 2013. Her husband is a self-employed electrician who does odd jobs to support her and their two children at Morata.
“I started sewing in 2014. I made five meri blouses and took them to the Boroko craft market to sell. I sold all on the same day. I told my husband to buy me a sewing machine. I am grateful that I have acquired this skill to support me and my family.”
She pays K100 a fortnight for market fees. She also puts side K20 a week to cater for any emergency.
“ If you are lazy you will have nothing to eat but if you work you won’t go hungry because God will always bless you.”
“Public servants wait for a fortnight to get paid. I see money every day. When you are interested in something and the passion is there, nothing is impossible.”
There is a lot of competition so she sews different styles and patterns of dresses to beat the others.
“Even though most of my siblings are working, I don’t ask them for money because from my sales I have enough to look after my family. I understand that they have their own problems to deal with.”
She believes that nothing in this world is free and one should work hard to survive.
“If you are lazy you will have nothing to eat but if you work you won’t go hungry because God will always bless you.”
And she hopes to return to school one day to pursue her dream of becoming a businesswoman.
“I know the basics but I need knowledge because knowledge is power and when the interest is there, you can never go wrong.”