Close this search box.

Mukashyaka started her business with 7,500Frw and now she empowers her community

whatsapp image 2023 05 07 at 11.20.45

Three years ago, residents of the Janja and Muzo sectors in Gakenke District had trouble finding transportation to Musanze town to get their clothing tailored. It was a journey of close to five hours to get their clothes tailored in Musanze but this became a business opportunity for a young woman.

The residents of Janja and Muzo would wake early morning, buy the fabric for the clothes make the journey to Musanze in the city and they would then give tailors their clothes, make measurements and then wait for the whole day since they had to go home with their clothes. Taking another journey back would be costly.

One woman, Marie Mukashyaka, saw an opportunity to solve this problem and start a business. Mukashyaka was familiar with tailoring and the legalities surrounding it, having studied the subject for years. So she began saving money to buy a sewing machine and start her own tailoring business.

Mukashyaka Marie had always dreamed of starting her own tailoring shop. After finishing her studies she could not find a job and decided to work a bit in construction to save up some money.

She had saved up Rwf 7,500 to purchase a second-hand sewing machine and started offering her tailoring services. Her first task was to repair clothes for residents who couldn’t travel to Musanze town.

“I worked in construction and gained about 7,500Frw. I decided to rent a sewing machine and I would pay 1,500Frw a month. I placed it near the road.”

She placed her sewing machine near the road in Janja in the city center and after a month she decided to open a bank account and measure how much profit she makes and how much money she can save up.

She said, “People knew I could sew clothes and would bring me theirs. I remember I went in CLECAM to open a bank account, I remember I was missing 500 Frw to open an account and I begged them saying ‘I will pay you once I make more money’. They agreed and they opened the bank account for me.”

Word began to spread about Mukashyaka’s shop. People started stopping by to inquire about her services, and before long, she was busy every day, sewing and altering clothes for customers all over the city. She was doing what she loved, and she was making a living doing it.

But as she started to gain customers, she faced challenges. Some customers would give her fabrics she has never used before. “I remember this one time, a mother gave me her fabric for a dress and I messed it up. But I promised her I would make my best to learn and make sure they always come to me for tailoring.”

As the days went by, she became more and more confident, which made the priest of the Parish in their sector give her an opportunity to teach the tailoring profession to other young people in their area.

This helped her a lot since she could even gain more money. She said, “I was lucky that the priest of the Janja sector gave some people who were orphans and had disabilities. I would teach them for 10,000 Frw for each of them for six months, from the money I gained I bought some other machines and a cow.”

Mukashyaka says that the money she got from teaching students helped her take a step further in building her business. She started to rent a place to work since at the time she was still working near the street.

Currently, Mukashyaka has grown since her Atelier ‘Ishema Ryacu’ is now worth 1,200,000 Frw and she has even managed to hire other young people who need opportunities.

The Atelier currently teaching five people, and they have three permanent employees, among whom she taught sewing.

Uwimana Gisèle, a mother of two who works in the studio said that in two years she working in the shop has changed her life.

In her message to young women, Mukashyaka advised young girls to take their hands out of their pockets and work, she believes that will help many girls avoid things such as unplanned pregnancies.

Today, Mukashyaka Marie is a successful business owner, known throughout the city for her expert tailoring and impeccable customer service. She still remembers the struggle and sacrifice it took to get where she is today, and she is grateful for every customer who walks through her door. She knows that anything is possible with hard work, determination, and a little bit of faith.

whatsapp image 2023 05 07 at 11.20.45

Mukasyaka aims to build her own workshop and become a well-known tailor within the next ten years.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Straight out of Twitter