Lalfakzuali weaves the traditional Mizo skirts called ‘Puans’ in different colors and intricate designs. She has rented a floor in her friend’s home where three of her looms are kept.
She shares how after her divorce, she moved in with her parents and sisters, and started weaving to earn her living. After her parents died four years ago, the sisters decided to run the weaving business. Over the years they bought three looms and started taking bigger orders. One of her sisters helps her in the sales of the ‘Puans’, another in weaving, while the third sister is disabled. Lalfakzuali also has a son who is around seven years old.
She took a loan of Rs.20,000 in June last year. It was utilized to buy different quality of colored yarns. As the business grew, she employed two more weavers from the neighborhood, while her sisters managed sales of the ‘Puans’ and also diversified into other businesses. Lalfakzuali says that they are able to weave one ‘Puan’ per week, per machine, depending on the design. It may sell for Rs.3000 or more. Half of this amount is paid to weaver.
She says that she is able to make a comfortable income but wants to grow her business by buying more looms which cost around Rs.15,000 and employing more people. She now takes orders from the neighborhood or takes her finished products to shops in the market. Lalfakzuali confidently says that she wants to work on bulk orders from shopkeepers. This would need more investment in the business. Apart from saving for reinvestment in her business, she is also saving for her son's education.
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