Rosaura and María del Rosario Castillo
The Art of Stitches and Buttons
Patience and creativity are two characteristics that define Rosaura and María del Rosario Castillo, sisters that have dedicated their whole lives to producing beautiful garments in the city of Granada. Rosaura, the elder sister, says that her passion for the art of sewing began when she was a teenager and was inspired by her mother Amanda who also worked as a professional seamstress.
“Now, I am 67 years old and I started working with embroidery and sewing when I was 14. My mother would come home and tell me about a style that she had seen. Then we would cut the fabric to match the designs that she had seen in the store windows,” recounted Rosaura.
In the business’s best days, when the sisters worked in their home, they made dresses for women, clothing for men, and christening gowns for babies. Unfortunately, when Rosaura’s mother became ill, the business’s production was reduced.
“My mother was in charge of selling the clothing. When she became ill, we had to change our production in the workshop. We started to look for ways to change our design and sewing processes.
According to Mara del Rosario, her love of sewing came from watching her mother and older sisters as they drew designs on the fabric with chalk, cut the cloth, and embroidered.
The sisters currently run the workshop, which produces mainly custom-made designs. Rosaura is responsible for the designs and for cutting the fabric, while María del Rosario works on the embroidering machine and is in charge of sales. The sisters have also hired other women in their community to help with cutting the fabric.
“We have three dressmakers and two embroiderers. We have specialized in producing dresses for all ages. We also produce linens for babies and sometimes we produce baptismal gowns if we have orders,” says Rosaura.
María del Rosario notes that both of the women start working at dawn, choosing the fabric to use for their designs, cutting it, and then completing the process using the sewing machines. This work gives the sisters an income of approximately 8000 cordobas per month (US$275).
The sisters’ relationship with MiCrédito began approximately five years ago, and since then, Rosaura and María del Rosario have been loyal clients. This relationship, among other factors, has allowed the sisters to continue buying primary material for their business and has ensured a stable income.
“Our lives have changed a bit, because without credit, we would not be able to do it. Our family was very poor, so with this credit, we are able to grow our business,” according to María del Rosario.