By Agueda Martin

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Marcella (33) had been a computer systems analyst at Banco de Chile, and was the main breadwinner for their family since her husband had gone back to school to earn a degree. That all ended when she was laid off.

Initially Marcela didn’t think it would be too bad as she had received severance pay. Plus her children were very young and she felt her priority should be to raise them well for a time and focused on that. However, soon she started feeling the economic pressure of just her husband’s income from working part time. So she started looking around for something she could do, while still giving her children the attention they need. She tried different ventures but nothing seemed to meet her needs for the long term. 

When Marcella enrolled in the tailoring course she started putting her new skills to work right away. Her mother gave Marcella her old sewing machine and when a neighbor saw the good use she was putting it to, she gave Marcella hers as well.  So Marcella started a small company with two sewing machines. As soon as she learned a new pattern, making sheets or curtains, she’d advertise her skills to her friends and acquaintances and soon enough they started buying their linens from her. With the money that came in she’d buy more material and make new things she was learning in class, which quickly sold as well. 

Even before Marcella finished her FEDES course, she already had orders lined up for the next few weeks. People appreciate the quality work she does and initiative she takes.

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“I don’t want to go back to an office job, at least not yet, while my children are young” she told us. “But with this new skill and business I can provide a reasonable income to my family while my husband completes his studies. I’m very excited about the future.”