Johannesburg, 4 April 2017 – Established in 2011 by Jane Mthombeni from Diepsloot, Mercy’s Dressmaking & Alterations is a sewing and alterations business. The company specialises in dressmaking, clothing repair, custom tailoring and bags made from upcycled fabric. Mercy’s Dressmaking & Alterations prides itself on excellent customer service and building long-lasting relationships.
Driven by a desire to improve her sewing skills, Mthombeni from Diepsloot jumped at the opportunity to participate in the Riversands Upcycling Programme in partnership with Coca-Cola South Africa when a friend mentioned it to her. She says this is one of the best decisions she has ever made. The programme provides a platform for seamstresses to develop their technical skills, build their business acumen and access new markets. The women in the programme benefit from a secure working environment, industrial machinery and exposure to new designs and techniques.
Since being on the programme, Mthombeni says her skills have improved dramatically as she is now able to make different products including bags. Previously, she largely focused on sewing and doing alterations. She has learnt about the various aspects of business management and singles out costing as being especially beneficial, “I no longer estimate now, I do everything professionally.”
“I love sewing and I’m much more motivated”
Mthombeni shares the same sentiments as the other seamstresses on the programme when it comes to using an industrial machine – she has learnt to use it proficiently. She says while the programme has helped her improve her sewing skills, what she is most grateful for is, “I now always have something to do every day; when I wake up, I can make money to feed my family.”
Mthombeni – who dreams of being a “highly qualified dressmaker and fashion designer”, has a passion for teaching other women to sew and plans to pass on her learnings to other women in her community. “I love sewing and I’m much more motivated. I want to teach others to sew,” she says.
By Simangele Mzizi