Charlieta Garde: A Shared Success

Charlieta Garde lives in Cavite with her daughter, her son-in-law and their two children. At the age of 61, she is at the head of a flourishing sewing workshop that she wishes to develop even more with SEED.

An Indecisive Beginning
Charlieta comes from Davao on Mindanao. She first came to Cavite, south of Manila with her husband to find work, with the plan to work abroad later on. The prospect of going abroad was abandoned after the death of her father-in-law. Charlieta stayed permanently in Cavite, while adopting a positive philosophy: “Everything that happens to me has a meaning; it’s up to me to find what it is.”

In 1990, Charlieta’s husband gave her 20,000 pesos to open a sari-sari store. She preferred however to spend the money on a second-hand sewing machine and some materials for sewing. She sold her first products, in particular curtains, to her neighbors and friends. The quality of her work was such that her reputation spread by word of mouth.

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A Faultless Performance
Charlieta got her first loan of 6,000 pesos from SEED in April 2011. Since then she has taken out eight other loans for a total of 200,000 pesos. With these loans she bought materials for her sewing business. Today Charlieta makes curtains, bedsheets, blouses, polo shirts, shorts and is still expanding her line.

The net weekly income from this business has increased tenfold in two years and now stands at 34,000 pesos. Charlieta has been able to replace the corrugated tin roof of her home with roof tiles, has bought various furniture and has 15,000 pesos in savings in SEED Alone.

Twenty Jobs Created
Charlieta employs 8 sewers and twelve sales women. She now wants to help three other neighbours who are very motivated to earn. Charlieta wants to buy a hand cart for one of them who has a handicapped child. This will enable the neighbor not only to move the merchandise around more easily but also and above all her son. Truly, Charlieta is one of SEED’s partners who is mindful not only in improving her business and her family but in looking after her own community.