Annette is a 37 year old mother of four originally from the town of Muusuto, divorced for more than a decade. Every Tuesday and Friday, she walks three miles from her home to Namatala to help make the 1000 Shillings products. Last summer her work focused on necklaces, but her true passion lies in sewing. Annette is a tailor by profession, and she is always willing to offer to sew skirts or dresses for anyone who inquires. Other than her children, she says, sewing is her true love.
A typical day for Annette starts somewhat similarly to the start of any American woman’s morning: she gets up around 9, gets her kids ready for school, cooks and cleans around the house, walks the three miles to Namatala to work with 1000 Shillings (or, on her days off, runs her posho stand in town), goes home and eats dinner, and spends the rest of her evening with her children. Four children would be handful for any mother, and Annette is a single mother, raising her family alone ever since her divorce. Rather than be disheartened by this responsibility, Annette relishes in it.
Annette’s four children are Angloe, 14 years; Emma, 10 years; Susan, 7 years; and Silver, 2 years. Annette’s hope is for all of her children to go to college and to get a well-paying profession so they they can avoid the struggling that Annette has endured in her adult life. Susan is not even 10 years old, but she already has hopes to be a nurse, and Annette is working to get her enough money to be able to study at a good university.
Annette is an asset to her children and to 1000 Shillings. Her posho business is going to support her children’s dreams, and making those dreams come true is Annette’s. With her second summer working with 1000 Shillings, her family’s prosperity is more in reach than ever.
Annette is putting her sewing skills to good use to achieve that prosperity, working on three different scarves this summer with 1000 Shillings. Annette truly enjoys making all of the scarves, and she is known as the fastest sewer–and, of course, the quality is always flawless and better than any machine could produce.
“I would wear any of my scarves around town,” she said. “But only if it is very, very cold.”
Annette has perfected the art of scarf making and it can be guaranteed any Annette scarf bought was made with passion, precision, and love.
“I want American women to love my scarves because I love to make them and I want them to look as smart as they can,” Annette said. “I want to see a woman wearing one in a photograph and know that I helped her to look so beautiful!”
The scarves are the foundation of Annette’s business, which has yet to truly take off. Last June, Annette started a posho (ground maize) business. In July of last year, however, Annette got sick, and her business had to be put on hold. Since that time, she has not been able to restart her posho selling–until this summer.
“I’m ready to start again because my kids need their school fees paid for. I know I can do that,” Annette said.
Annette is hoping to restart her posho business with her savings. While the posho is in process–the maize is being ground and prepared–Annette also hopes to add a new component: selling clothing. Although she is reserved about her sewing talents, she is truly gifted, and her homemade clothing will find a market once she is ready to put them on display. Until then, she is content to sell posho.
“I like selling posho,” she said. “It helps my family and I get to eat my own. I love to eat it, and it’s free for me. It’s a good business.”
One year from now, Annette hopes to be able to pay for all of her children’s school fees on time. She also hopes to buy land and begin plans to build her own home with enough space for her and her four children.
With Annette’s resiliency, dedication, and two products she is ready to sell, it seems viable that she will get that land with space for her children to run. 1000 Shillings is helping her to take these first few tentative steps–with that help and her persistence, everything that Annette has been hoping and working for this past year will soon come to fruition for her and her family.