Bessie’s life-changing job


Bessie at work …

After following a three-month training in basic sewing young Bessie was still unsure what she wanted to do.
Before that she had stopped working as a home carer because she was suffering from backache.

Ending up on the doorsteps of the MPower Centre seeking help and skills, she was enrolled on a sewing project.

During the short period there, Bessie developed her skills making flowers using silk stalking materials and iron thread.

“I enjoyed doing those flowers and they sell well but not all the time,” she said.

The young woman continues to do the flowers at home but on requests only.  She buys all the materials she needs from the Small Enterprise Agency (Senpa).

During her work attachment period at Daisie’s Upholstery at Providence, Bessie learned new things and she is very grateful for the small amount of skills she acquired in operating a sewing machine while at the MPower Centre.

“Even though the machine was small there, I was happy I had learnt to handle one,” she said.

At Daisie’s Upholstery things are different. There are bigger industrial machines and Overlock machines used to give nice finishing to all the work which are sewn.

Daisie’s Upholstery specialises in sewing all types of curtains, cushions and upholstery works.
For Bessie the time spent there was kind of a wake-up call for her.

“I realised I enjoy this type of work. I learned a lot during my attachment there and I really wanted to stay and continue to learn different things,” she added.

… and showing off some of her finished products

Daisy Romain, the manageress of Daisie’s Upholstery, decided to keep the young woman after her attachment period was over.

“She is a good person, hard working, very attentive, polite, eager to learn, grasps things quickly and is very good with clients,” said Mrs Romain.
Two years later Bessie is happy and enjoying her job.

Proudly showing off some of the fashionable cloth bags ideal for beach outing she has sewn Bessie said they sell like hot cakes among visitors and locals alike. The ones I saw when I dropped by recently formed part of a batch sewn on order to be sold in a visitors’ kiosk in town.

With the skills she has acquired Bessie now knows the different techniques to handle and sew all types of fabric be it when making curtains, cushion covers or other items.

“There are different types of fabric and each of them should be handled differently if you want the finished products to look fabulous and well made. I feel good now that I know how to handle each type of fabric,” Bessie explains.

Bessie can now also change the covering and repair old sofas, chairs and other pieces of furniture clients bring to be refurbished.
Bessie’s greatest satisfaction is when she stands back and admires her handy work.

“I am really proud and I feel happy to have been able to give a new lease of life to those old pieces which often at first glance looked fit for the junkyard,” she says laughing.

Apart from receiving support and encouragement from her boss Mrs Romain for whom she says she has great admiration for her strong will and determination to succeed, the young woman from Majoie works with two other colleagues who have been there before her and are more experienced.

She says they always help her and she is grateful for their support and encouragement.

“Thank you Mrs Romain for all your help and support and my two colleagues for being helpful too,” she says.

Bessie further added that the teamwork is great and it makes you feel welcomed and worthy. Now that she is certain of her career path, Bessie has lots of plans.

“Coming here and having the chance to learn all the things I have and more to come is the best thing to have happened to me, I have no doubt that I will enjoy continuing on the same path,” she says.

In spite of all the challenges, the young woman has lots of plans for the future and having her own small enterprise is surely part of her projects.

All the best Bessie and keep up the good spirit, determination and desire to move further and realise your dreams.

M-A. L