Tailoring Tales

Hardworking, talented, quick to smile: these are just a few characteristics that unite the Jacobs Well team members.  While most girls join us from the same local communities, everyone has different levels of education, training and work experience, as well as unique passions and strengths.  FWH Creations is committed to helping each team member identify these talents and fulfil their ambitions.  We know they can go far!

Radha's birthday


Joining the team in 2001, Radha had completed a vocational training programme and started at the Jacobs Well unit as a trainee on the sewing machines.  She was stitching for many years until the departure of our cutting master in 2010 at which point she was trained Radha to take over his work.  The cutting table is now fully Radha’s domain and she excels at measuring and cutting fabric for the team to stitch, as well as designing and grading patterns.

Radha is very well respected in the unit and takes over many leadership roles if if required.  She also has a great deal of responsibility at home, looking after her elderly parents as well as the daughters of her brother and his wife who have both passed away.

With a keen eye for replicating and adapting products, Radha has recently been responsible for a collection of purses, wash bags and young girls’ dresses, firstly working on the sample herself, then taking charge of training the rest of the team in the right construction technique.  Several members of staff have commented on how well she conducts training and how much they enjoy learning from her.  Radha is extremely valuable to Jacobs Well and we’re looking forward to her developing even further in her role and her leadership abilities.


Sumitra tries out the new cutting machine


Sumitra has been with Jacobs Well since 2004 when she was part of the team teaching embroidery to women affected by the tsunami near Chennai.  The tsunami had a devastating effect on the livelihoods of many people and Jacobs Well was among several organisations asked by the Bishop of India to help provide training and new opportunities to these individuals.  The training was a great success and in the following years we were thrilled to hear that many of the ladies had gone back to their villages and set up similar training programmes for their own communities.

After her time in Chennai, Sumitra joined the Jacobs Well unit in Bangalore.  Already skilled in embroidery, here she learned tailoring for the first time and is now amongst the most skilled members of the team.  Before our master tailor Ayub left for a new job in the Gulf, he trained Sumitra to take over his work in creating samples and tackling the most complex stitching jobs.  Sumitra has risen to the challenge fantastically!  She is now leading the team in stitching delicate couture items and it is great to see her confidence grow in leaps and bounds alongside her achievements.  Our goal with the Jacobs Well unit is not just to offer a job, but to provide an environment where staff members continue to learn new skills and really develop their passions and interests.  Sumitra is such an integral part of the team and we are excited to see her thrive as she pursues her tailoring ambitions.


Kalaivani stitches a bag


Kalaivani left school early and stayed at home for a long time with health issues.  She was introduced to Jacobs Well in 2012 by a mutual contact who was working with her brother, and has been a member of the team ever since.  Having no formal training in tailoring, she was first helping at the cutting table before moving on to take six months of training in stitching at the unit.  And now there is no stopping her!

Kalaivani has consistently taken the initiative in improving her own skills and working hard at her tailoring projects.  She has done excellent work on a wide range of orders including school uniforms, childrenswear and a recent line of ladies dresses.  Of all the team members, Kalaivani is the most keen to complete her school studies.  With her 10th Standard exams behind her, Kalaivani’s future will be opened up to a wide range of further academic and vocational training courses.  From a quiet, shy girl to an increasingly confident and ambitious young woman, it has been incredibly rewarding to support Kalaivani as she grows in so many ways.  Her future is bright!

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