Posted by Marvelous Works on

Q: What does Marvelous Works do as a social enterprise?

We are a for-profit organisation that provide flexible employment opportunities to women from single-parent households and underprivileged families through the sale of their handmade products. Our beneficiaries sew from home and are paid upfront for their work, while training and materials are provided.

Q: How did you get acquainted with your craft?

With a strong interest in the arts since young, I dabbled in drawing, painting, graphic design and in anything that I could express my creativity. I also sewed and experimented with stitching small craft items for my friends and family, and eventually turned this skill into a business after going through drafting lessons.

Q: What inspired you to start Marvelous Works?

I witnessed the hardships my mother had to endure, single-handedly working multiple jobs to raise me and my two siblings. Despite that, we had to depend heavily on social graces to get by. Having experienced and survived through these difficulties during my childhood, I grew up wanting to lend a helping hand to those who may be going through similar circumstances. I joined TOUCH Community Services shortly after graduation, where I worked with the special needs group to design and produce marketable crafts which contributed to the sustainability of the organisation. After serving this community for 4 years, I took a leap of faith and started Marvelous Works. Instead of relying on donations and social graces, I want to empower the financially vulnerable with viable career skills so that they can live independently.

Q: What were some challenges when you were starting out? And what about now?

As we started from scratch, marketing the products and building up brand awareness were the greatest challenges. We experienced months without sales, stagnant stockpile, and survived off our savings over the first few years.

We are incredibly grateful for all the people who supported us, encouraged us, and gave us great advice. Sales is more sustainable after we improved our marketing strategy and experimented with different designs and are supporting more beneficiaries now.

Q: What are some aspirations you have for Marvelous Works?

We aim to provide more employment opportunities in roles other than sewing, with further growth in sales. A wider range of products!

Q: What advice would you give to those who aspire to use their craft for a cause?

Have some grit. NEVER GIVE UP! Be humble, learn from others. Save up and be ready to live with very little.

Q: In what ways can people be involved in supporting your work?

Share our social media pages. Purchase our handmade items. Approach us if you want to have an item customised!

(This interview was originally published on 19 September 2020 at Arty Gritty.)