Mother continues business for workers
She could have retired from manufacturing native products but her workers strengthened her resolve to continue her business.
Norma Carreon’s business has already reached more than 40 years, supplying hats, fans, placemats, bags, laundry baskets made from buri trees, coco shells and pandan materials to export companies in Cebu, Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Palawan, Manila, Davao, and General Santos, among other provinces.
“The weavers are instrumental to the success of this business. This isn’t just about me but also about them who are earning additional income from weaving. Without them, this business wouldn’t have existed,” said the 62-year-old mother, referring to the more than individuals that she employs.
Carreon, a native of Barangay Guiwanon, Barili town, is one of the oldest manufacturers of native souvenir products in Cebu.
She started the business in 1970 with a starting capital of only P150, selling slippers, vegetables, and clothes to friends and neighbors.
“I never thought about engaging in this kind of business. As long as I’m happy and able to help others, it’s already worth the investment. It always feels great to help others. I have no ambition of becoming rich,” she said.
For her, every single day is very important because she knows she can help families earn a living through weaving.
The weavers came from the towns of Barili, Dumanjug, and Asturias.
Through her business, a group comprised mostly of mothers from the three towns called the Sinapay Weavers was formed.
“If the Lord grants me with many orders, it also translates to more income for the mothers. Their earnings aren’t that big, but at least they could put food on the table from it. It’s like I’m also part of their lives,” Carreon said.
Like any other business, there were ups and downs, but these did not stop her from continuing her activity.
She cited an instance when her business was struggling due to her late husband’s illness. Her savings derived from the business were spent for his husband’s medication.
To keep her business rolling not just for her family but also for her workers to earn a living, she borrowed money from the micro-finance program of the Ramon Aboitiz Foundation Inc. and other institutions.
“Business isn’t just for the benefit of the owners. The weavers are part of the success and downfall. If not for them, this won’t reach this far,” she added.
The local government units of Balamban and Liloan have also requested her to assist in the livelihood trainings there. She trained the mothers in Balamban how to make the coco craft, as well.
“I have had many sacrifices in the past. I believe this is a blessing from above. Always share what you have,” she said. /PR
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