It was 10am and we were ready. We had an international skype date set up between 3 of us stay-at-home moms, from the cold mountains of Lesotho's capital city to the sunny coast of South Africa. We smelled a micro enterprise development in the future for one of our friends and you could FEEL the energy and anticipation in my living room.
By 11:30, skype and facetime still weren't working. Gak, 1st world problems. We weren't giving up! We felt led to pray and the Lord provided FB chat as our improvised line of communication.
It all goes back a few months when we still lived in Lesotho. Remember the soccer boys we worked with? I learned early one of the boy's moms, 'Me Puseletso, had a sewing machine. I took her a reversible cloth bag and asked if she could imitate the pattern. She did a fantastic job using Lesotho's seshoeshoe material and even added her own flair. I showed the bag to my friend, Carolyn, who then put in an order for a different style of bag, also made of seshoeshoe (pronounced "seshwayshway"). It also turned out beautifully!
'Me Puseletso's bags quickly gained popularity with the international community in Lesotho and she began to fill orders and perfect her patterns and quality. After moving to South Africa and seeing an even larger pool of potential clientele, I began to pray about what God may have in store for 'Me Puseletso and her sewing machine. You see, 'Me Puseletso fights against all odds in Lesotho. She's a single mom and is otherwise unemployed but has an impressive hand in her urban garden and in raising her boy. Her son faithfully attended my after-school French and homework lessons. I can tell you there is something to this kid. I believe God has a plan for him. She is trying to offer him a better future. One with hope and continuing education.
As I prayed for her and her son's future, I began to see how God had plans to be HER Jehovah, her Provider. He made her a brilliant seamstress. She had the skills, she had the desire, and she had the work ethic. She just needed the clientele. So, Puseletso had the skills, Carolyn had the facebook chat to make our communication possible, and I had the international network that wanted her products. 3 stay-at-home moms. Micro enterprise. God's provision.
One digital date and much planning later, 'Me Puseletso is now working on her first stock of 20 bags to send me to be distributed here in South Africa. She's not sure if they are going to sell. I'm pretty sure she soon won't be able to keep up with the demand :) She came up with the product name, "P.A.M.'s Bags". P.A.M. stands for Puseletso Asteria Mathetse...the woman who started a business by sewing a bag.
|'Me Puseletso and Carolyn in Lesotho during our FB chat.|
|Me in South Africa|
|Bouncing around ideas|
|A few final products|
|Beautiful seshoeshoe material from Lesotho|
To find out more, visit the PAM Bag facebook page. PAM products will be available by direct order through 'Me Puseletso in Lesotho and select local shops and hotels in the Ramsgate/Margate area in South Africa. Private message with any questions.