BY CHRIS ALEX
“I am not highly trained in sewing clothes but I have proven that hard work, perseverance, and passion are qualities you need to pursue your dreams.” This is a statement by Bernadette Saho, 50, who works as a senior tailor at the local tailoring business Jeqal Classic Creations in Honiara.
Bernadette is a simple woman and resident of Mangakiki Village in Lambi, Northwest region of Guadalcanal province in the Solomon Islands. She is now a successful team leader of Jeqal Classic Creations.
Growing up in a rural village setting, Bernadette was motivated to learn the knowledge and skill of sewing clothes from her mother, who was keen on the art of sewing clothes to earn a living.
“I developed the ambition of sewing clothes when I was 14 years old and with the help of my mother, the passion grew, and with confidence, I started to make my way up,” she told SOLOMON WOMEN.
Likewise, her passion led her to secure a permanent job at Solomon Tropical Products from 1989 to 1999. She later made her way up the ladder to become a tailoring supervisor at Solomon Tropical Products.
“This was a big achievement for me since I had the opportunity to learn under the guidance of an Australian, who was a tailoring expert.
“I managed to learn Australian high-standard quality garment alterations, tailoring, and repairs that compliment customers’ unique body shapes & sizes,” she recalled.
With her wealth of experience, she joined Jeqal Classic Creations in 2017 until now.
Jeqal Classic Creations is a local tailor shop owned by Hilda Naga from Malaita Outer Islands in Malaita province and is located at the Mokolo building, next to the Mataniko River in China Town. They provide a variety of tailoring services and are responsible for making a variety of garment designs including dress designs, school uniforms, shirt designs, kids’ stuff, skirt designs, etc.
Bernadette is currently one of the many talented and experienced tailors in the country. Therefore, she is more captivated and motivated in her job dealing with people’s clothing and tailoring needs.
For me, clothing is an essential part of society, just like food; people need clothes to wear and feel comfortable in,” she expressed.
Meanwhile, she encourages young girls and women to take up cloth sewing as the country faces high levels of unemployment in the country.
“With cloth sewing, you can be self-employed and generate your livelihood and help yourself and your immediate family basic survival needs,” she encouraged.