By Betsy Ramser Jaime
Soehardo Soehadak was born in Ponorogo, Indonesia on October 28, 1968. He received a good education and completed his studies all the way through high school. He enjoyed learning so much that at one point during his childhood he even dreamed of becoming a teacher. Then, in 1996 he was happily able to marry his now wife. Ever since, they have been working together in Salatiga. Once he had obtained some good work experience in the sewing services industry, he decided to go into business for himself!
He shares, ‘In Java, the traditional arts are interesting, yatu reog, Javanese dance and tasters. I am interested in running this business because the clothing business has no death, because clothing includes basic necessities. My convection business, which is done by 3 people, namely me, Iatri and 1 worker. My turnover is an average of 5 million to 7 million a month. While the net profit is around 4 million. I use the net benefits for my child’s school fees, meals and daily necessities.’
When Soehardo has free time after work, he loves reading and going cycling. He is also a relatively new member of the Zidisha community, joining in July 2018. However, it’s evident that he’s been working hard to grow his business as he’s already successfully raised 9 Zidisha funded loans, all in the short span of 3 months!
Starting small, he raised his very first loan of $1 to purchase sewing needles and cloth. Then, the following month, in August 2018, he raised a total of 3 loans. With his first August loan of $5, Soehardo purchased additional supplies such as, threads and upholstery. He proudly explains, ‘The advantage that I get in producing clothing, helps the community in meeting clothing needs. With this convection business, it can at least add new fields, namely tailoring.’
Shortly thereafter, he obtained a second loan in August for $13, this one put towards hard cloth or coatings. Then, his third August loan of $19 was used to purchase hard fabrics or upholstery fabrics. By purchasing entire rolls, he was able to save money that he would then be able to use elsewhere in his business.
While his work in August was nothing short of impressive, he really set to work in September. Through the help of Zidisha lenders, he obtained a total of 5 loans in September 2018, allowing him to make exciting changes in his business.
First, he started with a loan of $31, to purchase 11 meters of fabric. Just as in the previous loan, he was excited that by joining with lenders, he could purchase larger quantities of fabric saving him money that he would be able to use elsewhere in his business.
By the end of September, he had acquired four additional loans for $31, $45, $49, and $104. Each of these loans allowed him to purchase additional fabric and threads. By this time, Soehardo was really enjoying being able to shop at wholesalers rather than paying expensive retail prices for his fabrics and supplies.
In August, Soehardo shared this exciting update with the Zidisha community.‘With this loan, I will buy a large sewing machine, so I can do sewing orders quickly. So far, to fulfill daily needs apart from my sewing income, it can also be obtained from agricultural products. During this time my wife and I have many neighbors and they are good to our family as a sign of my good reputation so far. In my area I have an interesting habit, usually every year there is a celebration of traditional parties, namely eating together as a thanksgiving for harvesting agricultural produce.’
Between purchasing a sewing machine and now purchasing his materials in bulk from wholesalers, Soehardo has been able to make the most of his Zidisha partnership. Daily, he is making progress on his goals and it’s clear that he is also working hard to serve his community members with beautiful clothing.
If you’d like to support another small business owner like Soehardo, make sure to check out our Browse Projects page to read about our other amazing entrepreneurs around the world.