I am Anu, and I am from India. I came to Australia six years ago because my husband’s job transfer took him here. When I lived in India, I had taught IT in a university. I thought about teaching IT in Australia, but I wasn’t confident: I wasn’t very good at English. After a few years, I thought I would try something else.
I had done some crafts while in India, and one day I saw an ad in my local council magazine about SisterWorks. I came to the Elwood lab, a little before Christmas time, and saw women doing different, amazing things. I then decided to join.
However, I was not sure what to do. I knew how to do henna designs, so a SisterWorks volunteer recommended that I make some cards.
I started with Christmas cards. The Christmas cards are now selling very well, so I will continue to keep making them.
I started putting henna designs on my cards, and made different cards for different occasions. I also began to put designs on headbands, and I’ve just started to make dresses for children; I’ve only made three or four so far. Another SisterWorks volunteer sells children’s clothes in different markets, and she is teaching me to make the dresses. I didn’t believe I could make them!
I usually go to St. Kilda’s market in summer. The customers will tell me if they like my products, and when they do that, I get even more interested. I am excited about selling my dresses there. I want to become independent and earn more money. I will try to import some quality items from India that people cannot find in Australia.
I would like to supply these products for other shops to sell. I don’t know how far I will go, but if I can become successful, it would be amazing. I have discovered a new passion—selling my products.
I have been working on developing my products, and have started printing Christmas cards. I design the cards by hand and print them digitally. I have been working with a mentor, Jay, to help me develop these skills. I plan to start selling these cards at the Somers Market. I have continued to use henna designs, and have started printing to save time and refine my products. By hand I can make four or five cards in a day, now I can print many.