Tuesday, April 28, 2015

‘Stitching’ together business opportunities

By: Anna Tuckett

Quitting work due to health issues left Valerie Shaw wanting to be able to continue making money from home using skills she developed all of her life.

In July of last year, Valerie Shaw was approved for a small business loan from the Utah Assistive Technology Foundation and the Utah Microenterprise Loan Fund that helped her start her new sewing business, Personal Touch Tailoring.

“It’s hard to live on social security when you’re not prepared for it,” Shaw said. “I wanted to earn some money from home.”

 The skill of sewing has been passed down in Shaw’s family from generation to generation.

“My grandmother taught my mother how to sew, and then they both passed that knowledge down to me,” Shaw said. “One of my first jobs was as a seamstress.”

The loan that Shaw received was essential for facilitating and financing her business.

“I used the $3,000 to buy the machines I needed to meet the demands of customers,” Shaw said. “I also used the loan to buy visual aids.”

Shaw is a seamstress for individuals and local businesses alike, including The Coral Pear, a company based in Utah that sells baby moccasins.

“My new machines make it much easier to sew shoes for the company.” Shaw said.

UATF partners with UMLF to get small business loans for Utahns with disabilities and health concerns, like Valerie Shaw, to help them be as independent as possible.

Find more information on UATF small business loans and the application process at http://www.uatpat.org/financing/.

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