Women In Business – in the Studio with the Stitch Sainte Luce Embroiderers

by Rebecca Dallimore

In September we created our own Women’s Week. Designed to share with our online community some stories from the studio with the help of a few special individuals, meet Esterline, Virginie, Fideline, Rosine and Cleire:

Esterline is the President of Stitch Sainte Luce. Income generated from selling her embroidery through Stitch has not only helped her afford school and hospital fees but small luxuries like new clothes for church and celebrations.

The biggest change Esterline has seen during her five years with Stitch has been welcoming the 114 new members this May. All the current members have happily chipped in to teach the new members the tricks of the trade and Esterline is excited to see Stitch grow.

In 2016 Virginie opened her own shop in Ambandrika with her income from selling embroidery products with Stitch Sainte Luce. When she’s working on her embroidery in the studio, her sisters and husband help run the shop – her husband has also got the hang of embroidering!

Being a part of Stitch has changed Virginie’s life; she loves being able to support her extended family and is looking to build a new house.

Before joining Stitch Sainte Luce four years ago, Fideline balanced mahampy weaving and freshwater fishing.

She loves to show off Sainte Luce in elaborate wall maps that highlight the unique, local wildlife and her favourite animal to embroider is the brown lemur. Proud of her home, Fideline hopes that more tourists will come and explore Sainte Luce (and visit Stitch).

Rosine is part of Stitch Sainte Luce’s English team. The English teacher visits every morning to help members to improve their language skills.

Rosine has been focusing mostly on business terms to help welcome English-speaking shoppers to the Stitch studio. However, in her next lesson she hopes to learn some more conversational phrases to chat with them too.

Clerie works at the Stitch Sainte Luce studio every Thursday. Currently, she is making a purse, which will take her a couple of sessions. She’s thinks the arrival of new members has had a positive effect on the cooperative and community!

Whilst she has grand ambitions for Stitch and looks to sell the embroidery products further afield, she wants it to continue to flourish in Sainte Luce for future generations. She hopes her own children will work there someday.

As we head into 2019, Stitch is looking to expand into local national markets in Madagascar and across various retail outlets in the UK and Europe where we’ll be showcasing special new collections, all handmade and designed by the embroiderers of the Stitch Cooperative. Keep up with our latest news on social media: @stitchsteluce