Denim jeans are still one of the most complex and intriguing garments of all time. They create an emotional connection with whoever is wearing them. Millions of people have included this article of clothing in their wardrobe as the best way to express themselves, feel comfortable at work or to make a declaration of rebellious youth: jeans are the ever-prodigal son of fashion.
It is a much-used garment, which in its day revolutionized fashion, but is now a mainstay of any closet. According to the Dominican newspaper, El Dinero, it is one of the best-selling textile products in the country, and still has enormous upside. However, its name has changed over time: in the 70’s, jeans were called “fuerteazul” (literally: “strong-blue”), whereas now the English term is being used. The local textile industry association reckons that around 500 thousand jeans are produced and sold in the country each year, alongside imported jeans.
That is why, many years ago, Josefina Morel, an entrepreneur with Banco Adopem, MFI of the BBVA Microfinance Foundation, decided to go into the manufacture and sale of jeans.
She has been a client of the institution since 2010 and says that as soon as she received her first loan, she bought materials and machines to boost the output of her business. Her workshop is inspired by the leading fashion trends of the moment. She draws the patterns on cardboard and cuts them out with utmost precision. Then she extends the cloth with rollers and uses her sewing machine to put them together.
To date she has received seven loans. Her goal for the next five years, thinking of the near future, is to grow more and become a well-known brand that locals will immediately recognize, so that she can export to neighboring countries. One of the advantages of producing jeans is that competitors do not steal customers away from you, as the market grows constantly throughout the country and foreign demand significantly increases as the days go by.
Indeed, there are many women working in this line of business. However, Josefina reckons that despite having so much competition, the difference is that she is “more careful with the finishings.” “The secret to success,” she says, is maintaining the quality of the jeans and never failing to keep up with the very latest in fashion.
She is very proud of what she has achieved, as she is managing to reach nearly all her goals. “The change is positive. On the basis of my earnings, I reach milestones that motivate me to keep on going.”