The craftsman who succeeded in making a living from his passion

Six years ago Eduardo Sandoval decided to give his life a radical turn round; at 62 he had spent half his life working for one company. The long working day didn’t leave him time to enjoy family life and his income was scarcely enough to live on.

Since he was a boy, Eduardo had always had a natural flair for manual jobs. He began sculpting stone at 14 and at 17 set up a workshop for artistic locksmith pieces, but the years went by and he did not make the leap to working in what he had always loved…artisan carving. A health problem, together with his wish to spend more time with his wife and his four children, led him to recover that skill from his youth and to explore the possibility of working in his trade as a wood craftsman to support his family. “One day, when we didn’t have money for food, I decided to make decorative figures to sell. The first thing I made, to see whether I still had it in me to make something, was a spoon, and it came out well”, he recalls, laughing. So he brought his family together to tell them that the family’s future was in crafts: “You know, from now on, we are not going to go hungry any more.”

“I am doing something that I like. To achieve this job, even if it is out of necessity, is priceless”

Fotografía de Eduardo Sandoval en su taller de artesanía, FMBBVA Chile Emprende

Eduardo Sandoval working in what he had always loved: artisan carving

Every morning he decides on and makes the figures that his wife and eldest son sell from the itinerant sales spot they set up at one or other strategic position in the city. It was at one of these crafts fair where she was selling, when Eduardo’s wife heard about the work of Emprende Microfinanzas from one of the institution’s managers. It was the first time they had ever applied for a loan and they decided to start with an initial loan of USD 200 to buy wood and other materials. Other loans at different times and for different needs followed this one, for enlarging and improving the business. The latest loan was for USD 500.

A craft that started as a teenage hobby has become part of his life and an income for the whole family. “Every morning I stand at my worktop and make the piece I want to, with no pressure. Because I am doing something I like, something I need to do and that is a therapy for the whole family”, says this entrepreneur, addingto achieve this in a job, even if it is out of necessity, is priceless”.