By Rohana Nasrah
KOTA KINABALU: Despite the ready-to-wear fashion boom, orders for Raya clothes are still pouring in for tailor Agnes @ Norsitah Samuel in Sembulan, near here.
Although the country’s tailoring industry was also affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, the 56-year-old former bank officer’s sheer grit and determination have helped her 20-year-old shop ‘Gemilang Collection’ survive the challenging times.
“Praise be to Allah, I received orders of about 100 pieces of baju raya this year. In fact, had to turn down many last-minute orders. I started to take orders for baju raya in early February.
“I am grateful for the trust given by my customers. Although the number of orders is not as much as in the previous years, it is better than last year,” she told Bernama.
Norsitah said she stopped taking orders for Raya clothes two weeks before Ramadan and is now striving to complete all orders with the help of her three assistants.
“I have been in the business since 2001 with various challenges faced, including taking a last-minute order that required me to complete it within 24 hours and send it on the morning of Hari Raya.
Norsitah, who always pays attention to detail and perfection said she charged between RM50 and RM120 a piece, but the price varies according to the fabric, besides taking orders for wedding attire as well as nurse uniform.
On the challenges she faced, she said last year, her business was almost 70 per cent affected by the pandemic with only 40 orders for baju raya received, apart from decreasing number of orders for wedding attire.
“I also take precautionary measures by limiting the number of customers coming to my shop for fear of the risk of Covid-19 infection,” said Norsitah who also hopes that the government will be more proactive in helping tailors to get the provided aid.
Meanwhile, Norsitah said she planned to open a tailoring academy to share her knowledge, experience and skills with individuals who are interested in making tailoring a source of income. – Bernama