During COVID’s second wave, Marlita had to close again. Faced with bankruptcy and not willing to give up, she pivoted her business model once again and started making retro T-shirts. She recruited a network of people who had lost their jobs due to COVID and built up a supply chain.
“I was able to empower these people and offer them my products,” she says. “They are selling through virtual stores and in this way can support their family and themselves. If I hadn’t been brave, I might not be here.”
It was in the midst of the pandemic that Marlita joined CARE’s Ignite program, supported by the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth. During business training she learned the importance of digital tools.
“This pandemic has completely changed us from the root,” she explains. “One can no longer be in a physical point, sitting, waiting for the client to arrive. We have to use digital tools like websites, Facebook, TikTok which can help us to expand abroad.”
Far from complaining about her pandemic experiences, Marlita concludes: “These experiences have strengthened me, and helped me to value myself, my work and my products.”