PETALING JAYA: Yap Sue Yii, 28, initially wanted to help fashion designers to highlight their ideas and work to the public, eventually turned into a community project to help more than 50 single mothers and housewives find a source of income.
“At first I just wanted to help fashion designers but the factory needed a minimum order of 100 pieces per design so I had to open a job offer to these ‘sisters’ (Yap calls to these women).
“I take those who have sewing experience and most of them are from the B40 group, namely single mothers and housewives who need a side income,” said Yap, who runs the charity project with his business partner Gan Teck Hooi.
According to Yap, he is aware, this is the right time to help these people who all have sewing experience. From there began the Tailor Community (KTJ).
“Initially we tried to find opportunities to help them by creating products and providing affordable wages,” said Gan, 40, who also has experience in business consulting, coaching, retail and fashion.
Their plan is to find interested parties to purchase various corporate items and premium gifts such as card holders, bags and ties.
“If we receive large orders of up to 500 pieces, we can help 10 families. This is what inspires us to work harder because if we get an order from a corporate company, we not only help one woman but help 20 people, ”said Yap.
More excitingly, this small group is now turning into a larger community of tailors who all depend on jobs and orders from the Tailor Community.
Still, fate was not on their side when the Covid-19 pandemic struck where many lost their jobs and their mobility was limited.
The tailors in KTJ were also affected when most of the husbands of these women were laid off and some only depended on their daily income and some even did not earn any direct income during the Movement Control Order (PKP).
“There is a seamstress whose husband was fired as a security guard. She then had to work hard to support her husband and five children. As a result of her sewing efforts at KJT, she managed to support her family for three weeks.
“These women are the backbone of their families. In fact, they also hope that this project is a long -term project and can provide them with continuous income, ”said Gan.
According to Gan again, she and Yap are working with several organizations to get medical, insurance, EPF and Socso support for these women. It can help these women to some extent and hope it succeeds.
Following this pandemic, operating limits have been tightened, so KTJ is also thinking of several ways to continue operating.
“With this new norm, we are also learning various new ways to continue working. It is the best lesson for us in solving every challenge, ”explained Yap.
“Now, training is given online which is also a good change because we can help women outside the Klang Valley as well. That is our main goal. ” he said again.
KTJ also works with Gerakan Wawasan Malaysia to sew face masks and donate them when there is a huge demand for face masks and face masks.
“Even though we donated masks and face shields, our sisters still get paid. It is an opportunity to prove that no matter what our status, the B40 group can also help frontline workers, ”explained Yap.
In conjunction with Deepavali, KTJ will be releasing a limited edition face mask. It is not just to give joy in the moment but to help these mothers get a source of income.
“When we started KTJ, we wanted to be unique and not just be a fashion brand manufacturer. We want KJT to represent Malaysia and Malaysia is a country full of colors, ”explained Gan.
KTJ was the first to create a face mask using batik. It has also released various other products such as wallets made with cheongsam material for Chinese New Year earlier this year.
“For Deepavali, we want to create something different and unique. The sari color is very cheerful and we want to make it our limited edition release, ”added Gan.
At the time this article was written, the first issue was sold out and new orders were coming in. If you want to place an order for this limited edition Deepavali face mask, you can do so here or visit their Instagram page .
“By buying these items, you have also helped single mothers and housewives who are less able. In fact, you will be impressed when you can help a single mother who is raising her three children.
“Sales are the key for KTJ to continue to be successful, without orders we cannot help these women to get jobs,” explained Yap.
If you are a single mother and have a talent for sewing, KTJ welcomes you to join their community by browsing their website .