Sewing machine donation gives boost to young tenant’s business dream

Sewing machine donation gives boost to young tenant’s business dream

February 12, 2018

Photo: Monah Water, a resident of Chester Le and founder of Majestic Wisdom, with the sewing machine that breathed new life into her fashion business.

When Monah Water completed Toronto Community Housing’s Be.Build.Brand entrepreneurship program in fall 2017, she was excited for what’s next. She had received several orders of her premium fashion designs and had attracted interest from various fashion groups. However, she soon realized that her sewing machine wasn’t working properly – nor did she have the money to invest in a new one. All of a sudden, her promising business was threatened by a lack of equipment.

All of that changed when Monah received a helping hand from members of the 55 Outlook Seniors Sewing Club. The group of seniors donated a sewing machine to Monah in January to help her launch her business – a clothing line for men and women called Majestic Wisdom (MW). 

Back in 2010, the seniors at 55 Outlook Ave. received grants through the TCHC Social Investment Fund to buy sewing machines for their group. Eight years later and with the machines still in great condition, they decided to pass them on to younger tenants.

The group reached out to TCHC’s community and economic development team to let them know that they would like to donate two sewing machines to other TCHC tenants. The TCHC team swung into action. They reviewed a list of young entrepreneurs who were part of Be.Build.Brand and who needed assistance to launch their business. Monah was selected as one of two successful candidates.

According to the seniors group, the donation was simply the right thing to do; a symbolic gesture of kindness and continuity. “We have benefited a lot from using the equipment and we are happy to pass it on to youth who need it most,” said Gobindyia Ramlochan, a member of 55 Outlook Seniors Sewing Club.

Photo: Members of 55 Outlook Seniors Sewing Club pose with Monah Water, Founder of Majestic Wisdom, and TCHC team members including Nadia Gouveia (second row, far right).

“This donation is timely. It gives me a lot more confidence in my business,” said Monah. “It’s good to know there are good people out there. I am very happy!”

On hand when the seniors presented their donation to Monah were Nadia Gouveia, Manager, TCHC Community and Economic Development, and members of her team which specializes in connecting residents to career and skills acquisition opportunities. 

“We know that entrepreneurship can be daunting,” said Nadia. “The Be.Build.Brand. program brings young entrepreneurs together, in a supportive environment, to learn personal development and business skills that will help them become successful entrepreneurs. I look forward to witnessing the expansion of the program to reach more youth living in TCHC communities.” 

Photo: African-inspired premium fashion designs by Majestic Wisdom. Source: Monah Water

Monah praised TCHC for creating Be.Build.Brand to help young people with creative and innovative ideas learn important business skills.

“The past few months have been a huge learning experience for me as a business owner,” said Monah. “Through the program, I learned about networking and building partnerships. I also got the chance to work with business coaches to perfect my pitches.”

The next Be.Build.Brand entrepreneurship program will start in fall 2018.

You can see some of Monah’s spectacular creations at various Toronto fashion events such as FOCAL, the Common Thread and African Fashion Week on Instagram at MajesticWisdom and on Facebook at Majestic Wisdom.