Batik Boutique proudly launched our new sewing training centre in Kota Damansara, which will help provide training to more seamstresses with sewing and other marketable skills. The official launch was attended by industry partners, NGOs, our seamstresses, and friends, and the launch was officiated by the Kota Damansara children's drum group.
The new unit serves as both a workshop and a training centre, providing opportunities to underprivileged women who live at the government-subsidised housing (PPR) flats in Kota Damansara to work as seamstresses and undergo various training such as sewing, fabric dyeing, and packaging. Advanced seamstresses are also provided with additional training like quality control, supervising and project management.
We are very happy with the opening of our new centre, which now has sufficient working space and better facilities to accommodate more seamstresses and additional sewing machines. This centre follows the opening of our first brick-and-mortar boutique at Desa Sri Hartamas in December last year, further proving our dedication as a social enterprise.
“I started Batik Boutique to empower women living in marginalized communities to have an opportunity to provide for their families. When you empower the life of a mother, you affect the next generation. The women we work with are strong and capable. They just needed someone to understand their struggles and provide a creative approach and access to sustainable work and training.
At the same time, I have dedicated my life and business to promote the craft and heritage of Malaysian batik for both a local and global market. I am truly proud to merge the art and heritage of Malaysia with the empowerment of communities for the world to experience and enjoy,” Blair said.
Ekuinas’ Senior Director of Investment, Nik Johaan Nik Hashim, said Ekuinas is proud to support our noble efforts and hopes that we will continue our life-changing social impact in empowering women and popularising the batik art to the world.
“At Ekuinas, we pursue similar objectives as Batik Boutique—to support, promote and preserve local arts, culture and heritage, while at the same time help those from disadvantaged backgrounds to improve their quality of life in a sustainable way,” he said.
CTI was founded to break the cycle of poverty, to assist holistically in the building of a better quality of life for and with the needy and disadvantaged, and to build communities through relief, development, research and advocacy.
Margaret Loy, the Executive Director of CTI, recounted “We have been engaged with the community at PPR Kota Damansara for the last 6 years starting with several cycles of a Financial Literacy Programme. Our subsequent partnership with Batik Boutique for the last 4 years has been a very fulfilling one as we see the women being empowered through the dignity of work and being able to express themselves creatively.”
“We believe that every human being is made to flourish. Hence we continue to work with individuals and families and journey with them to provide holistic development through education, employment and economic opportunities for the improvement of their livelihood," says Loy.
The new unit replaces the old centre which was situated at the PPR flats near the area. We have already seen our production capacity double since starting work at the centre and our goal is to train 20 more women from the low-income housing area in job skills and sewing this year.
We are grateful to have our new sewing centre up and running, and we are excited to see the growth and impact that this bigger space will enable for artisans in Malaysia. If you are in Kuala Lumpur, please stop by our boutique at 3 Jalan 26/70A, Desa Sri Hartamas, Kuala Lumpur 50480, Monday - Friday 9am - 6pm to purchase hand-crafted batik products produced in our sewing centre.