THE BATIK BOUTIQUE
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Year of foundation: 2013
Country based: Malaysia
Country served: Malaysia and US mainly
Mission: Transforming communities in Malaysia by producing high-quality batik gift and fashion products
Company size: +10 employees
Product / service: Fair fashion, accessories and gifts, as well as workshops
Support needed: TBB is looking for partners to help expand the sewing training program, and increase market access in ASEAN and abroad
Goal for the future: Expanding brand presence in Malaysia, the US, and other countries
In 2009, Amy Blair became friends with Ana, a single mother who needed more income to support her family. Ana and Amy began brainstorming ways she could earn an income. Ana was able to sew, so together they bought some batik fabric that Ana transformed into unique gifts that Amy gave to family and friends. Word quickly began to spread about these gifts, thus began the journey of The Batik Boutique (TBB).
TBB designs and sources hand-made batik fabric from family-run businesses in rural Malaysia. This fabric is then sent to women at the sewing training center who transform it into unique, hand-made gifts. The women are from low-income backgrounds living primarily in government-subsidized housing. Each seamstress comes to the sewing center with varying skill levels which are further developed through provided training programs. Once crafted, TBB markets and sell the products to customers to provide income for the women.
Today, more than 150 artisans work with TBB to gain a fair, sustainable income and marketable skills. TBB seamstresses are allowed to set their own hours in accordance with their financial goals and other family responsibilities.The training and production center is located at the government-housing complex so women don’t need transportation to work or learn—they can simply walk over. Additionally, they can bring their children to the center to play while they work. A portion of TBB’s proceeds is invested back into the local community, providing health care, financial literacy and continuing education for those in need.