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Solamanraj Subajini, proprietress of Senthalir Palmyrah in Mannar, Sri Lanka, makes palmyra leaf-based handicrafts. Since starting her enterprise in 2015 to keep up with the demand for her high quality beautifully crafted Palmyrah products, Subajini has had to keep increasing the number of her employees and up to date she has provided work for 55 females from vulnerable families in her immediate neighbourhood and adjoining villages to contribute to her enterprise. This enterprise has supported so many to improve their lives and be financially independent.
Up to now Subajini has had to depend on wholesale buyers who buy from her and sell her products nationally and even reaching Europe and Southeast Asia. With her dependance on distributors, she is unaware of the profit the wholesalers receive from her products, nor does she know her final customers or the extent of her reach. Despite receiving an impressive income, she stands to gain so much more if she can maintain contact with her end users and received feedback and reviews from them. This is why she was very keen to join Made by Her.
Subajini’s journey was no simple one. Having lost all their property and cattle during the war, her family settled for a shed to live in post-settlement. It was at this time that Subajini began her venture under a tree. She faced all the problems possible from being exposed to the elements, and incurred sufficient losses. Transporting goods to Colombo was another difficulty. With a seed capital grant from Chrysalis she constructed a building to store her raw materials and finished products. The grant was a saving grace for me to pick up and take my endeavor to higher levels.” Subajini remarks.
She continues to work tirelessly to resolve the challenges that come her way to run her enterprise. Sheer determination and perseverance has made her who she is today.