Angelica Gonzalez's first product was embroidered tablecloths. She was an artist with a simple treadle machine, able to make very elaborate designs, but without a market to sell to. With AGAIG, we were able to sell one tablecloth before giving up and moving onto a more sellable product, woven purses. Angelica is an excellent seamstress, but her style of woven purses never quite caught on. We gave up on that idea, and she turned her leftover materials into the most expensive shower curtain ever seen in San Miguel Escobar.
Undaunted, she started making burlap tote bags using recycled coffee sacks. They caught on, and sales grew. Female volunteers gave a hand in designing new styles. Sales went through the roof.
Today, Angelica's bags are featured in Antigua retail stores. She now owns seven sewing machines and produces approximately 3,000 totes per year. With the success of her business, Angelica has hired eight employees, most of whom are moms, working from their homes and able to earn twice minimum wage. She is a legal sole proprietor with a legalized accounting system and tax payer ID number. She maintains inventory of both finished products and raw materials. She is the head of production, quality control, accounting, and human resources.
Angelica has been financially independent from As Green As It Gets for nearly two years and periodically exports to the United States.
Want to meet Angelica and learn how to make your own customized burlap messenger bag? Click on the link above to learn about our workshops.