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Faustin and My Addiction

March 9, 2013

I planned a post all about the tailor that I use, and went through the process of taking pictures of myself in all of his creations.  Then, realizing that our time here is drawing to a close, I got more awesome fabric and had more stuff made.  I have an addiction to the fabric and the skirts…getting away will be good therapy and I can go back to my regular Old Navy addiction.  But, it seems like I’m running out of time to get pictures of the stuff still uncompleted…so you’ll have to do with just some of it.

I met Faustin through my neighbor, also a missionary.  She loved his attention to detail and dependability, and his great prices, and I told her I was interested in finding a tailor.  She said that Faustin has a shop with seven employees under him.  He keeps busy doing work for various US Embassy personnel and to only call him when I had enough work to justify him coming to the house.  I did just that, calling him only once per month or so, when I had enough, and Jocelyn and whoever else I knew could make the trip worth his while.

In late December he came to drop off some orders and I asked him how it was going.  He looked down in the dumps and said he didn’t have enough work.  Instant light bulb.

By then I had been taking adopting families out each week, including a fabric stop, for nearly two months.  They had started to ask about a tailor and my clothes and I was sad to inform them that I had a tailor but he was too busy to take on more.

And then this day happened!  I had a solution.  No!!!!  God opened a door!

So, I had a friend come translate (Faustin and I do well communicating, but this was too much for my limited vocabulary) and we worked out a program.  Faustin would come on Thursdays and pick up all the orders I had collected from adopting families the day before during shopping.  He would return the following Tuesday (yes, just five days later) with the completed orders for me to take back downtown.  It was up to the adopting families to find a back up plan if they went home during that week – and those families are super resourceful.

So, we struck a deal, agreed on a set price ($10 per item, regardless) and I told him I’d keep the orders simple so that no measuring would be required.  He’d done enough for me at that point that we would make it work.

And we have.  Each week Faustin comes and each week he has delivered.  I’ve only had to send one thing back for an adopting family and I haven’t heard any complaints, except for one misunderstanding.  Faustin and his team have completed up to 25 orders in those five days – and sometimes there is more that carries over into the following week.

His attention to detail truly is amazing and the quality of his products is hard to find here in DR Congo.  I’m sad to leave and interrupt the flow of business, but I’m glad to have been the middle man helping adopting families get some awesome custom Congo clothes and provide extra business for eight local families!  Ministry in action!

Faustin and I, in a dress he created from a terrible hand drawing I did.

Faustin and I, in a dress he created from a terrible hand drawing I did.

Below are the pictures of some of what we’ve had made.  There is more (I know, it’s a lot…addiction, see?).  I also apologize that I didn’t change my shirt each time to make it look more interesting.  It was almost 100F and the power was out and, well, that’s too hot for costume changes – I don’t get paid enough for that.

5 Comments leave one →
  1. March 9, 2013 0829

    As soon as you return and are taking orders again, we will definitely be customers! Sooooo wish I had known about you when we were staying at St Annes picking up our daughter. We went to a local tailor and got totally ripped off in price, quality… EVERYTHING. The work was horrible, went back twice and still very wrong. I am a size 2 and it was literally big enough to fit a size 16+ with very sloppy seams. 😦 So sad that we spent A LOT of $ for this and wasted a lot of gorgeous fabric. Our daughter (who is 7) would really love to have some clothes that look like “home” to her (she loves to look at pictures of congolese women and comment on their clothes), so as soon as you can facilitate more orders, we will be taking you up on it!!!

    • March 9, 2013 0829

      That is a terrible story! I’m so sorry!!! Thanks for sharing, though – it reminds me not to take Faustin and his skills for granted!

  2. Deborah Spann permalink
    March 9, 2013 0829

    Oh! I LOVE the bags! Make sure you tell Tasha how to find Faustin!

  3. March 9, 2013 0829

    Beautiful clothes. It may be worth a trip to the Congo someday 🙂 Another 3 years? Who knows?

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