Despite the competition of international ready-to-wear brand names such as H&M, Zara and Uniqlo, unnamed tailor shops located in small streets of HCM City are busy this seasons serving customers before the Lunar New Year or Tết, which falls on Saturday. VNS Photo
HCM CITY— Despite the competition from international ready-to-wear brand names such as H&M, Zara and Uniqlo, unnamed tailor shops located in small streets of HCM City have been able to attract many customers before the Lunar New Year holiday (Tết), which falls on Saturday.
The shops offer sewing services at reasonable prices, ranging from VNĐ100,000 (US$4) for a shirt to VNĐ250,000 ($11) for a dress. Trousers for men and women sell for VNĐ200,000 ($9), while suits are VNĐ700,000 ($30).
Many shops sell fabrics from Việt Nam, China and Thailand.
“Most of these non-name tailor shops are owned by women who come from the provinces to the city looking for a better life,” said Trần Thị Tuyến, an owner of a tailor shop on a small alley on Lý Chính Thắng Street in District 3.
Tuyến, 29, spent five years working for garment factories in the city before achieving success in her own business.
"I loved sewing when I was a farmer in Thanh Hóa. Like other women in poor provinces, I came to the city to work for my dream," said Tuyến, adding that her shop earns enough to support herself and her parents and four younger siblings.
Although Tuyến’s shop has no name, it has attracted many female customers of different ages and backgrounds.
Her shop has already earned a profit of VNĐ20 million ($900) from sewing and fabric sales three weeks before Tết.
According to Tuyến, quality and price are the features that attract customers to her shop. "The name is never as important as the quality," she said.
Unlike Tuyến, Phạm Thị Cúc learned the skill of sewing from her mother, a Sài Gòn resident, when she was still a student.
Five years ago, Cúc began her career as a trainee for a well-known tailor shop in District 1 with a salary of VNĐ 5 million ($225) a month.
She opened her shop with VNĐ20 million ($900) in a small rented room in Thanh Đa Resident Area in Bình Thạnh District. Her first customers were her neighbours.
She now has two young female tailors who once worked for garment factories in Export and Processing Zones in Thủ Đức District.
"I work about 12-14 hours each day, just like my tailors. Now, I earn around VNĐ15 million ($700) a month," said Cúc, adding that she is working on expanding her shop and will have five tailors.
Cúc pays her staff a monthly salary of VNĐ12 million ($520), including a bonus for Tết.
Some no-name tailor shops process garments for fashion shops and famous tailors. Thus, they are often very busy in the peak season of holidays such as Christmas and Tết.
According to an owner of a tailor shop in District 8, the no-name tailor shops can compete with well-known fashion shops because they can quickly deliver products to customers.
Additionally, their garments are of high quality because they are fitted to every client, and the price is not high.
Nguyễn Thị Oanh, a tailor for an unnamed tailor shop in Tân Phú District, said, she was preparing a plan to open her own shop after six years of working.
"I earn VNĐ6 million a month, but I believe that I can make more money if I own my business. Poor women should try to pass on this ‘destiny’," said Oanh. — VNS