I’m Zahra Jessen and I’m from Kenya. I have one child. I came to Australia in 2006. I met my husband, Stephen, when he was working overseas; he is from Australia.
I used to work for a paint company, Sadoline, in Kenya. I also worked as a cleaner in hotels in Dubai for a time. In Australia I have had my own cleaning company, worked in aged care and am now starting my next business with SisterWorks. The people in the St Kilda community told me I should get involved, so I did.
SisterWorks is helping me learn to sew because I think this is a great skill to have.
One day, I hope to import and export goods to and from Kenya. I especially want to bring solar energy and clean drinking water to Kenya, as both are too expensive for the average person to have.
One day, I hope that women in Kenya do not have to walk so far just to get clean water.
At the moment I have been working with my mentor and making a new range of children’s clothing.
I have developed a new button-less design for shirts, and also make dresses and pants.
I have selected bright new materials and am sewing ruffles, which has caused quite a headache, but it will be worth it! I am no longer working in an office and have much more time to focus on making things.
I am grateful to meet other ladies from different parts of the world trying to help each other and the rest of the community.