You know the type of person that brings out the best in you? The people that make you want to try a little harder? To do a little better? Those relationships are pretty amazing. Recently I saw this play out at Sari Bari.
First, a little necessary background information: each woman at Sari Bari sews one type of product while she is at Sari Bari. (Many women bring work home in the evenings and over weekends to earn extra money, and they can sew whatever they want then, but they’re product specialists at Sari Bari. This allows them to become experts at the product they sew, which allows them to sew faster, and earn more money. It also helps us know what to expect in any given month in terms of production). At the end of every work day a manager goes to each of the women and tracks how many lines they sewed that day. It’s a way for them to track their progress, and to set measurable goals for themselves.
A few months ago one of our newer employees started sewing baby blankets. She sews very fast, works diligently, and is very driven to earn money to provide for her family. It really is beautiful to see how dedicated and hardworking she is. She sews about 70 lines a day. She sews in the same room as another woman who has been sewing baby blankets for quite a while. A few months ago, this second woman was sewing about 35 lines a day. But every day she would hear the first woman say that she sewed 65 or 70 lines – and slowly the possibility of sewing faster seeped into her mind. And slowly the number of lines that she sews in a day has increased. Now she sews 50 lines a day.
Fifteen more lines a day. That is significant. It means she can complete one more blanket a month. Which means she earns more money. Which makes life a little easier.
Yes, she had to decide to work a little harder. To be more focused. To try a little harder. But the spark came from a co-worker sitting across the room working hard for herself. No one planned this when the two of them started sewing in the same room. It’s just beautiful, unexpected fruit from relationship, and from freedom, and confidence, and desire overflowing out of one person, and onto another. They’re bringing out the best in each other.