Shop of hope

December 06, 2017

Vicki Woodhouse and Liza Curtis are excited to open their pop-up shop in the Albion Arcade.

THE Albion Arcade is set to get a new retail outlet – but for one week only.

Liza Curtis, Vicki Woodhouse and Chantelle Webb have set up the Esperansa pop-up shop just in time for silly season shopping in Kyabram.

But they’re not just another fly-by-nighter, as the ladies are selling goods made by women from the East Timor town of Aileu and sending the profits back to them.

The idea came in 2013 when Liza, Vicki and Chantelle went on the St Augustine’s adult immersion trip to assist in donating sewing machines and teaching the Foscaca Youth Group how to make their own items to sell.

From there, the three went back to visit each year, training the Esperansa group and taking over more materials and sewing machines.

Esperansa was officially formed in 2015 when the Timor women chose the name which means ‘hope’ in the Tetun language.

Liza Curtis said the support of Kyabram made the decision to open a shop easy.

“Ky has always been so supportive through the journey, so it was a no-brainer to open up in the arcade,” she said.

“We have product the ladies have sewn and we thought the idea of a pop-up shop could work for us.”

With all of the profits going back to the sewing group, Liza said the experience has paid for itself.

“We head over there two or three times a year and so many opportunities have arrived for the group,” she said.

“They’re sewing five days a week and getting paid for their time at work, it’s incredible because the concept of wages was something that they hadn’t heard of.

“Being able to watch the group grow and develop really has been an experience that will be near and dear to my heart.”

The store opens 10.30am to 4.30pm from yesterday until Friday and 9am until 12pm Saturday, depending on stock.

For more information call Liza on 0429 189 141 or visit

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