This Paralyzed Single Mom Earns a Living with Her Handmade Crafts

Cheryl Formilleza is a 32-year-old single mom from Brgy. Poctoy, Odiongan, Romblon. She is also a PWD (partially paralytic) and has been for almost nine years now. She lives in a simple nipa hut alone a few steps from her family’s home where her daughter lives with her parents. Her daughter was only six months old when an unknown illness attacked her.

Cheryl shares that social media has helped her keep up with the outside world, kill boredom, and connect with her former officemates, friends and batchmates. In 2016, she decided to make handicrafts to earn some money. She started with beaded bracelets and rosaries and a year later, she got inspired by other disabled people who still do profitable things despite their situation.

This is when she started watching crochet video tutorials on YouTube and started to make her own handmade crochet projects. “I started by making simple flower bracelets for kids and selling them for donations for Ibang Handog and for a church,” she shares.

After that, she learned to make phone cases, wallets, coin purses, keychains, baby hats, dog’s clothes, bags, coasters, placemats, scarves, shawls, headbands, hair accessories, and bonnets. She sold these on her Instagram account and on her Facebook page Hand-made by Che.

Her handmade crafts have even made it abroad! “Some of my OFW friends order them from me and bring them back to the countries that they are working in,” she explains. “My work has made it to Singapore, Dubai, New Zealand, Portugal, Amsterdam, Taiwan, and London.”

“I can travel the world with the work of hands,” she says proudly. With the money she has earned from crochet-ing, Cheryl has been able to buy all of her daily needs, such as diapers and her daughter’s allowance in school.

When it comes to staying positive, Cheryl says she merely doesn’t dwell on her past. “I’m always excited about what God has planned for my life,” she says. “With trust and faith, I might be able to walk again someday.” Either way, Cheryl feels blessed to have a caring daughter who takes care of her and gives her strength and happiness. “I also have the love and care of my family, relatives, and friends who never give up on me.”

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