Pet Portrait Embroidery Helps Ax Worker Survive Pandemic

Rifasya said her clients want something to remind them of their pets when they die or go missing. — Photo Bernama

KUALA LUMPUR (April 28): When a beloved pet becomes part of the family, an embroidered portrait is a great way to keep it forever in your memory.

Enter embroiderer, Rifasya Abdul Rashid, 47, started offering the service after losing her job in a canteen at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic two years ago.

“One of the most expensive and difficult portraits I did was of a Rottweiler with the Petronas Twin Towers and Kuala Lumpur Tower in the background for a client from the UK living here.

“It was A3 sized and cost over RM3,000,” she said of her realistic rendition of the dog and Malaysian icons.

“My clients want something to remind them of their pets when they die or go missing. They have sentimental value,” she added.

She said it’s not always easy to embroider a portrait from a photo submitted via an online order if it’s blurry or the instructions aren’t clear due to communication constraints.

However, Rifasya has had a passion for crafts since she was young and one of her most memorable embroidery designs was an orangutan for a Russian client.

This A3-sized piece earned Rifasya over RM3,000. — Photo Bernama

She said it took her two to three weeks to complete a piece and it could cost up to RM80.

Recalling the time when she was out of work during the movement control order (MCO), she says: “When I worked as a canteen helper, I did embroidering part-time. Losing my job was probably a blessing in disguise because I could focus on achieving my dreams.

Rifasya, who also has a knack for woodcarving and dioramas, said she earns a four-figure monthly income from embroidery.

“I like to try and learn new things. Right now I’m learning to do tie-dye,” said the Teluk Intan resident in Perak. — Bernama