IWMS emerged from the Make It! program, funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). It was a collaboration between the Vancouver Community College Partnership Development Office and DIVERSEcity Community Resources Society. Starting in October 2018, the Make It! program offered daily, part-time courses in communication, business, and maker skills. From this collaboration, two business groups were established - Sewmates Craft and Mama's Hands.
In October 2018, the Make It! program’s first 12-member cohort started daily, part-time courses in communication, business, and sewing skills. By Christmas, the women had successfully established Sewmates Craft and its brand, and had created a collection of bags and hosted its first Christmas market sale.
Mama’s Hands International Cuisine
The Make It! program’s second cohort focused on cooking skills and founded the group, Mama’s Hands International Cuisine, offering its signature products, crackers and dip at their first sale. Mama’s Hands International Cuisine also came together to create a recipe book, to sell their products at the Vancity Marketplace at PNE, and was invited to cook for the community at the Multicultural Dinner at the Mt. Pleasant Neighbourhood House.