Craft sales from scratch

Torika Nayabo in front of her stall at the Suva Flea Market. Picture: PAULIASI MATEBOTO

STARTING off her business with limited knowledge and practice in making tapa, Fijian mats, jewellery and garlands, Torika Nayabo is now a familiar face at the Suva Flea market.

Over the past 10 years her business has grown into a choice for local designers, international clients and locals for items ranging from garlands, mats for all occasions, tapa and hand bags and clutches.

In 2019 Nayabo worked with local designer Rowie Lal on the designer’s cultch collection. She said when she started her business in 2012 she did not know how to weave mats, make garlands nor design masi (tapa).

“Over the years I learnt how to do these things, so you can I say I learnt on the job,” she said.

The Tailevu native says while business can be slow on some days the festive season is usually a busy period for her. The school graduation and prize-giving ceremonies are also where she gets most her customers from.

As her business grew over the past decade, she was able to hire a sales assistant to help her manage her stall. The entrepreneur said owning her own business has helped her develop a sense of independence.

“My earning from here helps me with my family expenses and takes care of my own needs and wants.

“It is a great feeling to be able to support myself through my earnings.”

She said while a lot of people complain about poverty and the lack of jobs, hard work and sacrifice is the answer to all these issues.

“For me I started with nothing, but once I learnt I was able to earn and be happy. “So basically we can all do it.”

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