An Investment That Blossomed
Vilimone Baleitavea was 19 years old when he entered the business fraternity.
He first involved himself with landscaping jobs and now only acts as a consultant to friends who seek his expertise.
“I started learning about this business at a very young age. It was when I came back from Australia that I learned about the concept of operating a business,” Mr Baleitavea said.
“My hourly rate for landscaping jobs back then was $300-$350. After the agreement with the customer, I sign the quotation and then they make half of the payment. Once the job is completed then they pay the remainder.”
And now at the age of 77, Mr Baleitavea operates and owns Flower Fingers Landscaping, an investment of about $2000.
He started Flower Fingers Landscaping in 1999 and got it registered in 2002. His business involves landscaping gardening, supplying pot mix and indoor plants.
“In Fiji, it is hard to operate a business, but you need to learn the right tactics in order to grow your business.
“I started off with supplying pot plants to a restaurant and a medical doctor. I used to supply them with 18 pot plants each and a bucket of pot plant was $1.
“I plant my own flowers and I do my own gardening. The price of the pot plant I sell does not depend on the types of plant I supply. It is a standard price of $10 for each pot plant.”
From supplying to a restaurant, his work of art is now of high demand at the Fiji Development Bank, Suvavou House, European Union, Reserve Bank of Fiji, Fiji Broadcasting Corporation, RB Patel and Superdrug Pharmacy Ltd.
Just like a regular worker, Mr Baleitavea works seven days a week; maintaining and watering the plants at the places he supplies them too.