NATION

Youth Grant Empowers Matarugu To Boost Her Boutique Business

The mother-of-two children who is originally from Udu in Macuata has transitioned from being a job seeker to being a job creator.
09 Jul 2020 14:14
Youth Grant Empowers Matarugu To Boost Her Boutique Business
Austin Ateca Matarugu at Elegant Lanna’s Boutique in Waimalika, Nadi. Photo: Waisea Nasokia

 

A 30-year-old online entrepreneur plans to employ youths to help out in her business at the flea market on Saturdays, and also on any other day based on customer demand.

Austin Ateca Matarugu has been operating her business, Elegant Lanna’s Boutique, from her home at Waimalika, Nadi, since 2013.

The mother-of-two children who is originally from Udu in Macuata has transitioned from being a job seeker to being a job creator.

This is one of the key aims of the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MYS) Youth grants, to make more of our youths independent business operators, who become job creators.

She received a youth grant through the ministry two weeks ago to help market her business brand and boost trade including online.

“For example, this will help me maintain a good record-keeping for efficient online orders and minimise expenses on physical selling and costs like tent hiring, printing costs, etc,” Ms Matarugu said.

Over time she aims to increase sales, she will employ youths to help out doing flea market sales on Saturdays and based on customer demand include Fridays.

Ms Matarugu has mastered this art while being staff at the Sofitel Fiji Resort and at the Nadi International Airport.

Becoming independent

The thought of running her own business came when she gave birth to her firstborn, and it inspired her to become independent.

Her business, for example, has seen diversification into flea markets and her online reach has expanded as far as Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

She has earned a trademark by meeting customer demands as a priority with pre-ordered items having sizes for every design and colour.

Ms Matarugu said her earnings in the week before the COVID-19 pandemic was $300 to$500 weekly and for seasons was $500 to $800.

However, business declined after the pandemic, scoring $200 to $300 weekly, and for around $300 to $500 during peak times.

“This has eased the financial burden as a husband’s responsibility and has developed a healthy family relationship. The business has made me achieve my dream of being self-sufficient,” Ms Matarugu said.

Future Plans

Her long term plan is to have an established location closer to the urban centre like Namaka where the customer base and demand is high.

She also plans to employ a few youths in the areas of marketing as she diversifies her business venture and hopes to maintain good and efficient customer service.

She has also thought of investing in a vehicle for the door to door deliveries for customers.

This is her new expansion plan with the employment of a driver inclusive once the vehicle is purchased.

Edited by Caroline Ratucadra

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