Lifestyle

Couple’s Business Picks Up Sales, Headlining Festive Season Hope

“For one yavusa (tribe) I tie-dyed more than 20 shirts for Fiji Day and more than 10 sarongs which I sold for $15 each. All were purchased,” she said.
14 Oct 2021 16:02
Couple’s Business Picks Up Sales, Headlining Festive Season Hope
L-R: Viliame Raqele printing designs on a roll of fabric and Silo Vatenai (right).

Vakabauta Creation business owners Silo Vatenai and Viliame Raqele’s decision to start a fabric printing and tie-dye business in March 2020 has started to pay dividends.

They are now receiving more orders from customers for special functions that were previously put on hold because of the COVID-19 restrictions which have now eased.

The couple worked at the Paradise Cove Resort for six years before the first COVID-19 pandemic wave hit Fiji last year and they were sent home on leave without pay.

“I started my business last year and now in a week we make $100 to $150 and most of our resources like the material is from bartering, we barter nama (sea grapes), seafood like octopus, fish and sometimes coconut,” she said.

The Soso Village, Yasawa-based couple are optimistic of more since the festive season draws near.

Products

“For one yavusa (tribe) I tie-dyed more than 20 shirts for Fiji Day and more than 10 sarongs which I sold for $15 each. All were purchased,” she said.

“We make table cloths, curtains and sulu vaka taga; curtains are $7 and $7 a metre for material; a sarong is $15 and for the tye dye if people bring their material and shirts, we charge $5 for curtains and single bedsheets, $10 for king-size bedsheets, $2 for pillowcases and $2 for shirts.”

She said most of her customers resided in Lautoka and Nadi so deliveries were normally sent to the mainland via boat where customers would pick up their orders at the wharf.

She urged young entrepreneurs to explore other avenues to generate income and the benefits of bartering.

“My advice to young couples is we have talents and they can make use of social media like Facebook and YouTube to create their own business,” she said.

Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: salote.qalubau@fijisun.com.fj



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