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Labasa’s First Itaukei Woman To Have Soap Business

Milika Butulawa Curu is the first iTaukei female to have her own natural soap product business in Labasa. The name of her product is ‘Sovi Pure Coconut Soap’. The 50-year-old
14 Sep 2015 09:55
Labasa’s First Itaukei Woman To Have Soap Business
Milika Curu showcasing her product. Photo: Shratika Naidu

Milika Butulawa Curu is the first iTaukei female to have her own natural soap product business in Labasa.

The name of her product is ‘Sovi Pure Coconut Soap’.

The 50-year-old mother of two daughters started this business from her home in Tuatua branch road outside Labasa Town in 2011.

She uses only coconut, fruits like mango and lemon and local fragrance to make white bar soap, bathing soap and hand washing soap.

Mrs Curu, originally from Naqauai in Naitasiri, initially chose to make soap for her family use.

“I realised that the bathing soap which used to be three for 99 cents used to finish so quickly at home,” Mrs Curu said.

She said she has been looking after relatives’ children who come from villages for study purposes.

“I was working at Bayly Welfare in Labasa since 1999 but then my income was not that enough to meet everyone’s needs,” Mrs Curu said.

“My children needed money every now and then to do school project and so I thought why not I learn to make soap and sell to earn some money,” she added.

She said at a church camp in Lautoka one female islander taught her how to make soap in 2010.

“My husband, Akuila Curu and I tried her recipe for many months but it did not work well,” Mrs Curu said.

She said then she tried her own ways and finally from 2011 she was able to make her own soap product for family use.

“I used to attend women’s day programmes and agriculture shows to promote my product,” Mrs Curu said.

She said thanks to Pacific Counseling who gave them a loan to set up their business at home.

“Since last year we have been supplying our soap to our business customers in Suva,” Mrs Curu said.

She said her product was in great demand as it lathers easily, lasts long and helps heal skin diseases.

“Our local customers have returned to buy more soaps saying it helped healing their skin diseases,” Mrs Curu said.

She said the cost of one bar of soap was $2.50.

Along with her business she helps women of Revival Fellowship Labasa Centre.

“The women give me pure coconut oil and virgin oil and my husband does packing for them,” Mrs Curu said.

She said then they sell it to their customers and give the money to the mothers so that they can help their children.

“As parents we are aware of our responsibilities and we are doing this for our children,” Mrs Curu said.

“There are many coconuts in Labasa and that is one of the reasons we chose to do this business,” she added.

“I am really thankful to my husband and God for all the love and support in these five years,” Mrs Curu said.

She has resigned from her job and now a full time businesswoman.

Feedback: shratikan@fijisun.com.fj

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