Feature

Handicrafts Keep Couple Going Strong

The parents of six children and 14 grandchildren reside in Lovu, Lautoka and have been involved in handicraft-making for the last 35 years.
15 Jun 2020 10:54
Handicrafts Keep Couple Going Strong
Lautoka couple, Raijieli Lako and Nacanieli Lesi with their creative works inside their home at Lovu, Lautoka on June 14, 2020. Photo: Nicolette Chambers

Lautoka couple, Raijieli Lako and Nacanieli Lesi are grateful that the income earned from creating handicraft items has been enough to provide for their daily needs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The parents of six children and 14 grandchildren reside in Lovu, Lautoka and have been involved in handicraft-making for the last 35 years.

Although some obstacles may have stood in their way, they are grateful that the money earned from selling handicrafts has been enough to send their children to school, even going up to university.

“We have been doing this for 35 years because even before we got married my husband was already making handicrafts,” said Ms Lako.

“Through handicraft-making we sent all our six children to school, even my eldest daughter managed to reach the Fiji National University.

She said they were previously involved in farming before diverting to handicraft-making.

“We use to farm before in Colo-I-Suva before we moved to Lautoka in 2007,” she said.

“I told my husband we better divert to something else now because you are aging and we can’t do this again.”

Ms Lako and her husband currently supply their creative works to a number of outlets including Tappoos Fiji and Jack’s of Fiji.

“We supply to Tappoos, Jack’s and other small handicraft outlets from Suva to Lautoka, we have competitors as well and having competitors is not good on our end because when they decrease the price, there is less income coming in for the family,” she added.

“Selling this, I can make $25 in a day which is the lowest I can earn on weekdays in the weekends I can earn $70 in a day.”

She added, her motivation was always a reminder at the back of her mind which was to always stand by her husband to help him in this trying time. Edited by Jonathan Bryce

Feedback: nicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj



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