SUNBIZ

Former Tourism Workers Should Use SME markets

Founder of 8 Mountains Fiji Moira Solvalu John urged former tourism sector workers to use events like the Vuda beach market at the First Landing Beach resort to tap into
12 Apr 2021 10:15
Former Tourism Workers Should Use SME markets
(Left) 8 Mountains Founder Moira Solvalu John and staff member Judy Niurou at the Vuda beach market at the First Landing Beach Resort on April 10,2021.Photo: Salote Qalobau

Founder of 8 Mountains Fiji Moira Solvalu John urged former tourism sector workers to use events like the Vuda beach market at the First Landing Beach resort to tap into the local market for business ideas.

8 Mountains is an established contemporary fashion label that debuted on the runway of Fiji Fashion Week 2009.

“Try out the markets as a testing ground, find out what your customers want and this is the best place,” she said.

“Interaction is great, so you get to talk to customers and find out exactly how your product can be bettered,” she said.

“I’ve been in business for nine years, I used to be a manager at a shipping company and I left in 2017 to start my own business.”

 

Reusing
Ms John said she has been selling at the Vuda Beach market for two years and some of the products are also sold on the 8 Mountains website.

“Our reusable diapers and our pads are popular so you just remove the pads and chuck them in the washing machine then reattach them,” she said.

She said her products such as hair scrunchies, face masks and reusable items are made from leftover fabric from exported products.

“So it’s $5 for masks and for the reusable diapers there’s a pack of three that’s $48 that comes with two extra liners then the sanitary pads for $5 each but if you want three its $11,” she said.

She said the impact of the pandemic forced her business to close its Suva shop and the border closure affected exports of her products.

“We have our 8 Mountains garment factory in Lautoka and we export to nine countries,” Ms John said.

“During COVID-19, we had to look for other avenues to get our sales up so as to not send staff home.”

“Unfortunately, we had to some home so we had eighteen staff before now we have four,” she said.

“When we had the sanitary pads we had a look at what women wanted, we listened, we gave samples so people could take it home and they came back with good feedback then we came up with a final product which was comfortable and user friendly.”

Vuda Beach market organizer Ronelle Van Rooyen said the main focus was the market day before Mother’s Day.

 

Feedback: salote.qalobau@fijisun.com.fj



Laybuy it 5squares


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper