Nanise Vulaono used to be employed at Mana Island resort as a waitress before she moved to Suva after her marriage. “I realised that my husband’s pay cannot cover all our bills and food for 2 weeks” said Nanise.
She learned the skills of sewing from her parents who used to sew trousers and other accessories made out of leather (pencil case, briefcase). It was their family main source of income but unfortunately her parents were not well educated and their income was merely for the children’s education and their daily survival.
She started her sewing after repairing her mother in law’s sewing machine and sewed two trousers to test her skills from material she borrowed from her parents. She later sews 60 kid’s pants from material she gathered from garment factories and earn $120.00 in only 2 days.
It was the beginning of her business journey with the full support of her husband. She manages to secure a stall at the Suva Flea market in 2006, sewing trousers only. She later requests a friend to teach her how to take measurements and cutting.
She was introduced to FCOSS MFU in 2009 and opened her savings account. Her first loan was used in purchasing materials to sew varieties of dresses. Today, she is a well-known tailor specialising in Sulu Jaba and wedding dresses made out of Tapa which she charges $300.00 for sewing only.
She has accessed a total of $12,400.00 in loans and has managed to save some money. She has also opened another handicraft stall selling Fijian crafts and tapa, second hand clothing and also an agent of selling red clay for tapa printing and designing to other women around Suva.
Earlier last year, she bought a fibreglass boat worth $6,000.00 based at Lautoka and is hired by fisherman and divers.
With her prize money, Nanise has ventured into Bee Keeping; however, since this is a new trade, she is seeking advice from the Ministry of Agriculture and is planning to start this business based in Sabeto, Lautoka.
This industrious lady is also keen on expanding her tailoring business as she is ready to rent another stall in the Flea Market. Her client now includes Fijian ladies living in Austria, Germany and New Zealand and America.