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Sigatoka handicraft center changes business approach

January 25, 2021 12:19 pm

With sales reaching an all-time low due to the pandemic, the Sigatoka handicraft vendors have taken a different approach in order to make money.

Speaking to FBC News, Arieta Caucau says since borders closed last year, they have been affected because their main customers were tourists.

However, Caucau says they quickly adapted to the market and started selling items which Fijians would be interested in.

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“From April we have been changing our products from necklaces, wooden stuff and other tourist attraction items we switched to mats, wreath, salusalu and tapa which would drag the locals to come and buy.”

The 60-year-old who has been selling at the handicraft center since 2003 says, they needed to change also to suit the new normal of doing business.

Another vendor Litia Sovea says that since the pandemic, other vendors haven’t been consistently coming to work.

Sovea says this was because most of them have decided to do other things from home in order to earn a living.

The mother of seven says, despite also changing their business approach, it still hasn’t been easy.

“It’s not like when the borders were open, it’s really slow like now for about 3 weeks going onto a month we haven’t even made any sales.”

However, Sovea says they are not giving up as this is their bread and butter.

During normal times, the Sigatoka handicraft center would be buzzing with tourists as resorts along the coral coast would arrange special trips for their guests to Sigatoka Town.

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