Step into the Pasifika Business Hub at Pasifika and your eyes will find Nuuao’s Fashion. The small business specialises in traditional Samoan outfits including the ‘Puletasi.’
The Puletasi is a traditional two-piece outfit consisting of a top and long skirt worn by women from Samoa, Tonga, Fiji but also popular in other Pacific Islands. The outfit can be worn for many occasions but are popular for church, cultural events and special events.
Nuuao’s Fashion is part of Samoa’s business delegation to Pacific Trade Invest New Zealand’s Pasifika Business Market at the Auckland Pasifika Festival.
Mrs Ului Maafi of Vailele started her business in 2005. She is currently in stalls 08/09 at the Savalalo Market in Apia.
Nuuao’s Fashion sell patterned puletasi, shirts, dresses, suits, design their own hand printed sarongs. They also offer a range of children’s clothes, men’s shirts and formal wedding wear to match a small supply of handicrafts such as earrings, necklaces, bracelets, handbags and hats.
The family business includes her children who supply the designs, her two daughters the sewing and her other son focuses on designing or printing the different designs on the materials.
There is a stunning line of hand crafted hats made from the bark of the Fagalo Tree. Beautifully woven, uniquely designed with traditional motifs adorned with flowers and leaves made from the fine bark material and adorned with small shells. The hats are popular for church or beach wear.
“Our way of designing is a bit different from other fashion businesses or fashion designers,”
“We always try to make it unique,” Mrs Maafi said.
The company exports to New Zealand, Australia, Hawaii, USA and France.
“We have been exporting our products, mainly puletasi, shirts and dresses to these countries from 2007.” Although it’s hard work, “it’s the best opportunity to expose our small business” started in 2005. Since then they have faced many challenges. From the different cyclones to the fire that burnt down the Savalalo Market.
“Our business has been serving our country and overseas for so many years,” she said. The company has been resilient and want to keep improving their business.
Peak times are for Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, White Sunday and the Teuila Festival where they can make a good earning.
“Our business is our family’s main source of income” Mrs Maafi said.
Ms Maafi participated in the PTI Path to Market workshop and was invited to attend the next step of the programme coming to the Pasifika Business Market.
In feedback on Path to Market she said her motto on running her business is “good quality and good behaviour.”
“I want to grow my business and make a statement…and don’t lose money,” she added.
Ms Maafi will be part Samoa’s 6 company delegation headed to the Pasifika Business Market.
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