Samoa’s Triple T’s clothing inspired by Pasifika Business Market

The Pacific Trade Invest (PTI) New Zealand Path to Market programme has inspired Samoan clothing company Triple T’s to export to New Zealand.

Ioana and Tana Gordlina of Triple T’s

Yoritanna (Tana) and his mother Ioana Gordlina from Triple T’s, the clothing business based in Apia, Samoa, credits being at the Pasifika Business Market in March with new design ideas for products. So much so, they are now checking out potential markets.

After a PTI NZ Path to Market workshop in 2017, Triple T’s was selected to move on to the next stage of the programme attending the Pasifika Business Market this year in March. The multi-stage programme assists potential Pacific exporters understand the New Zealand market.

“Path to Market has opened our eyes to a bigger market opportunity outside Samoa. It has inspired us to try out the New Zealand market. This year we are planning to bring some of our products like our t-shirts to try out in NZ,” said Mr Gordlina.

“We have a huge variety of Samoan t-shirts (also our main item), Samoa caps, sarongs for ladies, Samoan hand bags which are hand decorated, dresses, men’s shirts, sweaters, jumpers/hoodies, and a wide range of accessories made from coconut shells,” he said.

For special holidays and occasions, they bring in products, such as white wear for White Sunday, a range of Church hats that are also hand decorated for Mother’s Day and assorted toys for the Christmas season.

Rewind back to 2004/5 when they started the business.

“My dad took over a small shop when the previous owners were moving overseas, as I recalled it was either in 2004 or 2005. I was on my second year in Uni. We started as a small shop and one stall at our Savalalo Market.”

They have been operating for just a little over 10 years now. But it is a family affair for Mr Gordlina.

Triple T’s stands for Theresa, Teuila and Tana. Theresa is the eldest sister, Teuila being second oldest then Tana the youngest. “Just three of us,” said Mr Gordlina.

“Mum finally came full on board in 2013, when she took her retirement after working at ANZ for 40 years, we were always working together behind the scenes.

They take turns keeping the books, but when his Mum travels – “It’s me full on doing wages and accounts,” he said.

It’s a family business but Tana and his Mum Ioana make a great team.

“Having Mum there really takes much of the load off my back. Sometimes I would have somewhere go to, she’s there to take over while I’m gone.
It just makes it easier when she’s there, especially now that I’m taking a business course. We accomplish more when we work together.”

But his whole family also give their support.

“Not forgetting dad and my dearest sister Teuila, their backbone support is a big contribution to our business as well.

Mr Gordlina is mostly responsible for setting up and displays, making new designs for their t-shirts and taking care of the staff.  “I also look after our workers, making sure everyone is in hands-on mode and working together. I also act as mediator when people call in to make orders.”

For more information please contact: Joe Fuavao, PTI NZ Trade Development Manager on joe.f@pacifictradeinvest.co.nz

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