For Alaimanono Vaoga, from the village of Faleula, he has no regrets with trading his previous job with a roadside stall.
Earning over double his previous wages, Alaimanono says that his roadside stall was once just something he did while job searching, but now it’s a fulltime gig. “When I couldn’t find a job, this is what I do to earn a bit of cash,” he told the Village Voice.
“I currently don’t have a job and that’s why I am here. I had a job before but when I stopped working, I decided to make use of my land and bring things like this to the roadside to sell.
“This small market helps a lot with taking care of my family.”
Alaimanono says that once he realized that the wages people get in Samoa are peanuts to what they can make from their plantation, he never looked back on his decision to run his stall fulltime.
“To tell you the truth, the real reason I started this business was because I heard that this is the best way to earn money,” he said.
“When I had a job, the pay was nowhere close to being enough to cover my family’s every need. That’s why I decided to quit and start this up.
“I had to spend money for transport to and from work so that was extra costs. At the end of the week I would only earn about $150 after working so hard.
“Aside from transport costs, we had to pay bills and buy food; so you can imagine how $150 wasn’t enough.”
From earning $150 a week to a possible $200 a day, Alaimanono says it feels good to be able to put a lot of money in his pocket every day.
“When I finally decided to leave work, I was happy to find out that I earn way more from this roadside market than from the job I had,” he said.
“I would make about $80 to $100 on slow days and when sales are really good, I can make up to $200. Working my previous job required more work and an income way less than what I make now.
“With this I can put money into my pocket every day.”
And with that kind of money being earned, Alaimanono tries to come out as much as possible to sell.
“I try and come out every day to sell,” he said.
“There are days where I would be busy with chores around the house and I can’t come out to sell. But I do make the effort to come out every day.”