Struggling mother grows her handicraft business

By Adel Fruean ,

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Tina Asoeru.

Tina Asoeru.

Handicraft work saved a woman who was struggling with survival.

Tina Asoeru, from Luatuanu’u, is a mother who specialises in baking and also making lopa necklaces, earrings and bracelets. 

Before her success, she and her family endured the struggles to survive without any stable income. 

“We tried having a small eatery, selling pineapple pies, doughnuts and chicken buns in front of our house, but every day we tried to sell the products it was to no avail,” Mrs. Asoeru said.

Luckily, she was able to be part of the Nofotane programme, which taught her skills to improve her handicraft work. 

“I not only focus on bakery but also handicrafts made especially from red beads (lopa). It has helped my family in having a stable income through orders being made. With selling baked goods, it doesn’t reach $100, but the handicrafts can provide through orders a good sum of $800 a day, depending on orders,” she said.

The orders usually come from wedding lines overseas when they demand certain number of necklaces, earrings, bracelets and accessories for their weddings.  

Tina Asoeru with her handicrafts made from red beads(lopa).
Tina Asoeru with her handicrafts made from red beads(lopa).

Mrs. Asoeru said she wanted to be a role model for her children and to provide for their needs.

In her husband's case, she said he imitates her every movement so if she sets a good example, then he will also follow. 

“In times when my children would cry for food I would discipline them, but deep down my heart was crying,” Mrs. Asoeru said.

“I thank God for the talent embedded in me and especially to the Nofotane project in helping me with the knowledge to use certain skills in creating something beautiful.”

She said there were times she would sell her handicraft work to House of Gold and the market for quick money.

Mrs. Asoeru encourages mothers to work for the good of their children and not depend on others.  

© Samoa Observer 2016

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