New start powerful testimony about the power to change

By George Fe’esago Jnr ,

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A LIFE TRANSFORMED: Mr. and Mrs. Fe'esago Jnr at their new shop yesterday.

A LIFE TRANSFORMED: Mr. and Mrs. Fe'esago Jnr at their new shop yesterday. (Photo: Misiona Simo)

After 18 years of business, Big & Small of Samoa is opening a new branch at the Enara House, Fugalei, tomorrow. Amidst the excitement of the new venture is an amazing story about a man’s struggles with drug addiction and how he overcame it. George Fe’esago shares this story in the hopes that it might help someone who is going through a similar situation. This is what he wrote:

The name Big & Small came about when I was in high school at C.C.W.S. in 1996. 

A dear friend, Lisha Sablan, and I were chosen by the yearbook committee that year to pose for a school picture as the biggest and smallest people in the school.

Myself obviously, being the biggest and Lisha the smallest.

And I recall telling her that one day I would open a business and name it Big & Small.  

At the age of 19, I established Big & Small in 1999 at the time the Retzlaffs occupied what is now Rhema at Taufusi. It was my love of fashion and everything trendy that the idea of opening up a clothing shop was born.

After a year we relocated to the Flea Market Shop #7 at Savalalo as there was no traffic for this type of business at Taufusi.  

Two years later, I moved to the Accident Compensation Corporation House when the building was established in October 2001 shortly after I sponsored Petra Suhren in which she was crowned Miss Samoa.

There at the ACC House I started with Puletasis, Women & Men’s clothing from Los Angeles. I saw my business doing well at this new location. 

In 2004 Big & Small started the first major hip hop dance competition in Samoa name “Freak A Leek Dance Competition.” It was held at the old Apia Park Gymnasium where Backstreet Boys, a group from the village of Leauva’a took home the trophy and the grand prize.

After the success of the store relocating to a prime location and holding the first major dance competition in Samoa came my darkest time. I had fallen victim to drugs.

I saw my business going down, my little family being torn apart and financially struggling. And because of this addiction I now have heart problems.   

I didn’t realize at the time that everything was falling apart until I finally hit rock bottom.

But by the grace of God, the support of my family and the eyes of my daughter, Margean Jr. Feesago I was able to overcome this illness.

I am not afraid or ashamed to tell my story about my addiction in the hopes that it will help someone who is struggling at the moment.  

I would like to let those who are struggling know that there is light at the end of the tunnel. 

After what seemed to be the longest years of my life, my wife and I started from square one again with only a box of perfume for Mother’s Day season 2010. From then on with my wife’s input, came the glam - shoes, accessories and the ‘wow’ factor of Big & Small.  

Our little family grew and now consists of two beautiful daughters and two outgoing sons which brought the idea of opening a kids shop named “Toodles”.  Next to our main spot at A.C.C. House, Toodles – Kids Collection holds kids clothing, shoes, toys and bikes.

George Fe’esago Jnr
George Fe’esago Jnr

Later on the demand for our Island collection grew and from there we opened our island store, “Heritage.”  Big & Small at A.C.C. House is divided into three outlets.    

Over the years, Big & Small has made a name for itself for the quality of the products it sells and the services it provides.

And now after 18 years of operation we are happy to announce the opening of our new branch at Enara House, Fugalei.  

This new branch will carry what all our three outlets have in one building. We will also be selling Cece’s Bingo Supplies such as bingo paper, bingo daubers and bingo machines.

This new branch provides more convenient parking space for our valued customers and welcomes new ones.  Doors to this new location will officially open Friday 1st December 2017. 

All glory to our Father in heaven for all the blessings he has showered upon us.  

To the ones who have drilled us to be the people we are today, our parents, the late Aukuso Feesago & Margean Petersen-Feesago, Setoa Chan Boon & Dolly Slade-Chan Boon, thank you for all your hard work and sacrifices, unconditional love and endless support.   

To our Feesago family in America, you are our foundation away from home - thank you for everything you do for us and our kids. 

 To all our families here in Samoa, our friends and all valued customers of Big & Small, we thank each and every one of you for all your support throughout the years.

We promise to bring you the spirit of Christmas this holiday season at both locations.  

We would also like to thank Ricky & Louisa Westerlund, Enid Westerlund of Enara and family for giving us the opportunity to open our second branch.  

To our staff and the Cece’s Bingo Supplies Staff, thank you for all your hard work and all the late nights. To our store manager, Miss Vai Pauli, thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

I dedicate this accomplishment to my father, the late Aukuso Feesago. It was because of your vision and hard work that you have paved the road for us. You are the reason for who we are today.

I hope you are looking down on us and proud of what we have done. You are sorely missed but never forgotten. May you rest in peace, my hero!  

Last but not least we thank our children, Tilomai, Margean, Setoa and Augustine for giving us a reason to never give up.

Big & Small would also like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a prosperous New Year!

By George Fe’esago Jnr

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