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Boutique shop celebrates one year

Local fashion boutique shop House 88 recently celebrated its one-year anniversary.

To mark the shop’s anniversary free cupcakes were offered to customers on the day. 

Owner Sioa Havea Tuionetta, who runs her shop out of the Amau Mall in Apia, told Samoa Observer that setting up the business was not planned and was challenging from the start.  

Her family assisted her in the business’ early days with Mrs. Tuionetta giving credit to them, especially her her girls Stephanie Nelson and Fealofain Punimatagi.

“Step and Fealofani are my driving force. They give me another reason to strive in my business. 

“Also having these girls here allow me to do things I normally wouldn’t have time for, like drop off my mum, spend time with my son and have lunch with my husband.

“It is hard at times to make business decisions but my girls have been so helpful,” she said.

Mrs. Tuionetta said the decision to move to Samoa came when she visited her husband Sione Tuionetoa, who was studying at Oceania University of Medicine. The move was also difficult as she had no relatives, but when she fell pregnant she agreed to re-settle in Samoa. 

“Moving to Samoa unemployed and pregnant, I thought of selling some of my things to earn some money. 

“The only really good items I owned, I thought people would consider buying were my dresses. 

I had so many beautiful dresses. So I put them on social media for sale and they were sold out quickly,” she added. 

Mrs. Tuionetta said getting positive customer feedback after initially selling dresses from her home’s living-room compelled her to make the next move. 

With her parents living in Australia, where she imports her stock from, Mrs. Tuionetta visits them frequently and to do shopping.

“Having these girls here allows me to do things I normally wouldn’t have time for, like drop off my mum, spend time with my son and have lunch with my husband. It is hard at times to make business decisions but my girls have been so helpful,” she added.

Mrs. Tuionetta has plans to expand her business and said her move to Samoa was worth it.

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