Floral arrangement champion blooms away competition

A mother of five from Salamumu and Papa Sataua Savai'i has walked away with the top honours in the 2019 Teuila Festival Floral Arrangement competition.

Falefitu Esera, 46, overcame the competition and impressed the judges with her skills.

Speaking to the Samoa Observer, Mrs. Esera acknowledge God's grace and his gifts which helped her.

"I never thought I could win something like this," she said.

"I thought my other competitors were very good so I didn't think that my stuff were good enough. I thought it was very basic and simple.

"But I was so shocked when I won. I can only praise God and acknowledge that it is all his doing."

Mrs. Esera, who works with her elderly mother, Sieni, at their Tanumalala plantation, said the competition was very challenging. While arranging bouquets is something that she was used to having done it for the past ten years, the competition presented another challenge. 

“The hard part of the competition was the creating the fruits bowl arrangement," she said. 

Mrs. Esera said her mother weaved the basket which she used and she believes that was the point of difference. 

"My elderly mother weaved the ola (basket). It was interesting because in the end, I had someone come up and ask me if she could order a similar basket so I have to go and ask mom if she can weave another one. Maybe she would have to weave a few more. 

Mrs. Esera is passionate about what she does. She sells her floral arrangements at the Fugalei market every weekend. 

She said she also takes a lot of orders from many customers, including Church groups and members.

“I'm grateful for this competition," she said. "I want to thank the Samoa Tourism Authority for providing a platform for ordinary people like ourselves to showcase our gifts. I want to thank all my competitors whom I thought did a fantastic job. I'd also like to thank my family, especially my mother who got me into this field. 

"I have gained a lot of experience over the years but you can never stop learning. Floral arrangements is changing all the time and you have got to keep up." 

Married to To'omata Esera, they live at Vaitele.

"If you're looking for some bouquets, call me on 7295645 or 28456."

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