The story behind the Vanya Taulealo Gallery bag label

For businesswoman, Vanya Taulealo, the famous idiom “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” sounds all too familiar.

Her Vanya Taulealo Gallery and Garden business label creates bags made from recycled materials which she says ticks all the boxes in terms of recycling, reusing and repurposing.

She told the Samoa Observer that her various bags are made from coffee bags that can be found at supermarkets.

“They get collected, they get sorted, they get cut and sized and it’s quite a long process,” she said.

“I have seen a lot of clutches being made but I have expanded the ideas of these bags being very much multi-purpose.”

The longest part of the manufacturing process, she explains, is the weaving process of the bags that could take a few days in order to get the product in perfect shape and condition.

The various bags created from the recycled coffee bags range from laptop bags, beach bags and cheque book covers which she explained are durable and suitable for any occasion.

Her business has also gained the attention of overseas customers with some orders on items such as place mats, table runners and coasters.

Mrs Taulealo said the feedback from her customers about her products have been positive thus far.

“I have been selling them in the gallery for about four years and I do get some overseas orders for them, but I would like many more overseas orders because they are quite unique and the coffee bags are quite sturdy,” she added. 

“This is all I use now. My leather bags are long departed, I just always use these and it's been like that for three or four years now.”

Besides her recycled bags label, Mrs Taulealo who is also part of the Samoa Women’s Association of Growers [S.W.A.G] market and creates Hummus desserts made out of local vegetation such as Laupele.

“I make Hummus which is a very healthy protein rich, very low carb, I do them as savories and I also do some dessert,” she said.

"It was only about 2019 that hummus desserts sort of became a thing so I try to bring in local vegetation and things like that."

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