Mother’s home-made success

Recycled Handicrafts is a new home-made business. It provides eye catching handbags, bowls, table mats and Bible bags made from coffee sachets.

They also supply r products to well-known local businesses.

The woman behind the business and Owner is Temukisa Mantha Laauli.

She told the Samoa Observer her passion started from under the Tamaligi Tree at the Seventh Day Adventist School, Lalovaea.

Temukisa is the only daughter of La’auli Galumalemana and Sioata Pisaina Laauli from Fagalii-Uta.

“I started learning when my eldest daughter started schooling in 2016,” the mother of three said.

“So we usually wait at the Tamaligi with some other parents who had their children attending the Seventh Day Adventist School.

“We began talking and sharing about our talents and at the time my mother was the one who drops my daughter to school.

“A lady taught them how to decorate flowers in a vase and how to make bags, so my mother was really passionate about it and wanted to learn how to make it,” said the 27-year-old.

Through her mother’s determination to learn how to make the bags, Temukisa then invited the lady who was teaching how to make these handicrafts home.

“My mother is old, there was no way she was going to pick up quickly on how the weaving is done, so I had to watch and learn.

“The only thing that she did was to show me how to weave the necklaces that I was working on and how to weave it together just to make it into a bag.

“And from then on to now, I could make earrings out of straws, table mats, bible bags and hand bags.

“With the bags that I was making, I was able to connect with Vanya Taulealo.”

Her passion drove her to explore what she could create out of simple things.

“I went online because I wanted to expand my knowledge and skills in handicrafts. I knew that I could do so much more than just making a bag.

“Just by watching, I was able to learn how to make table mats and a bowl and when people started requesting for Bible bags, my father and I had to learn how to do it.”

She considers her talent a message of hope to develop her family.

“I am unemployed, I am fulltime mother and that is my job. I just make bags. 

“I live with my parents. My three girls and my husband work. This gift is the only way that I will be able to help my family.

“If I think about it, there is only one person in my family who works, just my husband. 

“But there are so many things that need to be completed such as the church commitments and our family. These bags really help us.

“If we don’t have these bags, I don’t think that my husband’s pay will be able to cover all the bills and shopping that we need at home.”

She acknowledged the help of the food stall vendors at the market for always saving the coffee sachets for her.

“My business is called Recycle Handicrafts for a reason because I am getting coffee sachets to make the products that I sell.

“I get those coffee sachets for free from the people in the market who sell pancakes and coffee.

“I only give them free bags because it is what they want in return.”

Despite the many challenges there are in life, she dreams of expanding her business.

“The driving force behind everything that I do is my parents. They always help me and encourage me to become the best that I can be.

“Every time I am about to head out and meet people, they prepare me for certain events like that. They have always created new ideas for me and challenging me to think outside the box.

“Especially my father, I owe it to him the most. He is the biggest inspiration to me. 

“Vanya is the only customer that I have, but I really hope that one day I will expand my business.”

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