Tailoring his way to success

By Anetone Sagaga 15 April 2024, 8:30PM

From humble beginnings in a tent to owning his proper spot at the Fugalei Market, Junior Avealalo is breaking stereotypes as a tailor. At 33 years old, Junior has faced many challenges on his journey to success.

"Many people have doubted that my business wouldn't stand, but I kept praying that one day I would own a proper spot," Mr. Avealalo remarked.

The young man started working as a water well driller. He found himself praying for a business that would allow him more time to attend to his responsibilities and church ministry. 

Mr. Avealalo said he always dreamt of owning a small spot at the market and three years ago he approached the government with a proposal for a proper location in the Fugalei Market. 

"I had a normal job but that didn't align with other commitments I had and the dreams I wanted," he said.

"I've always wanted to be a business person so I had to work hard to achieve that goal."

Despite facing doubts from others who believed fashion and a normal snack shop couldn't mix, the male seamster persisted in his dream. When the old Savalalo market burnt down in 2016, he found himself struggling to find a spot. 

For seven years, he operated his business in a tent next to the bus terminal, holding onto the hope that one day his dream of a proper shop would come true.

A professional tailor and fashion designer, Mr. Avealalo is proud to challenge the stereotypes that suggest men shouldn't pursue a career in tailoring. 

With eight children - seven boys and one girl - and the unwavering support of his wife Melanie, Mr. Avealalo has endured numerous hardships in building his business which stands today as M& JR's Creation.

Renting the spot for $700 a month, Mr. Avealalo has implemented creative strategies like selling $1.50 coffees to reach his financial goals. Despite facing skepticism, he has seen success with customers purchasing his designs and being surprised to learn that he is a male tailor.

Encouraging young men to follow their dreams regardless of societal expectations, Mr. Avealalo praised institutions like Don Bosco, an all-boys school that has incorporated tailoring into its curriculum. By sharing his own story of perseverance and success, Mr. Avealalo is not only building a successful business but also inspiring others to break barriers and pursue their passions.

Mr. Avealalo has secured a spot at the newly established building under the Accident Compensation Corporations (ACC) scheme where 13 businesses operate. 

From technician stores to barbershops to a sewing shop like Mr. Avealalo's adding a new look to the Fugalei Market. The cost of the entire project was close to $300,000. 

By Anetone Sagaga 15 April 2024, 8:30PM
Samoa Observer

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