The Pacifique Artisans Collective is Suva’s newest business incubator that “allows an equal playing field for emerging designers and accessory makers,” says Shakira Macdonald.
It is located at the Suva Flea Market, a popular space for small businesses since 1995, which has recently undergone a facelift and upgrade.
The PAC houses unique clothing lines such as KuiViti, Karalina’s Boutique, 8Mountains and Laboriel and Creative Arts Viti, as well as accessory makers Jekia Jewelry, Marleannas Scrunchies, and Pawpaw Patch.
Macdonald says while a lot of collectives are marketed at expat or tourist clients, the Pacifique Artisans Collective “allows for locals to be included in high fashion or in such spaces that have not been very dominated by a local clientele.” She says the accessibility of the space, just down the road from the Suva bus stand and central market, is key to this.
“The idea of this whole concept was to have a central space in which they can do their business, we will run the business for them. And so it allows an equal playing field for emerging designers, emerging accessory makers, anybody that needs a chance where rental is so high in Suva, we just can’t afford it, or you don’t have enough to justify renting your own space.”
Macdonald says 70% of the earnings are given to the designers and makers, while 30% covers the collective’s operation costs.
“We’ve been in business since September 24, and it’s been going very well,” she says proudly.
A second culinary and homeware collective has also just opened at the Suva Flea Market, stocking products such as Island Style Peanut Butter and Maleka Dina chilli sauce.
A third artist space for visual arts, photographers and sculptors is also in the works.
The Suva Flea Market also hosts a monthly bazaar and occasional craft events, such as masi making courses.
Words: Kite Pareti
Pacifique Artisans Collective on Facebook
Suva Flea Market on Facebook