By Kite Pareti
An elegant masi wedding dress hangs high on a frangipani tree for visitors to see.
The designer, Asinate Bale, who hails from Nabasovi village in Koro island, says she has been pursuing her passion for five years.
“I usually purchase my masi from Suva and I make clothes out of it like wedding dresses, and wedding attire for the men and children as well,” Bale explained.
“When at home, I take pieces of cloth, sketch out a design and try to make something unique and valuable out of it,” she said.
“My business is going well but one of the challenges I face is using an electric sewing machine. When the diesel generator goes off in my village, there’s no alternative for me to continue sewing and keep up with my orders. Because of that issue, I’m trying my best to earn as much money to buy my solar power generator,” she said.
“I enjoy what I do because I can earn and take care of my children, the vanua (land) and the lotu (church),” she added.
Bale is one of many women artisans taking part in the two-day Lau and Lomaiviti Women’s Expo at Civic Centre Carpark in Suva which ends today at 5pm.