Inside a small hut on the eastern end of Lungga bridge, Winnifred Nanau and her daughter Emma neatly displayed sewn and used clothes for sale.
This little clothing shop may look insignificant but to Winnifred, this is her family’s bread and butter.
Winnifred, who comes from Malaita, is one of the many growing number of women involving in the clothes trade as a means to earn money.
“I secured this small leaf hut just early this year,” Winnifred told the Sunday Star.
“It was someone else’s property. I’m just renting it,” she added.
Winnifred is not new to this business.
Previously, she used to sell her products from a location in White River.
Prior to that, she operated on a mobile basis – taking her products to the people.
She said she decided to move to Lungga because she wanted to bring her products closer to people in the area.
Winnifred sold both second hand clothes and those she sew herself.
“For housewives like us who don’t have jobs, this is the sort of thing we do to earn money for our families,” a beaming Winnifred said.
“We cannot just rely on our husbands for the family income; we have to do something to help our husbands, too.
“For me, this is what I do to earn money.”
Winnifred does not only see her small business purely as a money-making entity but also a service to the people.
“I know many women in the Lungga area don’t always have bus fares to travel to town to second hand shops.
“So by establishing this small shop here, they can save the trouble of going to town and just come here to look for whatever clothes they want.”
Winnifred started her small clothing business by sewing and selling her products.
With the money she generated, she began expanding her small business by purchasing second hand clothes and reselling them.
Winnifred said many women are involved in similar business nowadays so it’s not an easy ride for her.
However, there’s money coming into the business every day.
“On a good day, I can earn up to a thousand dollars,” she said.
“But normally the income is around $600 a day,” Winnifred added.
“It is this money that I used to support my family and keep the business going,” she said.
She said this is better than earning nothing.
“So house wives out there should not make the excuse of sitting down and doing nothing.
“We may be jobless and uneducated but there are opportunities out there to earn a bit of money to support your families,” she said.
“Money is everywhere in the country but it only comes to those who are willing to take the risk and face the challenge.
“I am not an educated woman, but with small business that I am running, I can testify that money comes into my hands every day.”
Winnifred sells her products at very affordable prices – from $20 and downwards.
By LESLEY SANGA