Handmade Locally is a local SME owned and operated by 42-year-old Entaipy of Eastern Highlands Province who buys creatively carved and woven basket bowls, trays and placemats from local artisans in the Lufa District of Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province and sells them to her customers here in Port Moresby.
Entaipy started up her local business out of a hobby which she fell in love with handmade Baskets bowls and trays created and produced by these artisans.
Despite having a full-time job, this is a side hustle which she began just last month.
She said back in Goroka, these artisans would carry around their products from home-to-home walking around the streets looking for customers and that was when she first met them.
“It was getting late for them, and they told me to pay whatever I wanted to purchase at any amount, I took them into my home and showed them all the baskets and trays that I purchased over the years.”
She added that oftentimes theses artisans sell their products in front of the Bird of Paradise Hotel in Goroka and often people do not buy and so it is very hard for them to bring back home their products.
“Upon my request of items, they carefully weave and varnish the items and after it is completed, it is sent down to Port Moresby at my own cost which is why I add my own price to the item and sell it.”
Entaipy proudly aid that her home is filled with many baskets, bowls and wall hangers and it came to a stage where she couldn’t buy anymore because there was no space at home.
“Many basket artisans in Goroka know me because I buy from them and at times they bring their goods directly to the house and I would bring them in to show them that my house indeed was full and I couldn’t buy anymore.”
Evelyn added on saying that out of her desire to assist these artisans, she decided to bring some items to Port Moresby to sell on Facebook.
“All thanks to Facebook, I sold quite a number of items and I have realized that there is a demand out there for handmade items that are beautiful.”
“The artisans can make laundry baskets, baskets, trays, stationery holders, bowls, and many other items, they are very creative and if customer requests for a certain item, they can create it.”
The vines used are found deep in the jungle and it is quite a distance to travel.
Once the vines are brought to the village, they are left to dry then used to weave the desired items and according to the artisans, she said that the reason why the finished item of the product is dark is because it is kept in mud for approximately 3-4 days to get the different types of shades for the finished item.
“Currently I am promoting handmade items and I hope to get Kainantu clay cups and other items later on but currently since I just started, I am assisting bilum weavers and jewelers sell their products also.”
Evelyn said a challenge she faces is that it is quite expensive to bring the stuff over to Port Moresby from Goroka via freight.
“That’s why our price is priced as it is and currently this is our biggest challenge, and we have to cover all costs involved but we are satisfied that we are assisting these artisans sell their products to earn something.”
Entaipy has had individuals living in Australia buy an item or two from her and she would like to directly import the items overseas.
“We understand there are fumigation requirements and a lot of other requirements and for sure it will be an added challenge.”
She will be at the POM City Markets this Sunday 9th May under her stall ‘Handmade Locally’ to showcase her items and products.
“Because it is be Mother’s Day, everything I sell will be discounted by 10%.”