The red stalls at Central Market


ON opposite ends of Central Market’s parking area are bright red stalls neatly lined and filled with clothes but most especially colorful dresses that sway from side to side.

Already popular with women in the capital, these dresses have been are worn for church services, work and on special occasions.

Yesterday Island Sun caught up Ms Ellen Tamirara from Auki who like other women at the stalls are involved in the handmade dress business.

The first thing she stated was that the business has been a good source of income for her family which included her sisters and nieces all part of their circle of the sewing and selling components which result in the number of pretty dresses that hover each other neatly hanging at their stall.

Ms Tamirara expressed that some of them sew dresses and others sell them at the stall.

The task is not easy as it takes up to several hours just to sew up to 20-30 dresses.

The number of dresses sewed also depends on the number of materials purchased.

“If we have a lot of material then we will sew more dresses,” said Ms Tamirara.

They also have customers who place orders for desires dresses as well as those who bring in their measurements for the type of dress they fancy.

“This has been a daily job for all of us. Every day we sew dresses and we find this as a good way of helping us to earn an income”, said Ms Tamirara.

She mentioned that if sales are good they can earn up to $2,000 to $3,000 in a day.

During festive seasons like Christmas the above figure is much less compares to what they earn which can be up to $10,000 in one day.

Money earned is then used to purchase sewing machines, clothing materials and also helps them to cover all of their household needs.

While many of us may take a break from work during public holidays, these days are normal working days for these ladies who are busy sorting out materials, cutting and sewing dresses to sell when normal business days resume.

Ms Tamirara added that what she sees from this business is that it is different from a paid job because for them money is earned daily whereas for those with paid jobs it takes more than a week to get paid.

These hardworking ladies learned to sew dresses on their own and began selling their dresses in 2008.

Today, they are still at it.

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