Made from scratch, Tunuloa entrepreneur’s herbal
Even with limited available resources, 26-year Laisani Waqaiquma managed to set up a herbal body balm business.
Home-based at Korovonu village of Tunuloa, Ms Waqaiquma started the business from scratch with empty bottles. She has since progressed to tin containers to store herbal body balm.
Ms Waqaiquma said her business idea developed from attending training organised by the Buca Bay Organic Farm Association where she learnt to make body balms.
“I also help out in looking after a bee farm here in Korovonu where I get a share of the honey to produce body balm.” Ms Waqaiquma lives with her siblings in Korovonu.
She thought of starting the business to help contribute financially to her family’s needs.
“I also make virgin coconut oil and masi which I have also used in the design for my body balm sticker.
“It has been a year since I started doing this business.
“My brother who lives in Nadi helped design my sticker and I had it printed from a shop in Savusavu,” she said.
For orders, she advertises her product on her personal Facebook page.
“I have had orders from Taveuni, Savusavu, Nadi, Lautoka and Suva.
“For some of these orders, I use (EMS) Express Mail Service courier and (CDP) Couriers Documents and Parcels Services (CDP) to transport my products,” she said.
She said to make herbal body balm product, she uses a basin, medium-sized pot and a stove.
“Depending on the amount of virgin coconut oil available, I can make 12 tins of body balm from a one litre bottle of virgin coconut oil,” she said.
She hopes to set up a warehouse or a shed to manufacture her products and share her knowledge about operating a business with the youth of Korovonu.