Adi Gani: Sisters’ bridal brand inspired by a mother’s love

Adi Gani creations founders Asenaca (left) and Ana Tamani work on a gift at their home in Kinoya. Picture: SOPHIE RALULU

Though five years apart, sisters Ana and Asenaca Tamani, are peas of the same pod.

They not only grew up together but literally live together and work together.

Under the label, Adi Gani, in memory of their late mum, they have combined their creative acumen to catapult masi bridal wear to new heights.

Still very much the “new kids on the block”, the Saioko, Nakorotubu, Ra sisters with maternal links to Yadrana, Lakeba in Lau, draw strength from family and inspiration from their mentor, Adi Gani.

Although she passed away just as the pair were banding together to make serious headway in business, Adi Gani’s advice and teachings continue to cheer them on.

“Our business started because of mum. She was very creative and artistic. Growing up around her and observing her ply her craft, which she did for free, developed our creative skills and love for the art,” recalled Asenaca.

Both siblings are the product of Suva Grammar School.

While Ana tried pursuing a career in public health after high school Asenaca joined the field of graphic designing.

However, four years ago they decided to collaborate for a future in entrepreneurship, making use of the knowledge and skills their mother taught them.

“We find working together less strenuous than working with others. We complement and understand each other. If I want something done I’ll just ask Asenaca and she’ll do it the way I want it done,” Ana said.

The duo started off designing home-made mirrors as wedding gifts before expanding their brand line to include photo frames, door wreaths, bridal gowns, hairpieces, children’s first birthday attire (masi shirts and sulu for boys and dresses for girls), albums, guest books and bridal bouquets.

Adi Gani products are not ready made which means they are strictly made to order and can only be viewed in photos on their social network pages like Instagram (Adi Gani Creations) and Facebook (Adi Gani).

“For instance, when brides order with us, they will have to tell us the kind of masi they want, the type of provincial print they prefer, the print specifics and all finish details,” Asenaca said.

“Working on a single bridal gown can take up to three months of immaculate step by step detailing and finishing. It’s a lot of hard work.”

The price of an Adi Gani bridal gown starts at $1500.

Orders must be made three months before the wedding day to give ample time for sourcing materials needed and for working on the gown.

The sisters’ latest big project was putting together a wedding dress for a bride who lived in California, USA. “She made contact through Facebook because someone shared our page with her so she wanted me to do something out of the norm with an African-inspired dress neckline.”

“Our tailor had to change needles often and work long hours sewing the gown. Working with masi requires diligent care.”

After a dress is sewn, which usually takes two weeks, the sisters team up for dress alterations which involve things like having a bit of hand painting done to create some semblance of traditional motifs and to break the monotony of plain white or brown.

Normally, there are three fitting sessions before the wedding day.

After the last fittings, final details such as shells, pearls, sequins, magimagi and any other final touches are added.

“For us, our satisfaction comes from getting a hug from a happy bridge, seeing a smile on someone’s face or getting a complimentary thank you. They just push us to do better next time and improve our standards.”

Each custom-made bridal gown comes with complementary gift sets as a way of saying vinaka vakalevu for supporting the cottage business, which is headquartered out of Velau Drive in Kinoya.

Gift sets include bridal bouquet and hairpiece, hairpieces for all bridesmaids and flower girls, a broche each for the groom and his best men and a ring bearer pillow.

“It is important that we make the bride feel special on her wedding day because it is the biggest day of a girl’s life and she has to look stunning and beautiful for her husband,” Asenaca said.

“So we pay attention to what the bride wants. We don’t want our gowns to be like a dress line so when a bride wants a gown that a friend or relative wore on her wedding day we encourage her to come up with her own design, as long as it is comfortable. We want every bride to look uniquely different”

Presently, selling like hot cakes are the Adi Gani hair pieces and birthday attire for one-year-olds.

The two have just shipped off a wedding dress to Koro Island (fiu and masi bridal design) and are already working on an August bridal gown (kuta and masi bridal design) for a bride from Bua.

Ana said she loves to believe their designs have a unique feel and “think” outside the box.

“We keep reinventing ourselves, learning new styles and coming up different traditionally inspired products and gowns not just for weddings but attire for a whole range of celebrations such as graduations and birthdays,” she said.

“With a can-do attitude, we are open to new ideas and we welcome people to tell us what they want to be done and we’d find a way of delivering that to them.”

For the future, Adi Gani hopes to add salusalu and masi clutches to its product portfolio.

“We also hope to one day have our own workshop, to operate from and showcase the things we do. We are a start-up, made a few good pieces last year and feel there’s a lot of room for improvement. This year business has picked up and we can only hope for a brighter future.”

When free, which usually is the weekend, Ana likes to watch murder suspense movies, in between attending to husband and

The two sisters are also gifted with amazing vocal abilities and sing in church on Saturdays as part of a family gospel trio.

“This is just the beginning for us. Like any other business, we face challenges but we also believe we have a lot of potentials to grow and grow.

For Adi Gani, the sky is the limit!” Ana said.


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