People | Couple ventures into business

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Adi Lamawanaivalu Vesikula, Manoa Dawaibalavu and their daughter enjoy a day out together. Picture: SUPPLIED

Remember your humble beginnings and keep picking yourself up no matter how many times you fall.

It’s a simple, time-tested and proven philosophy that’s worked everywhere and every time it has been applied, and the same has rung true for Adi Lamawanaivalu Veiskula and Manoa Dawabalavu, a couple who have built an enterprise from the ground up.

Adi Lamawanaivalu’s inspiring journey unfolded when she returned from studying in Japan to face unemployment as a result of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Faced with challenges, she turned adversity into opportunity by discovering the potential of flaxseed gel.

“I came across the flaxseed gel and decided to try it, and ever since business has been growing from there,” says Adi Lamawanaivalu.

The initial struggle to make ends meet transformed into a thriving business focused on creating a product rich in vitamin C and omega-3 fatty acids, catering to the needs of those seeking nourished and healthier hair.

“So, it helps a lot with curls and repairing damaged hair, and it keeps the hair healthy,” says Adi Lamawanaivalu.

In the midst of uncertainty, Adi Lamawanaivalu and her dedicated husband Manoa Dawaibalavu embarked on their entrepreneurial journey.

“We used to do deliveries every day after work,” says Adi Lamawanaivalu, reminiscing about the days when they personally delivered flaxseed products.

And together, they demonstrated an unwavering commitment to meet their customers’ demands.

“It was hectic, but we did it because the demand was there,” says Adi Lamawanaivalu.

Mr Dawaibalavu, having faced financial hardships upon arriving on the main island from Labasa, took on the challenges to secure employment.

“I came from Vanua Levu to study here on the main island,” he said.

His journey from Communications Fiji Ltd to managing Fiji Village’s online platform paved the way for his entrepreneurial aspirations.

“Afterwards, I worked at Fiji Village, managing their page online and everything, and then I left last year,” Mr Dawaibalavu said.

Leaving his job, he identified a gap in the market and seized the opportunity to open a barber shop, 360 Fades, in collaboration with his wife’s successful coconut-based product line, Coconut Crush.

The decision to open 360 Fades on January 22 this year represented the culmination of their vision and determination.

“Success is not overnight,” said Adi Lawawanaivalu.

Located in Nabua, right across from the Shop N Save Supermarket, the barber shop is a hub for Adi Lamawanaivalu’s hair care products.

The couple’s partnership exemplifies the fusion of creativity and practicality, combining Adi Lamawanaivalu’s flourishing flaxseed business with her husband’s vision for affordable and stylish haircuts.

Their joint enterprise serves as a testament to the rewards of hard work, dedication and a shared commitment to realising their dreams.

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