Print this page

Making purses, making pareus, making their own paying jobs

Saturday October 19, 2019 Written by Published in Hot on the Rock
Sara Napa was keen to purchase a new purse at the markets.  19101613 Sara Napa was keen to purchase a new purse at the markets. 19101613

Small business doesn’t get much smaller – or much more productive – than the women from Disability Council selling their purses and pareus at the market.


Trendy local crafts are in high demand and selling fast at the markets.

The Cook Islands National Disability Council have been selling their bright and colourful crafts three days a week and they are set to Increase the number of products they are making too.

Their main product are little purses which have been made from material cut-offs from local designers like TAV.

They are selling bags, purses, fabric flowers and pareus and these are made by a couple women who are deaf.

Cook Islands National Disability Council Coordinator Destiny Tolevu, who is helping to sell these crafts, says the money made from selling their products goes back to the women who make them.

“These women are highly independent despite their hearing disability and sometimes it’s difficult to get a job. So they make their own crafts,” says Tolevu.

They are focusing on trending crafts like market bags which are an alternative to using plastic bags when shopping.

They have been able to generate enough money to make more crafts, efficiently.

The goal behind investing in making local crafts is to help improve the economic status of women with disabilities.  

The ladies who make the products love doing it and always coming up with new ideas. In fact, they are eager to release more colourful and creative designs to sell.

All products are affordable for locals and tourists with prices ranging from $5 to $20.

“We make stuff that everyone can use, everyone needs a bag,” says Tolevu.

They are selling at the markets every Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.