AWE Alumna channels her passion into fashion in Papua New Guinea

Micheal Johnson

Short article by Naomi Hampton, intern with the U.S. Section of Condition, now learning Heritage and Politics of the Americas at University Higher education London.

Bonnie Naua stands with one particular of her types at the AWE Summit in Malaysia. Photo Credit: Amelia Shaw

[Papua New Guinea, March 2023] Bonnie Naua, an Academy for Women of all ages Business owners (AWE) exchange alumna, is generating a special contribution to community type with her business Saroni Tailoring Services.  Inspired by standard garments from her residence country of Papua New Guinea and her passion for manner, Naua has observed a way to celebrate the island nation’s lively culture by way of tailor made clothing, and is sharing her business with wider audiences throughout Asia.

The 3rd most significant island nation in the planet, Papua New Guinea – also recognized as “PNG” – is house to over 1,000 diverse lifestyle groups who communicate 839 recognised languages. Naua herself will come from the Koke Gubarei Idibana 1 Clan, which is an ethnic team recognized for its Lagatoi canoe making and clay pottery. Naua makes use of her cultural heritage as inspiration for her garments models, and with competencies she learned via AWE she is spreading her organization information to other girls.

Bonnie Naua is third from right at Miss PNG 1992. Photograph Credit rating: Silver Soul Studios

Naua uncovered her passion at 19 a long time old, whilst collaborating in area attractiveness pageants. She claimed the trendy clothes she bought to have on soon after currently being named the runner-up in Miss PNG 1992 made her sense a connection with clothing. She began developing and generating clothing with a sewing equipment she acquired as a reward from 1 of her neighbors, and in 2014, she took her enthusiasm to the up coming stage by participating in a yr-long instruction class at PNG Garment and Textile Instruction Centre in the money, Port Moresby.

When she graduated, she opened her business Saroni Tailoring Expert services. Naua incorporates classic designs into the prints, indicating it is a way to maintain her culture alive.

A person of Naua’s styles at her style display at the Hilton Lodge in the cash, Port Moresby. Picture credit history: Silver Soul Studios

She initial received support from the U.S. govt to broaden her business enterprise in 2019 when she took aspect in the Hawaiian Altering Female Faces Leadership Method hosted by the U.S. academic institution at the East-West Middle, which permitted her to link with women from 30 nations around the world in Asia and the Pacific to have interaction with U.S. authorities and share enterprise suggestions.

She was thrilled when she was chosen to be section of AWE later that 12 months. For Naua, AWE helped her construct far more connections with gals in her own region and reignite her passion for jogging a business enterprise – specially when the COVID-19 financial crisis hit a 12 months later.

Some of the women displaying off their creations. Picture Credit score: Silver Soul Studios

The pandemic pressured Naua to near her store, but her AWE teaching served her persevere and even grow. Naua at the moment operates Saroni Tailoring out of her household, exactly where she’s now amassed several electric powered sewing machines, industrial straight sewers, and an overlocker. Even though she misses the little shop she after experienced, she mentioned working the small business at property allows her to help save cash and invest the cash back again into her community by means of coaching applications.

Ladies marking out the sample onto material in the course of 1 of the teaching applications. Photograph credit: Silver Soul Studios

“Although it’s been challenging, I’m really a believer of the American expressing, ‘making anything out of nothing,’ and that is precisely what I have accomplished below,” Naua said.

In addition to promoting apparel, Saroni Tailoring Products and services holds week-very long schooling plans for up to 10 females at a time from rural areas. Just about every plan teaches women how to make an item of outfits from scratch, supplying ladies with expertise to start their have enterprises and develop into financially independent – competencies Naua herself uncovered by the AWE program.

Bonnie and the other AWE alumnae from PNG the AWE summit in Kuala Lumpur in 2023. Photograph Credit: Amelia Shaw

“These U.S. federal government systems seriously made me dust the cobwebs out of my eyes and concentrate on reinvigorating my small business,” Naua reported.

As a tiny, rural-dependent business with a varying range of team depending on the time, Naua reported she hopes to extend her organization into the East Asian sector and share her common styles with the globe.

Letter to AWE contributors attending the AWE Summit, written by U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris. Image: U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur

She obtained the opportunity to do just that though attending the AWE Women’s Summit in Malaysia in March 2023, wherever she shared her patterns with almost 200 AWE alumnaei and enterprise professionals from 10 nations around the world about Asia and the Pacific.

By interactive workshops led by company leaders from Amazon Website Products and services and Silicon Valley, AWE Summit participants obtained the prospect to discover from slicing-edge U.S. professionals in enterprise know-how, and network with other ladies business owners from throughout the location. And they had been elated when the U.S. Ambassador to Malaysia study a letter published by Vice President Kamala Harris, praising AWE’s do the job to encourage women’s financial empowerment all-around the environment.

For Naua and the other AWE alumnae present, it was a large chance to community and share company ideas. “I’m turning 50 a long time outdated this calendar year,” Naua explained. “It’s time to showcase my models.”

Naua was just one of virtually 200 AWE alumnae to attend the 2023 AWE Summit in Malaysia. Image Credit score: U.S. Embassy Kuala Lumpur

The Academy for Women Business people, a U.S. Office of Point out method, presents countless numbers of women of all ages like Naua the information, networks and access they will need to start and expand successful corporations. Due to the fact 2019, AWE has used DreamBuilder, which was formulated by Arizona Point out University’s Thunderbird School of Global Management and Freeport-McMoRon Basis, to empower a lot more than 25,000 females business owners in 100 nations around the world to observe their dream of proudly owning a enterprise. Beyond Papua New Guinea, AWE operates in sevenother island nations in the Pacific,the Pacific, serving to roughly 1,200 women business people on Fiji, Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, New Zealand, the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, Niue and Samoa to mature their firms and attain their full financial potential.

For extra data about AWE, go to: https://eca.state.gov/awe.

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