HANDICRAFT makers in Vanua Levu breathed a sigh of relief after the opening of a handicraft shop in Labasa last week.
The opening of the first-ever handicraft shop in town means the makers can directly sell their products to timber and blockworks shop instead of having to rely on orders from local buyers.
Shop owner Vinesh Dayal said the new shop would not only generate income for handicraft makers but also promote the tourism industry in the Northern Division.
"We started on a low profile as we work towards making sure we add value to what the northern economy has to offer in terms of tourism," he said.
"At the moment, we are buying our items from Viti Levu but as we proceed we will involve local women and youths so we can purchase their products. We want the northern economy to grow and this is one way we can offer our help."
Mr Dayal said a successful business was not only about making money but also fulfilling its innovation and social responsibilities.
"At least we are helping the 13 workers and their families as we employ them in this new investment.
"We are encouraging the people in Vanua Levu to engage in handicraft making so we don't have to buy such products from Suva," said Mr Dayal.
Shop assistant Surendra Prasad said a lot of people had bought items from the shop since it opened.