THE first National Women's Expo 2014 — Rural Women's Designer Awards night — featured many rural women hoping to spread the word of Fiji's beautiful and peaceful surrounding.
For Lusiana Buli Naimoso, 50, entering the competition was an achievement and to be recognised as the first runner up in the Fijian category evening gown designs was an honour.
Mrs Naimoso, who is disabled, said she did not see her disability as a setback.
Representing the Fiji Disabled People's Federation Rewa branch, Mrs Naimoso's 19-year-old niece on Tuesday night modelled their winning evening attire that earned them $150 in prizemoney at last year's Rural Women's Fashion show.
"I have been using local materials and gather inspiration to actually put together a design from just looking at Fiji's beautiful surroundings," Mrs Naimoso said.
"I am grateful and happy as this kind of events will help us rural women gain more knowledge of what the fashion industry expects from us.
"Although I am disabled, it did not deter me from achieving something for myself, my family and the disabled people in the Nausori and Rewa area".
Mrs Naimoso thanked the Ministry of Social Welfare, Women and Poverty Alleviation for encouraging women to showcase their talents through the fashion shows.
She said the sewing machine distribution project had worked well to their advantage as it had given them a chance of earning an income.