Origami jewellery Fijian style
9 July, 2017, 12:00 am
GROWING up Peniette Seru wanted to become a doctor but she chose a different path when she entered Brigham Young University in Hawaii.
After graduating with a degree in computer science in 2014, she returned to the country before making the bold decision of moving to Japan, where she has been living for the past two years.
Educated at the Latter-day Saints Primary School, Jai Narayan College and Fiji Latter-day Saints Church College, the Lawaki, Kadavu lass with maternal links to Else’e, Malhaha, Rotuma is now an English instructor for a conversational company in Japan.
It was while being based at Toyota City that she fell in love with her newfound passion — origami. Origami is the Japanese art of paper folding, which dates back to the early 17th century.
What started as a hobby grew into an “obsession over art and craft especially handmade items” and has now turned out to be a business venture.
“I was self-taught in making earrings and it’s so fascinating to me that you can make so many different shapes with just one square piece of paper.
“A friend of mine makes her own jewellery and that was what inspired me. Then people started responding positively to my social media posts and that gave me motivation to start selling,” she said.
Since opening her small Seven Charm Treasures, online jewellery shop in March of this year, the 27-year-old has received orders from across the globe, with the highlight being when Fiji One TV personality Ms Drue Slatter purchased and wore the earrings while reporting the news.
“I’ve received orders from the US, UK, Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, France, Israel and Japan.
“My shop is self-owned and self-run so when orders are made through an online platform that I use, I make, package earrings in gift boxes and ship out the
orders myself and the support has just been incredible.”
The saying you can take a person out of Fiji but you cannot take Fiji out of the person, rings true for the young entrepreneur.
“My inspiration comes from the fact that I was born and raised in Fiji, and working in Japan has made me gain an appreciation for their culture and art. My idea is to combine the two cultures and art to turn it into a product.
“My mum told me, ‘things will always work out the way it’s supposed to be in the end, you just need to do your part’.”
So what is the future like for Ms Seru?
“I’m going to try new ideas that I have, and to young entrepreneurs, don’t be afraid to take risks while you’re young.
“For me, my greatest fear is regretting not being able to try or do something.”