People: Parents cement son’s passion

Pratik Dutt with mum displays their products at the Garden City in Suva. Picture: JONA KONATACI

Pratek Dutt may be only 10-years-old but his vision to make handmade ornaments out of cement has pushed his parents to start a home-based business.

The Year 9 student of Rishkul Primary School was spotted helping his mother during Garden City Market day at Raiwai.

Pratek’s mum, Sandhiya Naidu, said they crafted a range of handmade ornaments made out of cement to beautify the home and garden.

“The business was my son’s initiative,” she said.

“We started the business two months ago and we are also doing online sales through Facebook.”

Ms Naidu said the small business had received positive feedback from customers.

“Customers were pleasantly surprised to learn that the business was started by my 10-year-old son.”

Ms Naidu works as a procurement officer with Vinod Patel at its Centrepoint branch, along Ratu Dovi Rd in Nasinu.

“This is our side business. Once it is fully operational, I might decide to be fully engage in the business so I can give my customers the best service in terms of creating ornaments that suit their specific needs.”

Ms Naidu said COVID-19 had been difficult for her family because she was away from work during the lockdown.

“At first customers were not really eager, but once I started to do marketing and informed people of what we had to sell, interest began to pick up.

“The prices range from $5 for the small ornaments and $25 to $35 for the larger ones.”

She explained how she created the ornaments, saying all that was needed was creativity and drive.

“First, I make the cuttings, then I make my base, prepare the mixture and then I design it and then let it to dry.

“I give it two days to dry and carve it, then after the product is finished I do the paintings and finishing touches.”

Ms Naidu said she hoped to export her ornaments in the future.

“We hope to return to the next market day on July 10, to meet people and promote more of our products.”

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