Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Interesting spread of products on sale at Festive Street Mall in Danga Bay, Johor

Colourful variety: Trader Siti Hafidzah Md Arshad (right), 25, from Alor Gajah, Malacca, attending to her customer Norsazawani Salim, 21, at her booth.
He is a qualified engineer, but Mohd Shuaimi Mokthar gave it all up to turn his long time love for batik painting into a lucrative business.

The 34-year-old said he first learnt the art at a batik factory out of desperation at the age of 15, as he had to help supplement his family’s meagre income.

“I started work then as my father was a farmer and found it hard to provide for his family of nine children on his income alone,” said Mohd Shuaimi.

The father of two who hails from Pasir Mas, Kelantan, said that when he started out, he had to juggle his studies with his painting and only got paid about RM8 for each finished piece.

Miniature art: Muhammad Khairol Alias, 23, displaying his 'kuda kepang' souvenirs.
“Now my pieces sell for between RM120 to RM300 each,” he said when met during the six-day National Craft Sale at the Festive Street Mall in Danga Bay.

Mohd Shuaimi had reason enough to smile as he made RM35,000 in sales and bookings from March 20-25.

He confessed though that this was not his highest takings as he had made RM48,000 over four days during the Umno Convention at the Putra World Trade Centre last year.

Florence Skim Sujang, 41, from Kuching, was depending on foreigners, particularly Singaporeans, to make up the bulk of her customers.

“I usually receive many bookings for my rattan products that I bring from Sarawak,” she said.

Skillful: Mohd Diah Ariffin, 62, from Batu Pahat, playing the traditional musical instrument, the gambus.
One of the youngest entrepreneurs there, Siti Hafidzah Md Arshad, 25, said she too received good response from her customers despite starting her business only two months ago.

Kraftangan Malaysia promoter Hardiana Johar said the exhibition was aimed at proving that Malaysian products were as good in quality as products from other countries.

The sale was held in conjunction with Visit Malaysia Year 2007 and organised by the Kraftangan Malaysia Johor branch, showcasing merchandise from 55 entrepreneurs nationwide.

The local artists and craftsmen displayed their skills and creativity with an interesting spread of products that included batik, woodcarvings, ceramics and fine glass carvings.

Source : STAR
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