Everyday People PNG: Hannah Aria

My name is Hannah Aria, from Vailala East in the Gulf Province. I am been blessed with two beautiful boys and we have fun every day in our own little crew.

I raise my boys to be vibrant and to express themselves freely but also to be great citizens of this country.

Growing up, my parents were strict with me so quite contrary to what my friends may think, I was an extreme introvert. It is safe to say, I am the opposite today.

When I was younger, my ultimate goal was to be an architect, but once I reached University, my dad introduced me to Leo Wafiwa, during registration at the UPNG and four years later, I graduated with a Degree in Journalism and Public Relations. The best decision ever.

I left formal work in Television Production three years ago and decided to take part in the MSME space where my passion for media production and fashion led me to create two MSMEs.

I freelance in media production and public relations in my small business ROOKPro Entertainment. I filmed my first short film with my best friends two years ago called “Bubu Dewaar”.

I am also doing a bit of fashion design with my label Karoro Designs and have showcased only five of my first streetwear collections “Black Croc Edition” at the 2021 Digicel Virtual Runway.

Being an entrepreneur the biggest challenge is raising enough capital where I have to meet my sales targets to be able to continue providing a service sufficiently, at the same time making enough to live comfortably in the city.

In ROOKPro, I engage other freelancers in my projects, but even then, today is all about “who you know” in order to get the better gigs and for Karoro Designs, when I have a large order, it takes me quite some time to produce because I do everything by myself.

From sketch/design, print, cut, sew and even do my own packaging, again, it comes down to making enough money and If you make enough you can hire extra hands to help and cut down on production time.

Another thing that can help me cut down on production time is to have my own textile print on my garments. Currently, there is no in-country facility that prints designs on fabrics and most designers are having their fabrics printed overseas, which can be quite costly.

One thing’s for sure, I have gained a whole lot of experience from being the buyer to now being the seller and I see things more clearly than I once did, especially when you have to manage things on your own.

As a sole trader, you have the overall perspective of how your brand stands in the market place and how you design your product, how you will produce it and the time taken, who your target audiences are and how it is packaged and marketed.

I hope to build on my brands in the future and be able to provide a better life for my kids. My success is their success and theirs is mine too.

Carol Kidu