Ms. Susan Dora says nothing can stop her from selling seashells at the Honiara main market.
Susan comes from Burugia village in Gela, Central Islands Province.
Today, she is a familiar face at the Honiara main market. While vendors might not think much of selling items such as sea shells, for Susan she says it is a lucrative business.
She started selling sea shells last year after she was approached by an Asian guy.
"He was looking for seashells to buy. Right after he left, I decided straightaway to include seashells in my list of items for sale at the market. I thought to myself when I go back to my home village at Burugia I will spend time diving and look for different types of seashells,” she said with a smile.
She says the reaction by her family when she told them of her plan was encouraging.
“They did not waste time in preparing their diving gear,” she said as she arranged her shells into different colors and shapes.
Susan says her elder sister assisted her. They paddled to an Island just outside of Gela, a few kilometres from her village. There they set up camp and spent a month on the Island looking for seashells.
She says in her next trip to the market, she brought the seashells as well as vegetables for sale.
"Not even an hour after I displayed those shells a woman walked by. The seashells caught her eyes and she walked straight to my table and asked for the price of the shells. After I told her the price, without a word she collected the shells, selecting the ones that she wanted. The total was SBD$3600. She even asked if i still have more shells in my bag,” a visibly delighted Susan recalls.
Susan says seashells are on high demand at the Honiara central market. People buy the shells for decoration purposes.
“Though I am experiencing slow income these days, most people in Honiara either local or expatriates as well as Asians are looking for shells to buy”, Susan says.
Today at the Honiara central market Susan is the only seashell vendor.