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Tropical flowers are in bloom all year round in Fiji

Tropical flowers are in bloom all year around and everywhere you turn in the Fiji Islands.

It is little wonder that local artists are inspired by these beautiful gifts of nature and that floral motifs feature prominently in their work.

One such artist is Harry Tivaknoa. He has taken his inspiration a step further and named his clothing and accessories brand Kapui Kreations after the ginger flower.

Kapui is Rotumn for ginger flower. The kapui is a flower that blooms today and does not wilt tomorrow, he explains.

My brand is about producing creations that retain their quality over a period of time, he says. Each piece is unique.

Different colours and techniques ensure that no two pieces are the same. Everything is handmade.

Harry takes an experimental approach to designing, saying that he tries out different ways of working and sometimes arrives at the end result through mistakes.

He also does not try to repeat patterns and styles and is constantly on the search for something new.

The frangipani and orchid make frequent appearances in his prints and also as motifs for earrings and other accessories.

Most accessories are made from natural materials like coconut shells, seashells, clay, bamboo, masi and coconut fibre. The emphasis is on local materials and local talent, he says.

The accessories line includes earrings, necklaces, brooch pins, bracelets, anklets, armlets and hairpins.

The clothing range features T-shirts, shirts, jackets, dresses, and bags. Customers can choose to have items custom made to suit their tastes.

Kapui Kreations also takes orders for special occasions such as weddings.
Harry is a primary school teacher turned artist.

After teaching for 17 and a half years, he resigned in 1997 to start his brand. He has slowly built up the line since.

When I first started, I was participating in Saturday markets, he says. Slowly, this progressed to keeping a stall on Thursday, Friday and Saturday at the Downtown Boulevard in Suva. He now runs a stall from Monday through Saturday at the Boulevard.

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