My entrepreneurial story started when I finished university in Auckland, New Zealand. I chose to come back and make use of my knowledge and skills here in the Kingdom of Tonga. Unfortunately, it can be a struggle at times to find a decent job here in the Kingdom. So I started thinking of ways to earn my own income without sitting at home, with no income, and waiting for that phone call from a job that isn't so sure of me. I started by using my photography hobby as a way to earn a little income for myself, also selling varieties of products on Tonga's Online Garage Sale.
First of all, my photography journey started with me just being passionate about photography. I bought my first decent camera in late 2020 and started taking pictures of family members, friends, my surroundings (landscapes), etc. I self-taught myself most times by learning from other photographers online and the key was to practice, practice, practice! Like they truly say, practice makes perfect. I knew I wasn’t very skilled in doing photography like professional photographers, so I started practicing my photography skills by doing random portraits and event shoots for free. Every event that I was invited to, such as family birthdays, weddings, engagements, and so on, I would make sure to capture everything that caught the audience’s attention.
Slowly, as I started posting a glimpse of my work online, I started to receive compliments from strangers about what I do. However, I still don’t consider myself good enough, YET. I try my best most times to believe in myself and believe that one day I will reach the level other professional photographers are on. But, sometimes I get discouraged by my surroundings. My surroundings can sometimes have no faith in the things that I do for myself, but they don’t matter to me. I try my best to have faith in myself and make sure to stand on my own two feet and not depend on anyone.
My goals and visions for the future have always been sharp from the very beginning and I am sure with what I want to do with my life. Being a young entrepreneur can be challenging most times, and this is also because of the lack of experience that I have with the things that I do. I am still learning every day with what I do and for that I am grateful. The purpose of the products that I sell is to make people in Tonga (targeted towards youths) feel confident, pretty and complete at events. These products include women and men clothing, shoes, makeup, hair accessories, jewellery, including event decorations, such as balloon garlands for birthdays, weddings, and gender reveals, etc.
Selling these event products sparked in me when I left for events in the past few years and realizing the issue of people having little to no access to quality clothing, decorations, and accessories for events. I started by ordering just a small amount of products and seeing how it goes. I was amazed by the demand of people towards these products. So I kept going and selling more and more of these products online.
Long story short, with big visions and goals for myself, I believe that what I do will become big one day. Every day I wake up hungry for success and always prepared to become a better version of myself than who I was yesterday. With what I’m doing, I know that one day; I will look back and be proud of myself and all the hard work I’m investing my time into. But till then, the grind continues.
My photography work
TYEE Innovation/Admin and Media