For the first time ever, four small businesses from the Pacific will join 500 companies from around the globe in showcasing their products at the Winter 2016 Artisan Resources @ NYNOW Tradeshow in the United States of America, when it opens at the end of this month.

Plantation House (Samoa), Nautilus Books & Gifts (Solomon Islands), Sigavou Studios (Fiji) and Rise Beyond The Reef (Fiji) have been selected to participate at the event, following a competitive process involving over 50 applications from Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands.

Plantation House is a home décor, accessories and fashion business using hand printed elei fabric infused with Pacific inspired designs. The designer and owner behind Plantation House is Marita Wendt.

Nautilus Books & Gifts is a retail and wholesale business in Solomon Islands that specialises in high quality Solomon Islands carving, buka ware baskets and shell money jewellery. Nautilus is owned and managed by husband and wife team, Naomi Tozaka and Richard Majchrzak.

Sigavou Studios, run by Fijian artist Maria Rova, creates original, hand-painted artwork on Fijian masi (barkcloth) made by women from Ekubu village on the remote island of Vatulele in Southern Fiji. Maria works with a team of young emerging artists and studio technicians who assist with the design and production of hand-painted limited edition art on barkcloth and silk.

Rise Beyond the Reef, a Fijian non-profit, works with rural women through their Traditional Contemporary Arts & Crafts Income Generating Program. The programme provides rural remote women with an opportunity to practice their traditional skills and earn a sustainable income to support their families.

The opportunity to showcase Pacific-made creative art in a new market is made possible with the financial support of the European Union and the assistance of the African, Caribbean and Pacific (ACP) Group of States through the “Enhancing the Pacific Cultural Industries: Fiji, Samoa and Solomon Islands” project.

The project is managed by the Pacific Community (SPC) in collaboration with the Pacific Islands Forum Secretariat (PIFS), the Fiji Ministry of Education, Heritage and Arts, Samoa Ministry of Education, Sports and Culture and Solomon Islands Ministry of Culture and Tourism along with the Fiji Arts Council, Samoa Arts Council and Solomon Islands Arts Alliance.

The trade mission aims to develop the profile of Pacific cultural producers in the international market while exposing selected enterprises to international market trends, buyer demands and export distribution expectations.

The Pacific trade mission to New York is being implemented in partnership with ByHand Consulting, a US-based consulting firm that is a key advisor to Artisan Resource.

ByHand supported SPC and PIFS in the selection process and have provided critical guidance to the selected businesses in preparation for the show. The company will also run a pre-show e-marketing campaign and assist with buyer meetings during the event.

The Artisan Resources @ NYNOW Tradeshow will take place in New York from 31 January to 3 February, 2016. The popular tradeshow is held twice a year in New York City and attracts over 30,000 buyers from over 80 countries.

More information on the tradeshow can be found at www.nynow.com/handmade/artisan-resource/.

Media contacts: Jessie McComb, SPC Culture Officer, jessiem@spc.int or +679 337 9495
Mohammed Nazeem Kasim, EU Press Officer, Mohammed-Nazeem.KASIM@eeas.europa.eu or +679 331 3633
Jordie Kilby – PIFS Communications Adviser – media@forumsec.org or +679 322 0348