Interview with Ms Christine Pickering

Ms Christine Pickering, the entrepreneur and Creative Director behind Kavara WoodArt

Christine Pickering showing us some of her artwork

These days it is not enough to be an artist. Artists also need to be entrepreneurs to ensure their art can also support their livelihoods. This is the focus of this interview with Ms Pickering.

1. Tell us a little about your existing business venture, and the story behind Kavara WoodArt?

Our primary business is Niu Venture Forests which is involved in Fiji’s Timber Industry, we purchase sustainably harvested logs (log plots that have undergone an environmental assessment) and turn them into profiled timber products. Kavara WoodArt was born from the idea of utilizing this precious resource ensuring our logs are used to their full potential and not gone to waste.

2. We understand that you are trying new concepts for Kavara WoodArt and a Jewelry line is on the horizon?

Yes, we just launched our jewelry line to ensure all the different sizes of our wood is utilized.

3. Being a full time mom and entrepreneur must be quite challenging, how do you manage it all?

Working from home is helpful, but it’s all about managing my time. Ensuring that I have time for my kids and family as well as my passion for the work that I do through Kavara. Getting my kids involved as well helps, they inspire me and learn about this precious resource.

4. How do you see your business helping more people over time or how it empowers people, improves living conditions, and contributes to overall economic well-being and sustainable development?

I hope to grow the business by empowering the disadvantaged (people living with disabilities, young, uneducated, etc.). Teaching people who lack qualifications to find a decent job, teaching people that craft work and art is also a form of business.

5. Tell us a little on your source of motivation?

Sustainability! This idea was created in order to ensure our timber business is seen as one that is sustainable, utilizing the resources to its entirety with less to no wastage as well as a replanting initiative.

6. What are some of the challenges that you faced or continue to face in terms of establishing your business?

Capital, being an SME having limited capital limits your growth!

Female Empowerment! When we first started in the timber industry I was the only female in the timber yard!

7. How do you see this challenges being addressed?

Capital – we learn to manage funds and projects step by step due to the limited funds.

Female Empowerment – I hope to employ more women in the industry as I believe women have a greater attention to detail and would make the perfect timber graders and finishes for our products.

8. What is your source of funding and do you propose to utilise sustainable alternatives in your business?

Our business has been self-funded thus far, we hope to look for grants that we could benefit from to setup our value adding facility.

9. What other prospective venture from you can we look forward to in the near future?

Look out for more Kavara Products we have always launched a new style or product every 2 months!

10. What is your sustainable business venture message for emerging entrepreneurs?

Being an SME we need to utilize the resources we have to its maximum potential allowing us to grow not only sustainably but also profitably. Ensuring you have a sustainable business model is crucial in this day and age.

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You can connect with Ms Pickering on her Facebook page KavaraFiji

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Note: If you enjoyed reading this Exec Interview you may also enjoy reading our other previous interviews. You can find them here.