Stories & articles of our work & our people
After making its debut in early 2014, Makeki Online – Samoa’s number one trading forum, has changed the way Samoans buy, sell and advertise over the course of just four years.
Hosted via Facebook, the platform originally catered to locals who wanted to sell off their unused household items, clothes or appliances and make some extra cash.
Today, Makeki Online has over 45, 000 members (and counting) and receives on average 150 member requests each day. From cars to pieces of land, electronics, clothes, businesses, pets or even compatible blood donors – everything and almost anything can be found or advertised on Makeki Online.
But what is the secret behind the success of this simple Facebook Page? The secret which has boosted MO’s following far beyond anything other local traders have seen?
According to Founder, Mose ‘Nitrous’ Mose – the total sales in the last year facilitated by the page have amounted to almost $700,000 tala.
Speaking to Samoa Planet at the UNDP Youth Co-Lab, Mose revealed the simple vision and recipe for success which started it all.
“Makeki Online first started because I saw an opportunity – a gap. At the time, the majority of people perceived Faceook as ‘the internet’. Affordable internet access was also being introduced then, which led Facebook-accessibility to become the driving force behind Makeki Online.”
“When it started we had no ads or sponsorship to boost posts or anything like that, it grew organically, from word-of-mouth. People started buying and selling, and adding in their friends and family and next thing you know we had 500 followers.”
Mose says that once the following count reached 500 and then later 1000, he knew he’d need help in administrating the page. He then reached out to close friends Kent Onesemo and Thomas Seuao, who are fellow Admins and co-share the responsibility of filtering through the hundreds of messages, member requests and complaints received each week.
Mose continued, “It’s a real team effort and dedication. We all have our own schedules and timetable for the page. Kent is currently studying for his Master’s overseas, but he’s still online helping out during his shifts. We’ve found that the best time for admin work is actually in the early hours of the morning.”
“We do go through a lot of data each week, and it’s all from our own pockets. But we are getting close to where we want to be and God has been helping us through all these years. We’ve built all these relationships with people and MO does have a local reputation, so that’s why we’ve just recently opened up to the whole idea of including our identities on the page. Before that, we were all kind of anonymous.”
As a full-time Computers and Physics Lecturer at the National University of Samoa, Mose says that it’s the daily norm for him to be scrolling and checking posts and messages as he walks between classes.
“There’s also been a lot of challenges, we deal with all sorts of people different opinions, each with different things that they want or suggest. We also have to handle technical issues, complaints and even deal with people who are reported to be selling stolen items. It’s a lot to take in. But we are committed to this page and the accessibility its giving our people.”
“At the end of the day, Makeki Online is here to cater for Samoa, for our people and if it can bring in some money for families out there- then that’s great.”
Mose says that plans to expand Makeki Online’s reach are already underway with a separate website already constructed.
He said, “MO is still a Facebook group in the meantime, but we’re in the second year of working on the website. We’re just moving everything more towards the actual internet and less reliant on Facebook as the platform itself. We will never leave Facebook, but when we started-Facebook was ‘the internet’ to people. We built up on that, but we’re also moving forward with the website and a Mobile App which should be launching soon.”
“In terms of other websites and trading platforms – our focus has always been not to compete – let everyone do their own thing. We trust what God is doing and if it is His Will, He will take us to the next level. But all-in-all, this will always be my testimony – we started with God, and everything else fell into place. There’s a lot of challenges and responsibilities, we deal with all sorts of people every day- but it’s been a great journey and we’re all thankful the support we’ve received from everyone.”
If you haven’t already checked it out, visit Makeki Online www.facebook.com/groups/makekionline/
SBN Samoa Awards 2017
SBN Business Innovation & Young Entrepreneur Awards held at Kofe Haus Nov last year.
Published on Samoa Planet
June 25, 2018
By Shivani Sharma
Original Article - http://www.samoaplanet.com/secret-behind-samoas-makeki-online-success/
Selected Designers and Fashion creatives all around the Pacific are in homing in on final preparations as the 2018 London Pacific Fashion Week draws closer.
This year, Samoan Designer, Cecilia Keil of Cecilia’s Fashion House will be representing Samoa at the annual event which will be held from the 13th -17th September 2018 in the UK.
Keil has over two decades of experience in designing original Samoan creations, which have established her as one of the most recognizable brands Samoa has to offer.
Also showcasing this year is: Forkleaf – Australia, Shannon Brett-Australia, VARU – Cook Islands, Kuiviti Couture – Fiji, PNGian Kala-PNG, AA’s Tribal – PNG, Bou Fonua-Tonga, Jeanine Clarkin – New Zealand, Exclusive by OffDaRock – American Samoa and Amatalines – Nauru.
London Pacific Fashion Week was established in October 2012, originally as a fundraiser for the British Armed Forces registered charity – Help for Heroes.
LPFW acts as a platform for designers living and working in the Pacific to engage with the fashion industry and represent them exclusively in the United Kingdom.
To do this, a select number of fashion designers from the Pacific travel to London every September for the event which coincides with London Fashion Week, both to promote their brands and gain further experience in the Global fashion world.
Having witnessed the connection between fashion, culture and the environment during her time in the fashion industry, founder of LPFW and former Military Service personnel, Fijian-born Ms Ana Lavekau recently announced that LPFW’s theme for the next three years will be ‘Climate change in the Pacific’ (#ClimateChangeinthePacific).
Photo credit: Cecilia Keil & Cecilia Fashion House Samoa
Published in Samoa Planet
By Shivani Sharma 4 Jul 2018
Link to Samoa Planet article: http://www.samoaplanet.com/samoan-designer-named-2018-london-pacific-fashion-week/
Published in Samoa Observer
By Anina Kazaz
A local jam manufacturing company in Samoa is empowering villagers with new skills and providing them with an opportunity to earn an income in rural Samoa.
Cedric Holtz, who established Ma'oi in 2015 and runs a factory in Poutasi, Falealili on the south coast of the island of Upolu, said he currently employs up to 15 workers.
“My belief is that the pay is the small portion of what they got from working here. They bring these skills home and are able to teach others. The training is what is important. They learn to understand the relation to the consequences of their actions, to plan,” he told the Business team.
“The other side of giving a job is the learning process the employees get by learning a way of working, which is through the diversity of the job in the fabric challenging and touches many tasks and asks for different skills.”
On top of the job opportunities, Cedric buys his fruits directly from local farmers and pays $150 per cent of the international market price.
The fruit can stay as long as possible on the tree and the risk of damage is less, which means we can use the best fruits. It is a benefit to the village and for us as well to be able to do a great and high quality product.”
His company currently manufactures 40 assorted jam products – all made from local fruit grown in Samoa – which are then sold in shops in Samoa and exported to Japan. There are plans to expand their operation and increase production to 10,000 tonnes per month, as currently they have the capacity to produce 5000 tonnes.
Discussing his expansion plans, Cedric said he continues to look for people who want to work and are committed.
“I look for more employees in people that need work and want to work hard. The only thing I can say is I am trying to give employment to the people who want to work hard.”
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