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Tofilau Fiti Leung Wai’s business, Samoa Stationery and Books (SSAB) is a household name in Samoa. Literally.
The 44-year-old businesswoman uses her love of books to help serve her country on a much larger scale - by providing access to books and educational materials in an aim to improve literacy in Samoa.
A mother of four and former lecturer at the National University of Samoa, it’s no surprise that Tofilau believes education is a weapon.
“I know that an educated society would result in economic prosperity and reduced crime,” she says.
"My passion for books went hand in hand with providing affordable stationery.”
10 years on and branches in American Samoa and New Zealand, SSAB has also expanded its product line to include furniture and home appliances.
Keeping families at the forefront, Tofilau says that by offering Samoans access to quality products for the home also helps to raise the standard of living in Samoa.
“Our clients love SSAB because of its friendly family atmosphere. We have great customer service and we offer quality products at reasonable prices.”
Her efforts have earned her a Samoa Business Network nomination for ‘SUGA Businesswoman of the Year.’
To build a business of this size in Samoa also comes with sizeable challenges with finance being at the top of the list - a common setback for many entrepreneurs starting out.
“ANZ Bank [Samoa] has been good to SSAB from the start and they are still supporting us.
“Other challenges include the delays in shipments from overseas and when it comes to business, time is money so delays cost my business money. There are also high freight costs and the need to pay customs duties and VAGST upfront before the goods can be released from the wharf.”
It is her strong faith in God that keeps this hardworking lady grounded and keeps her going. From the villages of Togafuafua, Moataa, Moamoa, Salani and Iva, Tofilau says it's important to always remain positive and optimistic.
“It is important that you pray to God for your calling or purpose in life. Once you find something you are passionate about, develop it. Don’t rest on your laurels. Give it your all and give it your best!”
SSAB (Samoa Stationary And Books)
Phone: +685 27787
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Samoa Business Network Inc.
Connecting, Sharing, Celebrating & Promoting Samoan Businesses, Entrepreneurs & Professionals.
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