Nothing is impossible – Navoce strives to excel

Naomi Navoce with her storyboard. Picture: WATA SHAW

Nothing is impossible to a willing heart. These words are epitomised in the life of Naomi Navoce who despite living with disability strives to excel in both art and business.

Navoce said she blossomed after opening up to new ideas and possibilities.

She was scrolling on Facebook one day when she saw an expression of interest invitation to those interested in a three-week fashion designing and screen printing course.

The notice was on established designer, Rosie Emberson Semisi’s Facebook page.

“I was actually in the West when I saw the post so a day before the class started I came back down to Suva to apply for the fashion course,” the Tavua villager said.

Navoce said she decided to step into art and desisning because she wanted to seek new experiences.

“In the first week we learned about tie dyeing and screen printing, the different mixture of colors and the different fabrics.

“I still have a long way to go but I believe this is an opportunity for me to make a source of income especially being a woman living with disability.”

She said an important design tool that she got introduced to was creating a storyboard based on a collection of her family’s present and past history. This unique tool was something she was very keen to learn.

“I was sharing a story about my family and our history to Rosie and was amazed because as I shared my story, she was translating my words into designs and onto a storyboard which I will use to promote my identity.

“My second storyboard is yet to be finished but it will be about my three siblings and our history growing up and also about their families and spouses.

“The storyboard will also talk about the history of our village … I will later transfer the designs to my fabric and try to promote and advertise my product through social media to my family and friends. Hopefully one day my customers will appreciate and buy my product.”

Navoce said her dream after completing the workshop was to further advance her knowledge in fashion designing in a quest to some day become a professional and established local fashion designer.

“I’m planning to start off with fabric printing then T-shirts and eventually to start my business because I’ve seen a few friends and family members have shown interest by placing their orders.

“My dream is for me to enter the Fiji Fashion Week (FFW) next year. I am so happy to have taken part in this three week fashion course because I got to use the skills I learned to further my business,” she said.

Her advice to girls and women was never to let any physical or mental barrier stop them from pursuing a dream or skill they wished to explore.

“I aim to showcase my talent so people can see beyond my disability.

“I wanted to join fashion designing so I can engage young women with disabilities and showcase my design as a platform to advocate on disability rights and awareness on issues that impact women with disabilities.”

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