Monday, October 14, 2013

Borneo International Beads Conference 2013 - Beads can go big in high-end fashion

KUCHING: Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Rohani Abdul Karim has challenged women entrepreneurs to develop beads into high-end fashion items in the global market.

She opined that this could be done as batik and songket had made it to the top.

Speaking at the Borneo International Beads Conference 2013 (Bibco) gala dinner cum show here on Saturday, she believed greater networking, improved packaging and value-added elements could help promote the business further.

“I know that for some of you beading is just a hobby, something to do in your spare time. For others, it’s a career choice. Many of our women entrepreneurs can make a good living from producing bead work and bead embroidery. The perks attached to a lucrative hobby are endless.

“I believe there are many opportunities in the economy that women in the bead craft and related industries can explore,” she said.

Rohani said her ministry, through the Department of Women Development, planned to encourage the up-skilling of more cottage industries, such as the beads industry.

She thus hoped to see initiatives mushrooming to form cooperatives or enterprises to market various products in a larger scale, including via the Internet.

“Women in Sarawak or in other parts of the country lack neither skills nor materials to produce first-class handicrafts. Their skills can create more employment opportunities for women, and in turn contribute to the government’s aim to have at least 55 per cent participation of women in the labour force by 2015.