By ROSELYN ELLISON
THE husband-wife team of Gershon and Joyce Pasingan has been aggressively using social media as a marketing medium to sell their products mainly clothes.
They own and operate the Kokopo Bilas in East New Britain.
“Facebook is the online tool we are using to sell our products and we have seen a big difference in our small business.”
They have four children and live in Kokopo.
Gershon is a pastor with the Governing Church and is also responsible for the marketing of their products.
Joyce’s dream as a girl was to become somebody in life. But after completing her primary school education, she could not go further.
She changed course to do vocational. She completed training in tailoring at the Woolnough Vocational and now is good in sewing.
Together they sell tabu (shell money) meri blouses. Their products have reached many provinces and even overseas countries such as Australia.
They began the business and online marketing last September, sewing and selling blouses, kaftans, off-shoulder dresses and slide sleeve dresses.
Today Kokopo Bilas employs woman and girls in the community who sew and knit blouses according to what customers order.
They had never used social media before but decided to give it a try. They created a page to market their products.
“ Now we see a big difference every day. We make money like never before. The money we used to earn in a month we can just get in one week now.”
“In a day we can sell 40 to 50 blouses or send 400 to 500 blouses just in two or three days through (a courier company) depending on our customers’ order. All done through online marketing.
“Now we see a big difference every day. We make money like never before. The money we used to earn in a month we can just get in one week now.”
Their monthly income estimate used to be K10,000. Today they earn that in a week or so.
They also run on the side a trade store, public transport and hire cars.
They have acquired a small building to base their business from and for Joyce and the women to do their sewing in.
Gershon and Joyce also spent their time and money to support community services, sports activities and schools infrastructure. Not forgetting church activities.
Of course there is competition in selling meri blouses but Gershon thinks the market is big enough to accommodate everyone.
“Not only one company or one meri blouse seller can clothe all Papua New Guineans.”
Pastor Gershon believes that the Tabu shell money blouse they specialise in is a Tolai identity.
“Women have to believe what is inside them, find what they are good at, and develop the skill and talent. Believe in your potential. Find out what you want to do every day.”
Gershon praises his “creative and talented” wife as “the mind” behind the business.
“Whatever pattern or ideas come to her mind, she always shares it with me. So if you want to become a businessman or woman, work together with your partner to fulfil your dreams.
“Personally now I am a happy man because I spend more time with my partner and children and church and it is a joy doing things together.”
The Kokopo Bilas page has more than 1000 followers.
Team Pasingan wants to expand their business and establish an effective marketing network nationwide through the platform.
They love network marketing and the freedom to expand and excel in business as much as one wants to.
“If you are willing to put in the work, you can achieve financial success for yourself and help others do so too.”