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South Auckland woman preserving culture through nail-art

24 May 2017

Posted in: Pacific Radio News,

Pasifika art has found a new canvas... finger nails. 

A South Auckland woman has established a nail salon that specialises in Pacific nail-art and designs. 

Nesian Nails specialises in Pacific nail-art and designs. 

Nesian Nails owner, Selina Jones-Ofisa, of Tongan and European descent says she loves working on something that is showcasing and preserving her culture. 

"My mum and grandma used to sit down and do the ngatu (tapa) so it's always fascinated me," she says. "That's where my love for our culture and our patterns started." 

Jones-Ofisa says when she started two years ago, majority of her customers were palagi, but lately her tropical and traditional island designs have been attracting more Pacific women.

"I've got a lot of girls coming in now wanting specifically tapa designs in order to be different and that's what I love about it." 

The mother of three started her business from home, in Mangere East, to be able to work and look after her children at the same time. 

She says she wants to see more Pacific peoples pursuing their creative business ideas and using culture as a point of difference.

"Don't think I can't do it because it's not mainstream. Go for it!

"I think it's totally cool that everybody is starting to embrace their culture now."

Tags: Pasifika art, nail-art, Nesian Nails, Selina Jones-Ofisa,