Weaving a successful venture

Getting sales online: Nur Fitrah uses social media platforms to sell her handicraft products. — Bernama

MARANG: A homemaker from Bukit Payong here has turned her passion for making rattan handicrafts into a lucrative business.

Nur Fitrah Mohd Azizi, 32, said her passion for handicrafts was ignited in her childhood, as she observed her mother Malati Baharom, 54, and late grandmother Sarah Dita skilfully creating mengkuang products.

Since she was 14, she has been creating mengkuang handicrafts.

“At first, I was only interested in making mengkuang items, but when I pursued my studies at the National Craft Institute, there were no mengkuang-weaving courses.

“I was given the option of choosing other craft-making skills such as batik printing, wood carving and others, so I picked rattan crafting because the method of producing rattan items is quite similar to mengkuang weaving.

“Over time, my interest in making rattan handicrafts grew,” she told Bernama when met at her home recently.

Nur Fitrah, a resident of Alor Gajah in Melaka, embarked on her entrepreneurial journey after graduating in 2013.

Her expertise lies in crafting a variety of rattan products, including baskets, food covers, chairs, and trays.

Her hard work has paid off, as her rattan crafts are gaining popularity.

Today, the mother of three operates a stall outside her home and makes between RM2,000 and RM4,000 per month.

“I sell all my products for between RM3 and RM250. The production time for the items ranges from one to three days. It all depends on the size and complexity of the items,” she said.

Nur Fitrah also sells her crafts online.

She expressed gratitude for the support from her woodcarver husband, Mohamad Yacob Abdul Rashid, 36.

“My husband understands my passion.

“He also understands that even though I am a homemaker, he needs to help me manage the household as I am busy making rattan products, packing items for shipping, and carrying out live-streaming sessions from Friday to Sunday,” she said.

Nur Fitrah said she received guidance and support from the Terengganu branch of the Malaysian Handicraft Development Corporation (Kraftangan), which also provided her with the raw materials.

“Alhamdulillah, Kraftangan has been very helpful in providing skill-enhancing courses for entrepreneurs like me. After each course, I get free rattans.

“This helps me save costs on buying raw materials,” she said, adding that she also obtains rattans from the local suppliers.

Nur Fitrah hopes to own a proper workshop to create a comfortable environment for herself and her customers.

She is committed to passing on her knowledge and skills to anyone who is eager to learn, in order to preserve the tradition of crafting rattan handicrafts in a rapidly modernising world.

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