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Let’s Go Local: Taniela Matanimeke “I Want To Swim With Stingrays In Yasawa”

Mr Matanimeke took a break in 2020, but returned two years later to help manage the shop, and assist customers with their fashion needs. 

Yasawa island. INSET: Taniela Matanimeke. Photo: Oyster Yachts

Taniela Matanimeke’s interest in fashion started at home, when he scouted his mother’s magazine collection.

Renowned brands such as Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and his grandmother’s personal style shaped his journey in the fashion world.

Today, Mr Matanimeke is a sales executive at Shopaholic Fiji on Pratt Street in Suva. He has been on the job since 2016.

Mr Matanimeke took a break in 2020, but returned two years later to help manage the shop, and assist customers with their fashion needs.

The 30-year-old, who is originally from Bau Island in Tailevu, enjoys creating new looks with the clothes at the boutique, and styling customers for local events such as the Fiji Fashion Week and the International Women’s Association (IWA) Charity Ball.

SunBiz spoke to Mr Matanimeke to learn about his career, food and travel experiences, and his recommended shopping destinations.

What Do You Love About Your Job? 

Meeting different people who walk into the store and making new friends.

What Is Your Go-to Place To Eat In Suva? 

Seoul Restaurant at the Southern Cross Hotel in Suva. I go there on weekends for the buffet.

What Places In Fiji Would You Take Visitors To? 

I’ve been to Malamala Beach Club and Cloud 9.

Malamala has a variety of food. You can lounge around. It’s nice and chill.

I recommend Maui Palms on the Coral Coast.

You feel like you’re in Santorini in Greece, but it’s Fiji.

My friend Christine Badia and her husband, Wayne Downs, own Maui Palms.

What Are Some Places In Fiji That Remains On Your Bucket List? 

I would love to go to Vanuabalavu and Yasawa, where I could swim with stingrays and go to the caves.

What Are Your Recommended Places To Shop In Suva? 

I recommend coming to Shopaholic Fiji because we have everything under one roof.

Our clothes are good for the climate given Fiji is a hot country.

We cater to all women’s sizes.

We also have stock for menswear. Some people think it’s a women’s-only store but it’s a men’s store too.

Try our sister shops, Mademoiselle and The Bulk for reasonable prices or to shop on a budget.

What Are Your Future Career Plans? 

I want to be a nurse and work in aged care.

I’ve always had a soft spot for senior citizens so that’s something I’d love to do.

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