FOUR sisters from Pacific Harbour are pooling their artistic skills in the hope of setting up Fiji’s first one-stop-shop for children’s events.
Growing up in Pacific Harbour in the new millennium, the Datt sisters, Alamanda, Stephanie, Lynette and Jeanette, discovered they all had artistic flair.
Alamanda better known as Mandy, 32, paints using oil on canvas, Stephanie, 30, is a pastry chef, Lynette, 24, is a photographer and graphic and makeup artist, while youngest, Jeanette, is a musician.
“We are trying to gather as much experience and revenue as we can to start up a one stop shop for children’s events where all four of us can collaborate on food, face paint, decoration, photography and all things kids consider fun and exciting,” explained Stephanie Wise nee Datt.
“We recently did face and body painting for the Uprising Music Festival and Mandy has done work for renowned local designer Samson Lee.”
Apart from the fun stuff, the Datt sisters are also working towards producing a unique book for kids with special needs.
“I’d like to write a children’s book illustrated by Mandy and digitised by Lynette to raise awareness on autism in the country.
“One of Mandy’s sons’ lives with autism and ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) and the ignorance out here is real, but why wouldn’t it be when it’s so rarely discussed.”
For Mandy and Stephanie, juggling their home business while rearing six kids has not been easy. “All credit goes to our three parents — dad, mum and step-mum — they are the best.
“They stand behind every harebrained scheme, roll their eyes silently behind our backs when we fail, celebrate with us when we do well and take over the grandchildren without being asked to.
“My husband, John, is pretty handy when it comes to funding my ideas even though they usually stump him. I think anybody would flourish under such a great support system.”
The Datt sisters are using the Arts Village Markets held on the first Saturday of every month in Pacific Harbour and the ROC Markets in Suva to showcase their work.
Stephanie said their experience so far had shown that people were looking for something new, different, unique and Fijian.
“I feel like Fiji has a greater appreciation for handmade-Fijian-made goods than it has in previous years and this is good for us and every other struggling artist.”