Local entrepreneur finds success with Bidayuh costumes

NICHE BUSINESS: Angela (right) and her assistant at the Entrepreneurs and Malaysian Craft booth to promote her products.

KUCHING: The growing demand for Bidayuh traditional costumes has led to better fortunes for entrepreneur Angela Johiam from Kampung Suba Buan, Bau.

Her tailoring business has grown because there is a demand from both men and women for Bidayuh traditional costumes, which can be worn during celebrations, official functions and dinners.

“When I first started seven years ago, it was hard because of the poor response and limited market. But now things have changed due to the growing popularity of Bidayuh traditional costumes.

“I can even employ workers now and I now have my own Bidayuh traditional collection outlet,” she said.

Angela was among the participants of the Entrepreneurs and Malaysian Craft promotion carnival held at Kuching Waterfront recently.

She said a full set Bidayuh traditional costume for women would comprise the ‘jomuh’ (skirt), and matching accessories such the ‘selapai’ (sash), ‘pangiah’ (bead necklace), ‘porik’ (copper/ metal belt) and ‘sipiah’ (headgear).

The women’s traditional dress can be priced as much as RM350, excluding the accessories.

As for the men, she said a traditional-themed corporate shirt could be priced as much as RM150 per piece while a vest could be as much as RM95.

On future plans, she said she aims to add traditional costumes from the Orang Ulu and Iban to her collection.

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