CBT: What type of thatch products do you sell?
LP: I sell many baskets or bags, which I call “shoppers,” and clutches that have zippers and are lined on the inside. Some baskets have extra pockets for cell phones so you don’t have to dig to the bottom of your bag. I also sell hats, but you have to pre-order those.
CBT: How do you make your thatch products?
LP: I use Silver Thatch thread to make all the bags, and a knife to strip it into threads. There is a smooth side and a wrong side. The smooth side is the right side, and you pinch it to whatever size you want: thin or thick. You use the thread to sew the baskets, which are also made with Silver Thatch.
CBT: What is the biggest challenge of making your products?
LP: Going to the bushes to get the Silver Thatch. We don’t cut the open palms. We cut from the centre of the tree. Then we take it home and tie it around in different places to put it in the sun to dry out. Then we strip it into different-sized strips for the plaiting.
CBT: How long does it take to make a basket?
LP: It takes me about four days to finish one. I sit down for a couple of hours; get up, do what I need to do, and then go back and sit down. Sometimes that takes three to four hours in a day. I line all my bags with a needle and thread, which is a lot of work. People sometimes don’t realise all the work that’s put into it.
CBT: What do you love most about selling your wares?
LP: I love coming out to Camana Bay on Wednesdays and meeting the people. I have a lot of friends who come out here, too. I tell my children it’s my day off. Every Wednesday, it’s my day off.