BY JOY OFASIA
LIVING in Honiara, Suzy Zyle commonly observes women and young aspiring artists creating jewelry from old scrap papers to newspapers. It was from their innovative and creative works that triggered her ambition to create jewelry from paper wastes.
Now she earns a living from selling necklaces, bracelets, and earrings of various designs that she created out of papers.
“I learn how to make paper beads from my sister who learned her trade from the organized training provided by Young Women Christian Association (YWCA); I guess it was from her talent that inspired me to decide on creating paper beads into jewelry for my income,” Suzy said.
The single mother of two explained: “My goal is to help with the makeover of plastic waste into useful products and to help with the reduction of household waste.
“I want to earn a living from the process of transforming paper [household and office wastes] into more valuable products,” she said.
As a source of her income, she normally sold her products at the National Art Gallery compound in Honiara.
“Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) and the Ministry of Environment have initiated creative waste management practices and implemented new policies to support waste management in the country; therefore, I can say that my products are a very good example of waste upcycling,” Suzy said.
Upcycling is the process of transforming waste into more valuable products.
Suzy described that her products are a clear picture of creative upcycling methods which paper has been turned into pieces of jewelry.
“The scrap papers that I make my jewelry products are from old magazines, books, and newspapers,” she said.
Even though many women and girls in Honiara have already known and wear Suzy jewelry products, she is still surprised by the reactions she gets up on the street: “I never expected that people would stop me on the street to ask me if I brought my necklaces or bracelets with me. I think that’s the best possible compliment one can get.”
Suzy left her informal job in 2012 and so making jewelry is her way of earning money and also her best option to escape stress: “It allows me to escape boredom and to strengthen my creativity. My love and passion for jewelry making drive me to do more” she added.
In 2013, she was recognized with an award for ‘Great Display of Products’ after she joined the Solomon Islands Women in Business Association (SIWIBA) Mere Market.
“I was very happy and proud of my work and that motivated me to continue creating more jewelry products from paper wastes,” she explained.