All posts by Maureen Unasa

Maureen Unasa is a contrarian Samoan woman unravelling life, love and culture through the art of Samoan weaving


julie owens one julie owens twoIMG_1823SWHQ was delighted to have MP, Labor Member of Parramatta Julie Owens come in store to chat and learn about us.

Intrigued by our products Julie Owens found herself tossing up between multiple items before purchasing two of our rose gift wrap sets as well as two weaved ornaments for her Christmas tree.

We were pleased to have the opportunity to share our passion for weaving but more importantly our desire to weave the community together.

Talks of a possible project for International Women’s Day were discussed, so stay tuned.

As a thank you token, a custom star for her office was weaved and presented to her.

We hope that she comes back soon!


Images courtesy of Julie Owens office

Model search seeks role models

Miss Faith Levave to win Sugar and Spikes Model Search
CLICK ON THE PHOTO and like on facebook to VOTE for my niece

When empowering youth becomes an all out stealth covert operation to secure the target.

This isn’t about my niece winning a facebook model search competition.  Please CLICK the photo on the left  and then LIKE to vote for her or….

KEEP READING and vote at the end.

One of the many visions I’ve had since this weaving journey began has become clearer from working with a talented Year 12 student who sought my help for her visual arts major.  Her project so rocks by the way and I am yet to get the rest of her photos to do a full story.

Before working with her my vision was but a fleeting fanciful thought. Like a someday, one day maybe. Sound familiar.

Nothing like throwing yourself into community projects and other relevant campaigns to illuminate that vision.   Seriously blinding requiring some hot new sunnies me thinks.  Oh yeah!  Will definitely go with my big as woven flower hair pieces that have caused some eyes to fall short of prying it out of my head.  You know who you are.  Envious little creatures.

I am well into my wedding weaving project and my feet still do not know how to type.  Dagnammit stupid feet. Lucky they are good for walking.  Balancing writing and weaving still a work in progress.  Like I said, “dumb feet”.

fine mat weaving in curling ribbon by contrarian samoan artist Maureen Unasa

My passion for weaving can be used as a vehicle to engage the community.  Creating dialogue while engaged in a semi-structured self led program.  Working within the primary and high school environment resonates with me at present.  It would work where-ever it is needed.  A transitional program to bridge between stages and a reminder before leaving school.  Empowering young women (or men if they are into weaving) to create games and play to win.

It’s all about playing and giving it everything.  Winning is a favourable result but it is by no means a measure of who you are.  You get who you are by playing.  I wish I was told this growing up.  Probably wouldn’t have listened unless it was like a stealth learning operation disguised as doing something fun.  Like a game or weaving or painting.

Girls are abundant in my family including our extended family.

God provides what is needed most.

Naturally weaving this pathway for empowering young women begins at home.  I am certain my girls eyes will remain rolled back one day after my next “Be true to yourself” speech.

You can imagine my excitement when an opportunity arises from one of my nieces taking a huge step up to the plate. Ready to play.  Still nervous but encouraged by her coach and assistant coach.  The support team have been rallied.  A bunch of dedicated misfits committed to one thing.

Collectively we ELEVATE.  In this herd that I call family we literally pick you up or drag you by your hair and get you over the finish line.  Your shaking knees and trembling hands will be held firmly by family.  We believe in you. Whatever the result, let’s PLAY THIS GAME together.

I’m warning you.  You do not want to play against my family.  All jokes and smiles until it’s game time.

It’s never about the actual game.  The game is WON on how it’s played.  It is so important for me to ensure that my children, nieces, nephews and all children PLAY THE GAME full out.

To my niece Miss Faith Levave.
The result is being the model for Sugar and Spikes.
The game is being extraordinary.
The game is played on the turf of humility and confidence.
The rules are yours.
Batter up!

Who are we if not examples?  We are the role models for extraordinary.  My children have fed off me since birth.
No longer will I hide behind embarrassment or “shame” for fear of losing or being ridiculed.
Humility must be reshaped in our minds as OWNING our talents a.k.a awesomeness.
Confidence is owning my extraordinary self and allowing others to see it for themselves too.
Ego has a place when it serves me and many, collectively.

Please help me win my game to ELEVATE my niece.  Click HERE then LIKE her photo to vote.  And remember to SHARE the love.