WHAT makes Hj Hanipah Ahmad stand out from other small vendors hawking their wares day in, day out, is his passion for antique goods that began more than 20 years ago.
A former police officer in his mid-50s, Hj Hanipah operates a stall at Sumbangsih Mulia selling antique goods ranging from ancient weapons to jewellery that he has collected over the past few decades.
"At first it was just a hobby. After a while, my collection became bigger and I had difficulty keeping track of what I have, so I decided to explore exchanging and selling them," Hj Hanipah told The Brunei Times.
With valuable antique goods going as back as far as 200 years old, one can find a diverse range of weapons and jewellery, from keris (a Malay dagger), machetes, rings to bracelets lined up in glass cabinets at his stall.
"There are many people who come here just to look but end up buying them," he said, noting that antique rings have proven popular with tourists.
Selling niche products has its disadvantages however, as there are certain days when Hj Hanipah does not even make a sale. However, business can be lucrative when the right person comes along and makes the right inquiries.
"In this business to put it simply there is no buyer every day. But, one will hit the bell when there is the right person coming," he said.
In order to survive in his business, he said passion is imperative. "I wouldn't really call this a business, but I'll call it my hobby," he said.
"At least when I display it here, some customers would see to ask and some would purchase," he said, pointing out that he gets satisfaction from seeing his stall as a makeshift museum-cum-gallery of antique goods.
The Brunei Times
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Feel free to comment on this article using your Facebook account. By submitting your comment, you agree to the Terms and Conditions for the use of this comments feature, as stated here.