Arts, Business Buzz, Buzz, Community Buzz, Culture, Entertainment, Events, Fashion & Beauty, LifeStyles, Main Blog, Vinci Foods
We’re all about our blue, yellow and green throughout the month of October. We anticipate the days when we can come out in our colours and proudly wave the national flag and declare that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the piece of rock in the Caribbean Sea that we are glad to call home. This year after the annual Independence Day parade we had even more activities through which we could express our Vincy pride thanks to Invest SVG. The Everything Vincy Exhibition held at the E.T Joshua Airport over a three day period (October 27th-29th), was the place to be during the independence weekend. This new initiative is aimed at highlighting the products and services that St. Vincent and the Grenadines has to offer and encouraging entrepreneurial spirit as we continue on in nation building. Training workshops were also offered to the business owners who took part in the exhibition to gain knowledge on topics such as customer service and marketing which equips the business owners with tools that would help them take their businesses to the next level. This initiative is one that we are happy to see so well executed and the patrons are excited to attend in the coming years as it gets bigger and better. This is part 2 of the article where we bring you a little insight on some of the exhibitors and their products. If you haven’t read part 1 as yet, click here to view it!
Brio Ché is the brainchild of Bernadette Warren (pictured above) who many may know as Camille. They provide a line of luxury health and beauty products which inlude virgin coconut oil, body scrubs, lotions, lips balms, foot soaks, soy scented candles and massage oils. After looking at the list of products offered by Brio Ché, you’ll notice that just about everything has coconut in it and here’s why. Bernadette was raised primarily by her grandmother and coconut was a huge part of how she earned a living. Along with selling vegetables, she would make and sell coconut snacks and coconut oil and the profits allowed her to provide for Bernadette. She also credits coconut oil as the reason she’s able to stay in good health as she would consume it and use in her hair and on her skin. When Bernadette started out making concoctions to soothe her own and her husband’s skin conditions, she did some research and she knew coconut oil had to be a part of it. The end products were all natural, organic and infused with herbs and healing plants. After they experienced how well the products worked for them and received great reviews from family and friends, she officially registered the Brio Ché business in 2013. The effort that goes into producing such a health conscious yet aesthetically appealing line of products is apparent even in the packaging (which Bernadette shares she plans to make even more eco-friendly). Very soon, you might be able to watch your purchases being made from start to finish; Ms. Warren has high hopes for the next phase of her business which could include a storefront with designated production and retail areas.
Since 1985, Nzimbu Browne has created art that thoroughly reflects the rhythm of Vincentian living. Our history, culture, traditions and landscapes are so eloquently expressed through collages made from what some would consider to be waste. “I take it up and add some intelligence into it” he said as he explained that dried banana leaves and coconut shells are his choice of medium. In addition to his beautiful collages, he also does tie-dye and makes drums. He refers to his creativity as his survival kit as this has been his way of earning a living for over 30 years and his passion and determination shines through in his work ethic. Browne expressed a desire to be on an international market to have his work appreciated and purchased by millions of people and says he’s ready and willing to put in the hard work that this will take.
Melissa Ashton’s Jewelry making talent is actually the gift she prayed for and she’s passionate about putting her blessing to good use. When she made her first pair of earrings she used her teeth to do what her hands couldn’t. Fortunately, her sister saw her need and bought her a pair of pliers which she still uses to this day. She attributes her success thus far to the fact that her aim is to make her customers happy which in turn gives her the greatest feeling of fulfillment. At the moment she makes earrings, necklaces, bracelets, anklets, beaded key-chains and has just started dabbling in the production of scented candles. She hopes to eventually have a storefront where she sells not only her jewelry but glass beads and the findings and components that are involved in the craft. She’s eager to continue building her business and see her small beginnings blossom into great achievements.
If you’re an avid snacker, chances are you’ve seen and probably buy several Cyrus Snacks. After retiring from her day job, in 2008 proud owner Betty Cyrus started making plantain chips for sale. Since then, sweet potato, breadfruit, spicy banana, eddoe and sweet cassava chips have been added to the line of snacks offered. It started out as her way of making use of the food items that she saw would go to waste. It has now blossomed into a substantial business that makes the snacks many Vincentians love to munch on. Betty’s products can be found in almost all of our major supermarkets but she hopes to eventually develop the demand necessary to export her snacks.
Michelle Bacchus Barbour the talent behind tasty creations of Me-Shelli Unique started out as a seamstress. Over ten years ago, she learnt the basics of baking from a friend and went on to try out new things to create cakes and cookies as requested by friends and family. She incorporated these two skills as well as her crafting abilities into a venture that would provide a one of a kind wedding package. This package included custom clothing for the bridal party, handmade bouquets and of course, she could provide the wedding cake. Over time, she became more renowned for her baking than her sewing and so she has decided to stick with it.
The Richmond Vale Academy’s attendance was a timely reminder of the role we play in global warming and climate change. This organization has researched and taught lessons on climate change and initiated projects that include beach cleanups, tree planting and setting up model gardens. They also produce informative radio and television programs and hold open days to help spread their message. The team was eager to share flyers and have insightful conversations with the attendees in hopes that more of us will become Climate Activists and fight to make our country more energy, food and disaster secure. Climate change is real and we have to work together to build a nation that can withstand and overcome its effects.
The exhbitors mentioned are only a sample of what the Everything Vincy Exhibtion had to offer. Some of the other businesses that attended the event included Immense Bags, Link Up, Erica’s Country Style, Escape Health and Day Spa, Fanfare Events, Searles Agro Products, Mudulla Propagation, East Caribbean Group of Companies (ECGC) and so much more. We can’t wait for next year’s Exhibition!
If you haven’t read part 1 as yet, click here to view it!
Photos by Ricky Hill, exclusively for Express Vinci®
© 2016. All rights reserved
Arts, Buzz, Community Buzz, Culture, Entertainment, Events, Fashion & Beauty, History, LifeStyles, Main Blog
We’re all about our blue, yellow and green throughout the month of October. We anticipate the days when we can come out in our colours and proudly wave the national flag and declare that St. Vincent and the Grenadines is the piece of rock in the Caribbean Sea that we are glad to call home. This year after the annual Independence Day parade we had even more activities through which we could express our Vincy pride thanks to Invest SVG. The Everything Vincy Exhibition held at the E.T Joshua Airport over a three day period (October 27th-29th), was the place to be during the independence weekend. This new initiative is aimed at highlighting the products and services that St. Vincent and the Grenadines has to offer and encouraging entrepreneurial spirit as we continue on in nation building. Training workshops were also offered to the business owners who took part in the exhibition to gain knowledge on topics such as customer service and marketing which equips the business owners with tools that would help them take their businesses to the next level. This initiative is one that we are happy to see so well executed and the patrons are excited to attend in the coming years as it gets bigger and better. Here’s a little insight on some of the exhibitors and their products.
Eight years ago, Christal Oliver the founder of Olive art Designs, was a lab technician at the St. Vincent Girls’ High school with some free time and a hobby. This was the beginning of her journey to business owner. She hand-sewed bags at the time as a way to overcome boredom but her peers had such a positive response to the items she made that is wasn’t too long until she saw the opportunity to make her pastime into something greater.She decided to invest in a sewing machine to experiment. Experimentation led to new creations and opportunities and Olive Art designs is the end result of a young lady following her passion, believing in her vision and striving to give her very best to her customers. She credits her success thus far to patience, practice and persistence, and she’s always reading and learning so as to execute new ideas that could help her improve her business. She makes high quality custom handbags for every occasion and hopes that her creations will allow her to put St. Vincent and the Grenadines on the map, as she endeavors to cross boundaries regionally and internationally showcasing and gaining appreciation for her handiwork.
About six months ago, Rene Benn had a literal dream. A dream that one day, she went ‘dumpster-diving’! In the dream, she was accompanied by her husband and they were taking some huge bottles out of the trash. She then proceeded to decorate the bottles and they turned out beautifully. She awoke from her dream and realized what a great idea it was and Rene’s Ornamentations was born. She collected bottles and jars from her friends and family and any shops that were willing to give them to her. The artistic ability came naturally and she transforms trash to treasure creating vases and candle holders by hand. Her desire is to have a storefront for this venture as currently she only makes her items by order and uses social media to showcase them.
The Kalinago Tribe Essential Oils were definitely one of the standout items. There was basil, lemongrass, ginger, peppermint and many more to choose from. Each essential oil has its list of health benefits and the potency is unmistakable. The business was founded over 15 years ago by Augustine Sutherland and he’s proud to say that every ingredient is tested and harvested here from our rugged rocky mountains and undergoes a steam distillation process to produce these pure organic essential oils. In the beginning as a trained hair and scalp specialist, he would make small batches of the oils to combat problems his clients were experiencing and it has grown since then into a business that offers also eucalyptus inhalers and infused massage oils. His hope is to have the oils certified as organic by the agricultural department so that the world would know that the products are of the highest quality and are prepared with our health in mind.
Grow In Time is a creative social enterprise that seeks to bring together rehabilitation, land conservation and poverty alleviation in one project. Over the past two years a sustainable livelihood project has been implemented in our two correctional institutions that is coordinated by Vonnie Roudette. Through this initiative inmates are being taught and certified in their training to make mats, baskets and other products from Vetiver grass and Grow in time its marketing arm. This venture gives the individuals the skills they need to create an alternative way of earning a living. One of the best benefits of this project is that it takes much less money to start a business making the grass products than to start a business involving other skills that one may learn while incarcerated. The individuals are given a feeling of empowerment and this causes a huge positive change in their self image as they are given an opportunity to take care of their loved ones and contribute to their communities. The conservation aspect is in regards to the grass that is used. The grass is an excellent solution for soil erosion and great for slope stabilization, so this will tie into the next phase of the project which will be the planting initiative that will be executed by the former inmates. It is still early in the game but the results so far have show that all the individuals who have received the training have not committed any further offences and they report a more positive outlook on life. The products are simply exquisite and the initiative is a life-changing one.
From a very young age Anita Garraway knew she wanted to be her own boss and have her own business. As a child she would make and sell crochet crafts, cupcakes and fudge. In 1997 she got the opportunity to do an agro-processing course that laid the foundation for Aurora’s. She learned the skills necessary to produce and bottle her green seasoning, pepper sauces and pepper relish, as well as processing fish and chicken ham. She also produces gluten free breadfruit cakes, beetroot and Black cakes without egg. Her products can be found in supermarkets throughout St. Vincent. After so many years of hard work and sacrifices, she can now say that she is living her dream.
Natalie Cato of Kato’s Katering invited the patrons to ‘Feel the fun’ with samples of her premium rum punch, Red bikini. The Red Bikini is a rich and smooth concoction of fruit juice, spices and local rum and the premium taste is unmistakable. Ms Cato has perfected the recipe over the past few years and has now started promoting the product. Her hope is to get the product on the shelves in our supermarkets. Currently it is only produced by order and sourced directly from her.
Click here to read part 2 and find out more about the exhibitors and their products and services from the event!
Photos by Ricky Hill, exclusively for Express Vinci®
© 2017. All rights reserved
In an afternoon ceremony on Thursday 16th March, 2017 at the Peace Memorial Hall, students of the Stylin’ Chic by Auldine Cosmetology Training Academy received their official certificates after 6 months of intense training. Through its training programme, the academy, over the past 15 years, has been providing young women with the skills they need to flourish in the areas of professional image, hair-cutting and hair-styling, makeup artistry, acrylic & nail care, as well as facials.
A total of twelve young ladies graduated, Ten of whom received certificates in Cosmetology and of the ten, six also received specialized certificates in the area of Acrylic & Nail design. Two individuals received certificates in Makeup Artistry.
The ceremony saw special recognition being given to Sylvonne Williams, the Valedictorian and recipient of the award for most outstanding student in cosmetology academics.
Her colleague, Marsha Williams was the recipient of the most outstanding student in Cosmetology practical award as well as the winner of the graduation ‘Hair battle,’ while Cara Chance was recognized for being the most improved student over the training period. Additionally, Mkada Ashton received a scholarship from tutor and cosmetologist, Mrs. Browne, in the field of Barbering.
Having received this training, the ladies can now compile their portfolio with their exam results to submit to the Sector Skills Development Agency in the Ministry of Education. They will then receive their Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) Level 1 Cosmetology Training Competency Certificate from the agency.
Key highlights from last Thursday’s graduation included a presentation by Dwight Lewis, Coordinator at the Sector Skills Development Agency in the Ministry of Education who encouraged the graduants to take their career to the next level by continuing their training; he further informed attendees that that the CVQ consists of five levels and by stepping up to Level 2, the students will be equipped to be autonomous workers.
Furthermore, he informed the graduates of the Prior Learning Assessment Recognition Programme being offered by the Sector Skills Development Agency, where individuals can become certified by having their assessments done in person at their workplace, once they have registered to be assessed.
The feature address was delivered by Barrister at Law, Mrs. Rochelle Forde-Duncan who has had the benefit of seeing dozens of young ladies being trained by the academy. Mrs. Forde-Duncan stressed among other things the importance of the students persevering, furthering their education in the area, as well as having good work ethics and maintaining good business relationships.
The Stylin’ Chic by Auldine Cosmetology Training Academy is led by owner and Cosmetologist Mrs. Auldine Browne who is currently completing her Level four assessor’s competency programme, which is the equivalent of an assessor’s Bachelor’s Degree, therefore making her more equipped to be an effective trainer.
Article Contributed By Candice Sealey of Ignite Consulting.
Contact Candice at email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jasmin Deane is the owner of Jazzy’s All Natural Handmade Vincy Products. Like the name suggests, she handcrafts organic body products. Many of her ingredients come straight from her own land; such as the pumpkins and papayas that are used. For two years she has concocted intricate balances of oils, butters and extracts to produce soaps, creams, shampoos, conditioners and the list continues.
For a second year in a row, young designer Jamal Jacobs is the winner of the Courts’ Fashion competition. Mr. Jacobs, who hails from Mc Kies’ Hill but now resides in Old Montrose is a talent that is as precious as a diamond in the rough; his skills are sure to be polished by experience and proper exposure.
The self-taught designer has been creating High Fashion pieces for numerous contestants at local fashion shows. He is usually quite busy during the Carnival season.
Jamal has a flair for blending brilliant colours with natural earth tones, producing rich creations that flatter the figure of even the slimmest models.
In the past, he had collaborated with his sister, Dahvana, who was a 2016 Miss SVG contestant and is herself a budding designer. This year, his muse is another aspiring designer, the youthful Rondine Browne.
Mrs. Michelle Samuel and Ms. Lisa Veira of Unicomer (St. Vincent) Limited, the parent company of Courts Furniture Store, were full of praise for Jamal, Rondine, and all the other designers and models who participated in the show, held on Thursday 25th August, on the ground floor of the business headquarters in capital Kingstown.
The store has forged a healthy relationship with this section of the Vincentian youth.
More photos on our Facebook page. Photos compliments Unicomer St. Vincent Limited.
© 2016. All rights reserved.