10 years no job …now entrepreneur

10 years no job …now entrepreneur

Observer writer

Monday, December 24, 2018

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FOR more than 10 years, Bellinda Hall sat at home doing nothing. She was unemployed and destitute.

That changed, however, when the 43-year-old woman said sat back and remembered how diligently her mother worked to put food on the table.

That is how she started DeSilva Hall Designs, a small start-up business which produces decorative bottles, plates, candle holders, and jars to be used for the storage of compact items.

Hall, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer North & East last Wednesday, explained that her mother was employed at Things Jamaica Company where she worked with bottles and raffia.

That is how she got the idea to begin decorating items for sale.

“A lot of people were painting on canvas. I wanted to be different so I said why not paint on the bottles instead of canvas,” Hall shared while participating in the Ocho Rios Craft Extravaganza at Seville Heritage Park in St Ann.

“It doesn't only provide an income for me now, but pushes me to come up with new ideas as I move forward,” she added.

Christine DeSilva, Hall's business partner and marketing manager, explained that the DeSilva Hall Designs has been growing since its establishment in July.

She, too, shared that Hall struggled prior to starting the business that has now taken on a life of its own.

“She wasn't working. She was just sitting down [at] home doing nothing. Nobody gave her anything, and she's not a beggar, she's not going to walk on the road and say give me, give me. She's not going to walk and ask what the government is doing for me. She believes in helping herself and that is what she did,” DeSilva said.

She believes that the business will continue to grow and that they will be able to employ people with similar experiences in the near future.

“She can even hire anyone who comes around and need help because she's not just thinking about herself, she's thinking about her country.”

In the meantime, Executive Director of the Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo) Dr Andrew Spencer encouraged artisans to realise their importance in Jamaica' tourism industry.

Spencer delivered the main address at the extravaganza where he told artisans present that there is a relationship between craft and tourism that will never end, and that they should continue to work with the government in order to achieve growth and development in the tourism industry.

“We will continue to work with you. The TPDCo will continue to play a role in the development of craft and we understand that craft is an important part of [the industry] and never will there be a serious divorce between craft and tourism, “he said.

Scores of tourists were invited to the extravaganza, where some of the country's finest craft items were on display.

“We want our guest to come and get the best of Jamaica. Many times they come and the experiences they have are only intangible things. So when they have a good experience, when they interact with our wonderful warm people of Jamaica they get an experience that they can go back and talk to their friends about.

“You are able to tangibilize that experience for the guests because you give them something in their hands, in addition to the experience they have. They have something in their hands that become a discussion point so it keeps Jamaica [on the] top of their minds. When they come into your spaces they must have such an experience that they will spread the word,” said Spencer.

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