Let the celebrations begin


Let the celebrations begin

'A Jamaican Made Christmas' proclaims success

Observer writer

Sunday, December 08, 2019

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Last weekend the AC Hotel Kingston was bustling with thousands of patrons who showed up to support the annual 'A Jamaican Made Christmas' trade show.

The event, which is in its fifth year, hosts artisans and locally made brands, and gives them a space to put their products directly in front of the eyes of ready-to-purchase consumers.

For over two full days the tradeshow hosted more than 110 vendors and welcomed over 3,000 patrons, who came to purchase gifts for themselves and family members in time for Christmas.

Compared to last year the event has almost doubled in attendance.

There were several changes to the show this year, which included a new location, change of days, and an expansion with the addition of a food court.

“We are close to the 3,000 marker, as far as paying patrons. It's been pretty good. Yesterday [Saturday] we had over 1,500 patrons,” shared Tiffany Wong, head of special projects in the office of the chairman of National Baking company, in an interview with the Jamaica Observer.

She continued “Last year, we had a little bit over 2000 people coming through. It's a better turnout this year.”

This, she posits, could be as a result of the change in date.

'It's the first time we're doing it on a Saturday and a Sunday. Traditionally, we've done it on a Sunday and Monday. But with the venue change we decided to try Saturday, as Saturday is a big shopping day.”

The new food court was a hit with the patrons, and Jamosa, Street Food Saturdays, CB chicken, and Deaf Can Coffee were a few of the food providers on site.

Wong also shared that this year, 70 per cent of attendees were first-timers.

Said Wong, “By all indications the exhibitors were happy. Some were even sold out on day one and had to go home to produce for day two.”

One exhibitor, The Knotted Edge was sold -ut and took over 60 orders to be fulfilled before Christmas.

For Lorie Sharpe of Chocollor Chocolates, it was a chance to learn, earn and network. “It has been a wonderful experience. An event like this has allowed us to see other Jamaican products and allowed others to see what we have to offer. It's definitely encouraging to see what Jamaica can produce, and events like this are definitely boosting our confidence level to see what we can contribute to the market,” she said.

Wong expressed her thanks to the patrons, vendors and National Bakery staff, as without them the event would not have been a success.

“We want to thank the patrons for supporting these small manufacturers and artisans at the event, as well as National's customers, as their support allows us to make the event possible. The event staff is all National [bakery] staff, so we want to thank them for volunteering their time.”

When asked about how A Jamaican Made Christmas was born, Wong explained that it all started somewhat by chance. “This event was born in a very casual conversation with myself and the chairman, that we wanted to help small local manufacturers for Christmas,” she said.

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