Mandeville Weekly News

MANCHESTER WOMEN ENTREPRENEURS SHOWCASE WARES

Posted by SR (riley) on Mar 23 2017 at 12:56 AM
Mandeville Weekly News >>

Some 40 women entrepreneurs from the parish of Manchester showcased their original designs, handmade creations and home-made products at the second annual Made in Manchester Women in Business Expo on March 5 on the grounds of the Manchester High School.Ms. Keva Ellis, creator of the KViolet Collection of knitted items, said that she was looking for something creative to do and went online for ideas.  “I realised that making knitted items such as bags and swimsuits entirely from wool was not very popular here, so I decided to try that,” she said.

Ms. Ellis’ display at the Made in Manchester expo featured small blankets, shawls, handbags, sandals, bikinis and other swimsuits, hats and more.  “So far, I have been getting good responses, especially for my bags and bathing suits,” she said.
 Mrs. Peaches Rodney-Henry, Managing Director of Henry’s Delight, makes Irish potato, breadfruit, banana, cassava, plantain and dasheen chips from her Ingleside home in Mandeville.  She has been doing so for two years and has already secured one overseas contract.  “I do not use any preservatives nor additives and when I export, I don’t have to worry about time, as my chips are airlifted to their destination.  They are popular with my customers, because they are natural, healthy and fresh,” she boasted.

Ms. Maureen Williams’ organic food items under the ‘Our Jamaican Foods’ brand was a hit with patrons, who readily sampled the pizza made from breadfruit dough and topped with ackee and salt fish, and the assortment of vegetable and meat wraps made from cassava, sweet potato and breadfruit flour. Patrons could also purchase flour made from these Jamaican-grown items, which Ms. Williams said could be used for dumplings, fritters, as roti substitute or as pizza dough.  “They are gluten-free and have no preservatives, so they should be refrigerated for freshness,” she said.

This very enterprising Manchester native also makes a variety of products from cocoa, including chocolate bars.  Her product is now in five hotels and three pharmacies islandwide. Also displaying her wares was Melissa Preddie, a self-taught fashion-jewellery designer, who received grant assistance from the Jamaica Business Development Commission (JBDC) to start her business.  Her designs are edgy, exciting and just right for the woman who wants to make a statement. 

Her brand is Aviola Accessories and Preddie is both the creative director and Chief Executive Officer.  “I create my pieces using recycled plastic and copper wire, so they are eco-friendly.  I am self-taught; I did not get any formal training, so I did a lot or research.  I am blessed to have my jewellery in The Jamaica Pegasus hotel gift shop, at Devon House and at the Things Jamaican gift shops at the airports,” she said with pride.Chairman and CEO of Manpower Maintenance Services, Mrs. Audrey Hinchcliffe, who was the guest speaker, commended the women of Manchester for their extraordinary move to, not only showcase your talents and skills in various areas but to enable the women of the parish to attain economic independence, noting that women in Jamaica continue to make strides.

Mrs. Hinchcliffe cited an International Labour Organization (ILO) ‘Women in Business and Management, Gaining Momentum’ study, released just over two years ago, which found that at 59.3 per cent, Jamaica had the highest proportion of women managers globally, ahead of countries like the United States or the United Kingdom.

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