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In 2009, when she started selling cosmetics around Lethem on her sister’s motorcycle, Egeria Williams always dreamed of expanding her business.
Today, she is slowly realising that dream even as she is thinks of ways to navigate the changing business landscape including finding new methods of adjusting to the times given the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the country.
Williams said she started selling cosmetics in 2009 at Lethem and her list comprised of mainly Brazilian products skin care such as creams and soaps, hair products such as shampoos, conditioners, hair creams as well as perfumes and colognes. She sells the popular Kaiak and Malbec brands which are reputable not only in Lethem but on the coastland.
Williams recalled that she started with pre-orders in small amounts from customers. Then eventually she started buying to sell the products from Brazil. “From there with determination and God’s guidance my small business has grown tremendously,” she added. When the COVID-19 pandemic cases were recorded at Lethem last year, she said that she had to abide with the law and as such her business was shelved for a few weeks. The Guyana/Brazil border was closed temporarily for several weeks but sometime later, persons were allowed to cross during the week on selected days. Williams said when the border reopened, she restarted her business but with strict adherence to the health precautions put in place by the authorities on both sides of the border.
A mother of one, Williams says she is only allowed to sell around Lethem in keeping with the tax laws. She said once the goods are transported out of Lethem, the customer would have to foot the taxes. She plans to build her shop, Egeria Cosmetic Shop, and thus far her plans are progressing. At the moment she operates from another section of her home. Williams said the shop will be based at the front of her home. She said it will be designed to guarantee customers an unforgettable experience. ”I want people to say wow,” she said of her plans, noting that she wants to build the shop similar to the cosmetic stores in neighbouring Brazil.
Even as she haggles with her customers, Williams noted that she is always willing to ensure the customer is satisfied. As a symbol of good natured characteristics, she hosted her first Black Friday event which came about as a result of “me wanting to give back to my customers.”
She said it was an event she was excited about pulling off and she with God’s guidance.