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..offers Guyanese a means to preserve their history through print and video biographies
Offering Guyanese a niche service that allows persons to preserve their life stories in biographies for generations to come, 26-year-old journalist and author, Lisa Hamilton copped the first prize in the International Decade for People of African Descent Assembly-Guyana (IDPADA-G) Invest-A-Thon competition on Saturday.
Hamilton was able to convince a line-up of judges that her business, Reminiscence Bio, deserved an investment of $500,000 along with sustained support and opportunities for development.
Beginning on March 10, she pitched her business to the judges as new and innovative. Reminiscence Bio, she put forward, is a biography business focused on memorialising the life stories of the ordinary and extraordinary people around us.
It caters, primarily, to persons at or above the pension or retirement age but also considers that persons at a younger age may want to commence or complete their biographies.
The business offers both print and video biography packages as well as other services which cater to group biographies for low-income persons; books on a business’ history; contractual biography services as part of the benefits package for large organizations and editing services.
Though Reminiscence Bio was established in August 2020 when Hamilton interviewed her first client, she plans to launch officially in April 2021.
Before arriving at this stage, she worked for months with pro bono clients to ensure that she developed the right standard and quality of her products. At times she said the journey was lonely because it required a lot of work and shared what she was working on with only a few trusted individuals.
Hamilton wanted to protect her idea at its infantile stage. As such, she did most of the groundwork such as designing her own website, developing her own business plan and sifting out opportunities for the printing of the books.
Speaking to the Village Voice News on Saturday, Hamilton, who is also the newspaper’s Chief Reporter, told of the motivation behind the business but in her capacity as owner and manager.
“From a very young age, I would always turn heads in primary school when the teacher would ask the class what we all wanted to be when we grew up and the common occupations would be named but I would say ‘an author’. As I grew, I got to understand that some jobs just weren’t as profitable or in demand, so I tailored myself to fit into a profession I was good at that could earn me money,” she said.
“However, years later I’m happy to be following my passion…and that now not only will it be fulfilling my dream but it will be appreciated by generations to come.”
Hamilton made her first pitch to judges at the Herdmanston Lodge on March 10 where the competitors were narrowed from 20 to just five. The finals were held on March 13 virtually. However, Hamilton did not attend owing to her Sabbath.
At Saturday’s event Hamilton had prearranged for the judges to be presented with a pre-recorded video in which the Reminiscence Bio business owner explained in detail aspects of her business such as contractual arrangements, marketing and advertising, expected profit and more.
In the end, she placed first with ‘The Glasgow Brothers’ (Phibian Farms) securing second place with $250,000 and Tasmin Pellew (Tazz Foods) securing third place with $150,000.
Phibian Farms is an aquaponics startup that aims to be the regional leader in the agricultural industry, while Tazz Foods featured a line of dehydrated, ready-to-eat meals. The other finalists also received prizes. “I think what we most appreciated from this experience, apart from the financial aspect, is the wholesome advice we received from the judges,” Hamilton said. “They were thorough, inquisitive and though they loved our business ideas, they didn’t give us false hope but useful critique.”
The judges included business experts Dee George, Terrence Campbell, Dr. Kiven Pierre, Saiku Andrews and Aggrey Marsh. Moving forward, Hamilton said that she hopes her business will become a sustainable success as she has a bigger goal in mind. She thanks those who appreciated her vision and assisted her in one way or the other.
She told the Village Voice News: “I want to make a lasting difference. Many Guyanese come from a place of not knowing their history and this dates back to enslavement. Today, in the 21st century, what’s our excuse? Why don’t we know all we can about our grandparents or our parents? It is high time that we do more to preserve our history, one person at a time. At Reminiscence Bio we believe that there is no better person to tell your story than ‘you’.”
Interested persons can visit www.reminiscencebio.com