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By Naomi Marshall
A 29-year-old mother of three who is on a mission to change the way Guyanese store their foods, and to kick start her business she has secured a US$1,000 Grant after being crowned the winner of INFO 10’s Business Pitch Competition on Friday in Linden.
But it was no easy task. Just two days before the competition, Derris Thomas lost her mother- her number one cheerleader but she persevered. “My mom died the night after they told me I was shortlisted and I was not even going to show up to the pitch competition. But I know that my mother would have been here with me today to support me through it and I know that she would not have wanted me to give up. So I came and I gave it my all and I came out successful and I am happy that I made my mom proud,” Thomas related to Village Voice News.
Thomas is the soon to become owner of Receptacle Variety a business that will be providing airtight, child-friendly and durable food storage containers for both dry and liquid goods. These containers, Thomas said are second to none when it comes to correctly storing goods.
Thomas, a teacher by profession said that the idea of Receptacle Variety was conceptualised after deciding that she wanted child friendly ways to store her grocery items at home. “As a mother it is hard sometimes dealing with children and storage containers and for a while our generation is so accustomed to recycling containers such as nut butter containers and ice-cream containers. It starting to become an eyesore so I started to look for innovative ways to improve my home storage and in doing that I decided to turn it into a business to help others and educate the public about alternative ways to store goods and items,” Thomas explained.
She stated that currently, her biggest challenge is acquiring a person to import her containers in a time-efficient and cost-effective manner.
Thomas also indicated that when the idea of Receptacle Variety was conceptualized she did not have enough money to start her business right away. However, when she heard of INFO 10’s business pitch competition, she knew it was the ideal opportunity to get her business up and running.
She said, “I was not as financially stable as I would have liked to be to start my business on my own so when I heard of the pitch competition I said it is the perfect opportunity for me to acquire the funds needed to start up the business.”
After being shortlisted with nine other small business owners and potential entrepreneurs, Thomas was given the opportunity to pitch her business idea, Receptacle Variety, on Friday to a panel of judges from recognized enterprising entities at INFO 10 Media’s inaugural business pitch competition.
After thorough deliberation by the judges, Thomas was named the first-place winner of the competition and walked away with US$1000. The woman who described herself as understanding, compassionate and forgiving noted that her next move is to make her idea a reality. “I do not want to make any wrong moves. So the first thing that I am going to do it to get my business plan written in stone and decide how to effectively spend the money to grow my business and in the future I hope to expand to supplying other things,” Thomas noted.
Persons interested in contacting Derris Thomas can do so on 6884709.