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—Organic products to feature at Uncapped Marketplace
Alison’s Hair and Skin Care Products was formally established by 35-year-old Alison Gilead in 2019,and offers a wide array of locally-made personal care products including lip balms, body scrubs, hair and skin serums.
Alison began making natural skin care products12 yearsago with the aim of helping her son who was diagnosed with Atopic Eczema. Atopic Eczema is a disorder characterised by inflammation of the skin (dermatitis). The condition usually begins in early infancy and often endsbefore adolescence. Alison noted that the medication her son was using for the condition contained steroids that caused more damage to his skin.
This prompted her search for an alternative solution which resulted in the formulation of askin serum usingbeeswax. This serum improved his skin’s appearance tremendously and she realised that it could help other persons suffering from the same condition. “After I would have shared my inspiration for making the serum, persons were eager to try it and it worked for them,” she shared.
Following the success of that product, Alison ventured into producing soaps to complement the skin serum. This product, like the skin serum, was also well-received by buyers on the local market. However, while her products received support from her local clientele, Alison longed for the opportunity to expand her reach to regional and international markets.Fortunately, she was encouraged by a friend to participate in the Guyana ManufacturingandServices Association’s (GMSA) UncappeDMarketplace in 2019 and recalls that her business was able to acquire tremendous support. “That experience was wonderful. It was the first time I went to such a huge event and received that level of support. It was a great experience for me. It helped me to put myself out there more,” the businesswoman said.
Since participating in the event, Alison was able to acquire continuous support from local,regional and international customers. Sheattributes her success to the exposure her business gained through UncappeD Marketplace. The event is scheduled to return this year for two days on April 30 and May 1 after a two-year hiatusdue to the COVID-19 pandemic. Alison believes that the support this time around will surpass the previous years with more exhibitors and more patrons supporting the event. She will be launching a natural deodorant at this year’s exhibition and patrons will be receiving free samples of some of her products. She believes that the UncappeD event is one which provides a unique opportunity for new agro-processing businesses to become established. As such, she praised the GMSA for providing agro-processors with the chance to build their businesses. Alison posited, “This is a way of helping agro-processors to become established because if I wasn’t told about the event and then participated, I would not have had this great business.”
Similarly, UncappeD was also the catalyst of success for Sherl Marsha Daniels—the owner of Sherl’s Cosmetics. This business, which was established in2010, has been a part of the UncappeD experience from inception. Sherl’s Cosmetics offers a number of beauty products including shampoos and conditioners as well as hair, body and beard oils,body and face soaps. According to her, UncappeD Marketplace was the first exhibition she participated in. She disclosed, “Due to the UncappeD experience, we’re on the international market because folks came to Guyana for the UncappeD event and they used our products and then returned to buy them wholesale to resell overseas. It also helped us to reach a lot of people locally. The expo caused people to realise that there are superior products available locally.”
Like Alison, she believes that this year’s event will be spectacular and she is optimistic for the support local agro-processors will receive. Sherl said, “I think it’s going to be wonderful and I am looking forward for more people coming and more support,” while commending the GMSA for the immeasurable opportunities being presented to local agro-processors. This year, Sherl will be introducing a few new products to the market including lip balms, lip glosses and body butters. Additionally, supporters can look forward to new labels and packaging. Since 2017, the GMSA has been playing its part in the development of the local agro-processing sector though UncappeD Marketplace event. UncappeD is an exhibition and food festival which was created primarily to give agro-processors a platform to showcase their products and attract more sales. As such, the event has benefited a number of agro-processors across the country. The event will return to the Guyana National Stadium Providence, East Bank Demerara, commencing at10:00 hrs. daily. ( Feature provided by Sagacity Inc.)