Fri | Jan 17, 2020

Small manufacturers hoping for Rebel Salute break

Published:Monday | January 13, 2020 | 12:08 AMCarl Gilchrist/Gleaner Writer
Jewellery by Victor Wallace.
Jewellery by Victor Wallace.
Kemar Turner with his seasoning products.
Seasoning made by Kemar Turner.
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Several small manufacturers are hoping that their products will make it to Rebel Salute this weekend and give them much-needed exposure. The two-day festival, which has acted as a source of income for St Ann artisans in previous years, promises to do the same this year, and Victor Wallace and Kemar Turner hope to make it there for the first time.

Wallace, a craftmaker from Ocho Rios, who produces a range of finely crafted jewellery using cow horns, is seeking to be among those cashing in on the opportunity.

Speaking to The Gleaner last Friday, Wallace said: “I’m trying to be there, but I’m not sure if I’m gonna go or not. I’ve never gone to the show, so this would be the first time.

“But even if I don’t get to go, I’m hoping to get my products there anyway. There’s a lady who is going, I might be able to give her some of my products to carry.”

Wallace, who has been creating craft items for decades, makes earrings, bracelets, necklaces and anklets.

His jewellery could take their place among a vast array of finely crafted Jamaican products that usually adorn stalls at Rebel Salute.

Arts Village

The event’s website says the festival provides an arts village with exhibitors who offer a dazzling array of immaculately created indigenous works that include wood carvings, handmade jewellery, footwear and clothing.

Turner’s products might not be craft but they would still find a place among the most indigenous of Jamaican products. After working for several years in the tourism sector, Turner has switched to entrepreneurship and is producing Jamaican All-Purpose Mix Seasoning and Jamaican Crushed Hot Pepper on his Ites Up Yuself brand.

“The All-Purpose Mix Seasoning is salt-free, unlike others on the market, so I leave the consumer to add the amount of all that they want to add. It’s the type of product that encourages a healthy lifestyle, which is what Rebel Salute is also about,” Turner explained.

The all-purpose mix consists of pepper, garlic, scallion, pimento, thyme, and onion, while the crushed pepper is Jamaican Scotch bonnet.

Turner hailed the festival for the opportunity it is giving to small business persons like himself to showcase their goods, but said while he would really love to be at the event to showcase his, it is not a certainty.

“It’s a relatively new business, a small business with just two products so far, and the cost factor and everything; I want to be there but I don’t know, at this late stage,” Turner said.

Rebel Salute 2020 takes place this weekend – January 17 and 18 – at Grizzlys Plantation Cove in Richmond, St Ann.