Tue | Dec 1, 2020

A ‘Braata Box’ of opportunities

Published:Thursday | July 27, 2017 | 12:00 AM
André Robb, co-founder of Braata Box and Company, at the third staging of Christmas in July held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston on Thursday.
Young entrepreneurs participating in the Tourism Linkages Network’s Christmas in July, which was held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston on Thursday.
Sharon McKain (left) from Shamak Apparel shows off some of her designs to Valrie Veira (right), executive director of the Jamaica Business Development Corporation, and Vivette McFarlane at this year’s Christmas in July event, where more than 110 exhibitors participated. It was held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in Kingston on Thursday.

Awash with nostalgia while undertaking extensive research work in Cape Town, South Africa, AndrÈ Robb's brainchild, Braata Box, took shape as a medium for Jamaican culture overseas.

Braata Box manifests as a wooden gift package containing various products that are 100 per cent made and sourced locally and are suited for birthdays, anniversaries and other special occasions.

The word 'braata' is derived from the original word, meaning bonus or extra, and is in keeping with Robb's vision to "give people more than what they deserve".

Upon displaying the item at the 2016 Christmas in July event, Robb's business fortunes would turn for the better as he forged a link with the Gilbert Bigio (GB) Group, which sees him supplying dozens of gifts on a monthly basis.

"The best part of having GB choose us to meet their gifting needs is the multiplying effect. We are able to directly attribute two other significant orders from corporate companies that first learnt about Braata Box and Company because of a gift box they received from a company that Christmas in July had introduced us to," said Robb at the launch of the 2017 Christmas in July exhibition.

Christmas in July is a one-day trade exhibition that allows local producers to showcase their works in attempt to enlist corporate support, as well as network with other producers.




"I've had many failed business ventures prior to Braata Box and, even with this venture, I started out with a simple cardboard box, but then utilised wooden boxes that persons tend to like because of its affordable price," he added.

While underscoring that failure was a key ingredient to success, Robb encouraged young persons of a business mind to persist amid challenges.

"My experiences have helped me with my time management and meeting orders, as well as teaching me how to gauge my expectations with first-time customers. There are persons who will make orders then change their minds, which, of course, will lead to disappointment. However, the positive outweighs the challenges and I'm grateful to be given the opportunity."

- Delion Bowes