Tue | Sep 19, 2017

Buying Jamaican this Christmas

Published:Tuesday | December 6, 2016 | 12:00 AMKeisha Hill
Janice Lee (left) and Joey Hamilton.
A 'Rivers in the Desert Places' greeting card.
The inside of one of the company's cards.
A 'Rivers in the Desert Places' greeting card.
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With all the modern communication devices and products available, there are many ways to express your feelings to someone special. Sometimes, however, there is nothing better than an actual greeting card.

Cards are still widely used to keep in touch and express love, offer congratulations, condolences, and gratitude. For many persons, receiving a physical greeting card means more than an email, e-card, or even a phone call because of the time and thought behind it.

This Christmas, Rivers in the Desert Places Greeting Cards - a Jamaican-owned and operated business, has a wide variety of inspirational and reflective greeting cards that can be shared with family, friends and loved ones.

According to Janice Lee, director at Rivers in the Desert Places, the concept for the business started out of a desire to share the love of God with the use of Bible verses. "Three years ago, I had the opportunity to publish a reflective devotional called 'He Provides Rivers in the Desert Places of My Life. The book is based on my life's journey, and God's grace and faithfulness. The greeting cards were just a natural progression arising from the book," Lee said.

All the cards have a scripture verse on the second page and all accompanying poems are written by business partner and Managing Director Joey Hamilton. "It is more of a mission than a business, because we are committed to spreading the good news that God loves us and Jesus is still the answer," Lee said.

The cards are designed by Lee and Hamilton with the illustrations and creative work done by Jamaican artist Rachel Moss and graphic artist Kevron Turner. "While we maintain the local flair and flavour, our aim is that the cards must be able to have an international appeal in terms of context and quality," Lee said.

Lee added that the company is in the process of identifying lucrative markets in the Caribbean and has already sent samples of the greeting cards to Trinidad and Tobago.

"The greeting card business is not a big as it was 20 years ago, but we are uniquely Jamaican. There was no product on the market with the concept we have before we started business. There were mostly imported cards. However, our cards speak to Jamaica and the everyday life of Jamaicans," Lee said.

Many people love to receive a card, either through the post or by hand. These competitively priced greeting cards are available in pharmacies, bookstores and other retail outlets islandwide. For more information on Rivers in the Desert Places Greeting Cards, visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/riversinthedesertplaces.

keisha.hill@gleanerjm.com