Tue | Sep 26, 2017

Tamar Jackson fills in the 'Missing Pieces'

Published:Sunday | April 17, 2016 | 4:00 AM
This piece is called Wine.
Glass wedding coaster.
Puzzle wall pieces.
Puzzle wall
To the Moon
In all the world.
Missing Pieces Gifts designs can be personalised.
Square Wave can create an inspirational wall.
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Tamar Jackson is a wife, graphic/web designer, social media marketer and Internet researcher.

But apparently, that just wasn't enough on the plate of the 32-year-old. Nearly two years ago, Jackson launched 'Missing Pieces JA' - a hub that aims to help Jamaicans find items or services they need. There are three sections - 'Marketplace', 'Do You Know', and 'Gifts'.

"Missing Pieces actually started with a conversation about car parts. One person was lamenting over needing a particular car part that was only sold bundled with other parts he really didn't need. Why couldn't he find that one single part? That one missing piece?" said Jackson.

That conversation, coupled with a desire to teach herself to build basic websites, led Jackson to build Missing Pieces Marketplace - an interactive classifieds website.

Soon after, 'Do You Know?' was born pretty much the same way, with a conversation about finding people or rather, services. "A reliable plumber, a reasonable electrician, a good mechanic, etc; the people who are not in the Yellow Pages, and who many of us can only find if we're lucky enough to ask the right person. Why not then create a database where we can all share our experiences and help each other find those who provide the services we need at the prices we can afford? With this in mind, a friend and I teamed up to create 'Do You Know?' It's new and growing, but continues to make strides as users download the free Android app or access the website to leave reviews and add new businesses," said Jackson.

"My friend who decided to invest in 'Do You Know?', said she did so because it spoke to her in a special way. What captured her imagination is the possibility that we could, in some small way, help hardworking tradesmen and women of Jamaica, promote and grow their businesses," she added.

But something was still lacking, and that's when 'Missing Pieces - Gifts' came along. According to Jackson: "It is one of my creative outlets that started with painting a Bible verse on a single square glass tile. Then experimenting with ideas and shapes brought about the glass puzzle piece which is designed to be a growing gift. One piece can be the beginning of a colourful jigsaw with various quotes, verses, memories and jokes," she told Outlook.

The sole owner and operator of Missing Pieces JA targets Jamaicans 18 years and older in need of advertising or finding a service provider.

The hub is really easy to use. While you can browse without creating an account, new users of the app or website can create a free account or register using their Facebook or Twitter accounts. The user is then free to share their personal experience by leaving reviews of any of the tradespeople or businesses listed on the site. If the person they are looking for isn't listed, adding a business owner is simple and also free. If you've added a listing on behalf of someone else, just let them know so they can claim their listing, download the app, and interact with clients.

Missing Pieces Marketplace operates much like a classified site except that it is interactive. It is free to sign up and post items for sale or wanted items. If a viewer has a question about a product that has been listed, they can ask the the one who posted the product from within the site. There is also a forum platform for discussions on any topic surrounding finding items. For instance, a discussion could be started around 'the best places in Morant Bay to find Subaru parts'.

Missing Pieces Gifts designs and makes personalised, hand-painted glass gifts. The flagship item is the glass wall puzzle pieces. The unique shape allows you to create your own inspirational wall, adding pieces to commemorate precious moments. Bespoke items are also done where they design custom shapes and artwork to the customer's specifications. Items can be ordered online and are usually ready within seven days.

But that's not all, Jackson still has a few ideas up her sleeve. When asked what's next, she responded: "It all depends on what people need. I have a few ideas that I'm currently working on, but nothing that's ready for prime time yet."