The gates of the Jamaica 50 Golden Jubilee Village are now open and there are so many attractions that quite a few persons will no doubt be faced with the 'kid-in-the-candy-store' dilemma.
However, there is one attraction that will quite likely beckon with a little more appeal than others, and might even have repeat visitors - the Jam50 Shop. Oozing with the creativity for which Jamaicans are renowned, the shop has been skilfully designed by a group of 2011 graduates from the Edna Manley College of the Visual and Performing Arts (EMVPA). This space at the village will provide retail therapy for the hundreds who will want to commemorate the 50th in a tangible way. It will have a large array of memorabilia on sale.
Authentic look and feel
The Jam50 Shop, which even has its own specially designed logo, is already recognised for its authentic look and feel, which incorporates the use of burlap crocus bag. One of the best-kept secrets of the shop is its 20-foot wide by 8-foot high mural, which forms the back wall and which the team hopes will serve as the inspiration they intend it to be.
The eight Jamaican designers, young and imbued with pride, could be the poster children for the spirit of volunteerism that is a hallmark of the Jamaica 50 Jubilee Village.
Licence and merchandise manager at the Jamaica 50 Secretariat, Stephanie Campbell, pointed out that the shop is one of the many heart-warming stories coming out of the village. As coordinator of this particular project, Campbell said she wanted to "find a way for young people to get involved and to create something that they could be proud of and feel connected to, something that would represent their Jubilee gift to Jamaica".
"They created the Jam50 Shop logo and they also created the 'Designed by Jamaicans' stamp, which will be used in the shop. The look and feel have also been created by them and it is really inspiring, creative work. These volunteers have definitely succeeded in putting the 'nation on a mission' theme into action," a very satisfied Stephanie Campbell said.
With their patriotic desire to serve their country, they have worked tirelessly since the end of May to bring the Jam50 Shop to life. When asked about the mural, Lauren Watkis, the team spokesperson, said, "The entire design of the shop is old Jamaica with a modern touch. We tried to keep everything simple and we have used eco-friendly materials which can be reused to make something else when the village is closed. Or the shop can be pulled apart and become memorabilia, so someone will be able to own a piece of it," she said.
"All we want is for Jamaicans to be proud of our Jamaican designers," she said.