Jamaica Yellow Pages, title sponsor of 'The Innovators' reality show, celebrates the series' season finale with the announcement of five winners of the Jamaica Yellow Pages' Innovators Facebook competition. The competition invited micro, small business owners and fans of the series to submit their business models to their Facebook page for a chance to win advertising packages to boost their business' exposure. Hosted by entrepreneurs Gary Matalon and Yaneek Page, 'The Innovators' seeks to transform small businesses into sustainable, profit-building operations. The third season ends on September 16.
Fashion retailer's novel approach
Grand-prize winner Danielle-Rogelle Hope was one of the youngest entrants and won over the judges with her innovative approach to the all-too-familiar fashion retail model. Her business, Stay Good Boutique, is just over a year old and started off small but with ideas to increase her clientele. Rather than rely entirely on serving a local market, Hope enrolled her business in an international shopping platform and created a secondary international audience, which creates an important channel of profit. The website staygoodboutique.storenvy.com, carries an ever-changing array of women's clothing and accessories. She sources her stock from international wholesalers, retailers and small independent designers. Hope explains, "One of the most important things I've learned when dealing with my international suppliers is that negotiating on unit costs and shipping fees is an important way to increase profit margins."
For the local market, Stay Good Boutique offers shoppers an opportunity to browse the site's webstore and select unique, on-trend fashion and accessories from the inventory. In-stock items will be delivered to shoppers within 48 hours, or no more than a week for special order items. According to the marketing manager of the Jamaica Yellow Pages, Tshani Jaja, "Stay Good Boutique was selected based on the innovative design of her business, creativity and the desire to see her business expand to the local market."
Founded by necessity
Stay Good Boutique was founded out of necessity and an innate need for financial independence. When Hope got pregnant during her second year at the Mico University, she refused to become dependent on her parents and started selling small items door to door in her community. From there her business evolved.
Thought Stay Good Boutique is very young, Hope understands how critical it is to market her business. Her international clients benefit from the online marketing of the web platform, while her local audience has been wooed primarily through her presence on Facebook. While Hope's belief is 'likes equal sales', she knows that facebook alone will not be enough to sustain the business in the next phase of the company's growth. She told Flair that she entered the competition because the prize page appealed to her. "I know that I could get my products marketed better via the Jamaica Yellow Pages - a wider local audience will see my product on the web and on the phones, and those without internet access will be able to see it in the directory." She continued, "... the win means even more in that I would be recognised, inspire other small entrepreneurs and have the tools to improve my company's profitability."
Hope is a big fan of 'The Innovators' co-host Yaneek Page, and notes that she has garnered some very valuable advice from her during the televised series. The most important, she told Flair, was, "... take risks, but be sensible and very realistic". Hope says she interprets that to mean, "it is best to start small, especially for young people like me who have limited access to capital." She continued, "You need not put your hat where you cannot reach it."
As grand-prize winner, Stay Good Boutique will receive a full-colour quarter column display ad in the next directory as well as a Platinum website bundle that includes a 15-page website and free hosting for a year, premium placement on JamaicaYP.com and production of an on-location e-video. The runners-up include Marlon Mcleod - Photography, Fruitgasm Catering; B'Zaleel, a Clarendon-based custom-design fashion boutique led by Tamoya Mighty, and Jameila Blythe of High Flyer Tutorial Services. Each of the winning four micro businesses will receive a bold listing in the next Jamaica Yellow Pages Directory as well as a Gold website bundle that includes premium placement on JamaicaYp.com, enhanced profile page and a photo montage e-video. 'The Innovators' is also sponsored by The Gleaner.