The Produced in Montserrat Expo – PRIME ended on Sunday, July 23 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre with very positive reviews from the vendors and customers.
This was the third installment of the initiative from the Trade & Infrastructure Division, in collaboration with the Montserrat Arts Council and the Montserrat Tourism Division to highlight the work of local entrepreneurs. PRIME 2023 included an expanded layout which utilised more outdoor space for vendors to display their products. The live video stream, produced by the Government Information Service and hosted by Nerissa Golden of Discover Montserrat featured a backdrop created by The Decor Lab which displayed products from vendors at the event.
Watch Day 1 of Live at PRIME
Residents and visitors stopped in over the two-days to browse and shop. Government officials who were seen shopping at PRIME included Governor Sarah Tucker, Premier Joseph Farrell, and Minister of Agriculture Crenston Buffonge.
Vendors represented eight industries – Agro-processed goods/Light manufacturing, Arts and Craft, Beauty, Hair and Skin Care, Books & Literature, Candles, Fashion & Accessories, Horticulture, and Private & Public Service sectors.
Returning as the Platinum Sponsor for the second year was Bank of Montserrat Limited. The Bank’s General Manager, Baldwin Taylor said this year they are encouraging the entrepreneurs to make use of their alternative payment platforms to increase opportunities to transact business. The point-of-sale machine and BOM’s mobile application are two solutions on offer. Taylor said young entrepreneurs have been most readily adopting the use of the mobile application. He added that the Bank will be back as a sponsor in 2024.
Other sponsors this year were MS Osborne, Flow, who provided the winner of the best social media engagement with a new smartphone and other tech goodies; Digicel, BBC Radio & TV, and LHNet Ordering Services.
During the closing event on Sunday, hosted by Sharlene Lindsay, there was entertainment from the Matrixx Dancers and Next Level Dancers. There was also a prize-giving ceremony for outstanding vendors in several categories.
Christopher Gerald of Jaxxxonz Winery won $500 for Best Booth Layout for its organisation, visual appeal, creativity and branding. This was his first year at PRIME. He said during his on-air interview that there he received a lot of interest in their forthcoming wine made from Cashew Nut.
Juana Osborne of Woven Wick a speciality candle company tied with newcomer Serena Laird of Ser-Essence Candles for the Best Packaged and Labeled Products cash prize. Both were found to be the most visually appealing, offered clear information, innovative and creative.
Ian Gerald of Island Momentos won for Best Customer Service for being responsive to customer enquiries, friendliness and demeanor. Gerald said this year’s PRIME was really good for his business and he left with special orders for some of his products. He also said the new layout which placed some booths on the outside, meant that he did not feel cramped and enabled him to create a good display and experience for his customers.
Newcomer to PRIME 2023, Kerry Ann Shaw of Sculpt MNI which offers non-invasive body contouring won for best Social Media Engagement. She won the FLOW gift bag. Shaw told Discover Montserrat that being at PRIME had been a good learning experience. She was able to identify what products customers were most likely to purchase and what changes she needs to make to improve her products and presentation.
David Lea won the Digicel prize of a My-Fi device with three months of free data.
Winner of the raffle for 4-night stay at the luxurious Chez Mango Villa was Sheree Jemmotte-Rodney
Some of the customers shared on-air their purchases. Both Jadine Greenaway and Iris Lake said they planned their visit to the island to coincide with PRIME as they’ve been watching the showcase online and wanted to grab the local products.
Several vendors expressed their pleasure at the increased sales this year and orders which were placed.
The Planning Committee was led by Vernaire Bass, who took over from Adena Johnson, the former Director of Trade who developed PRIME while in office. Other members of the committee are Cynthia Dyett, Sharlene Lindsay, Rosetta West Gerald, Cherise Aymer, Sharyn White, Mr. Kenneth ‘Rabo’ Silcott, and Ritchlyn Hackett.
Watch Day 2 of Live at PRIME