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(PRESS RELEASE) — SLUDTERA would like to share with its followers and readers a special edition of a SLUDTERA interview featuring Vernesa St. Marie from St. Lucia.
This interview forms part of the ‘Celebrating Entrepreneurs’ initiative that SLUDTERA introduced in 2017. During the course of this week SLUDTERA will feature the two St. Lucian entrepreneurs who were selected as finalists of the 2019 Caribbean Startup Summit Competition, advertised by the U.S. Embassy, Bridgetown.
The competition gave an open invitation to entrepreneurs from the Caribbean to submit a video about their startup and submit it via the Embassy website, for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to Barbados for the two-day Summit. The submission for this competition is closed, however persons who wish to still benefit from the Summit can register for the sessions for a fee.
SLUDTERA had a discussion with Ms. St. Marie, who hails from Desruisseaux in St. Lucia, on May 21st about the Summit.
1. What is the name of your company and what type of service do you provide?
Vernesa: The name of my company is Papillon Handmade. My company specializes in the creation of handmade and custom-made handbags, clutches and wallets.
2. What problem is your company solving and how many people have you helped since being launched?
My company caters to the individual who is in search of uniquely handmade handbags — for themselves or as gift items. Customers may also have the items custom-made by choosing the colour/fabric type, including additional pockets or having their initials printed on. Since I began producing handbags I have helped about 80 customers, some if whom have become repeat customers.
3. Did you receive any support when you first made your idea known? If so, who supported you? If not, how did you handle that?
Financially, I have supported my business idea with my savings. I have received no other form of financial assistance. However, my family and friends have been my advocates – they have supported by purchasing my items and promoting Papillon Handmade to others.
4. How did you find out about the Caribbean Startup Summit (CSS)?
I found out about the Caribbean Startup Summit from a Facebook ad hosted by the US Embassy to Barbados and the OECS advertising the Caribbean Startup Summit Competition.
5. Was this your first time applying to participate in the Caribbean Startup Summit?
6. What would you like to gain most out of this experience?
I would like to gain knowledge in areas such as marketing and expanding my startup business and taking it to the next level.
7. What are your plans upon your return to St. Lucia?
Upon my return to St. Lucia, I will present at the Startup Huddle St. Lucia Networking Program. I will be sharing with the audience, my experience at the Caribbean Startup Summit, and talking about my company. Come to listen, support and find out how you can help.