Girls have a blast at sixth expo
The girls of Barbados, united last weekend, were all headed for the transformed Concorde Experience for the sixth annual Girlfriends Expo.
And, as the organizers like to say, it was more than an expo; it was an experience. From the looks on the ladies’ faces and the sounds of their excited laughter and chatter, they indeed had a blast last Saturday and Sunday.
Over the two days, scores of ladies, young and in-between, came out to view over 100 exhibits in hair, make-up, fashion, and other booth products and services to tickle the female’s fancy.
Event director Kimtara Clarke said the expo had steadily grown over the years, and the feedback from vendors and the public at large was encouraging.
“They are beginning to take it more seriously. The response has been great from the general public. People are coming out and they are finding out more about the businesses, and they are looking for specials of course. It’s going great . . . . In terms of the vendors, this year it was a very good response; a very early response as well; and I think that’s important to note. I’ve seen a lot of new businesses popping up; people are taking it more seriously and not just looking to come out and have a small space; but to have a large enough space to showcase the things that they do,” Clarke said.
She told Barbados TODAY that at this year’s expo, as in previous years, the trend was towards make-up, hair and jewellery.
“The majority of the businesses are usually in make-up, and that’s where the biggest interest is. But within our expo we try to limit the businesses to no more than three in any one category. And that’s so to keep it fair. But hair, make-up and jewellery are usually the big ones. Then from there you have cupcakes. They have been doing better over the years. Anything to do with treats has been growing,” she added.
Clarke said the organizers were now eagerly anticipating 2016 and all it would have to offer.
Make-up artists Shaniqua Trotman, at the expo for the first and representing a big make-up company, described the experience as phenomenal.
“It is my first time working with L’Oreal. So far it has been fun, it has been amazing and it’s a different experience working with such a huge cosmetic brand,” she said.
Trotman added that she would encourage all entrepreneurs to get involved in expos of that kind to further build their brand.
“You meet so many different people and you network as well . . . . so it’s definitely a must for entrepreneurs because you need to showcase yourself and your product or services by all means,” she observed.
Brandi Gilkes, owner and designer at Iman Estie, agreed with Trotman that the expo was a must for entrepreneurs to push their brand.
“I think this is great exposure for your business because they’re so many women who pass through here; and not only women; but they’re children and men passing through as well. They are people from overseas who come and some tourists who come straight off the plane. So, overall, I think it’s a great opportunity for the businesses,” she said.
Gilkes described her first experience at Girlfriends Expo as a great one, reporting good sales over the two days.
“Officially, this is my first time, yes. I came last year and I wasn’t feeling very well, so I had to rush off with the medics and I couldn’t get to stay; but my mum took over for me. This year, though, I love it; it’s been going great. I came with something different.
“Last year I had the clothes; this year we are doing the undergarments; and you know women always like undergarments . . . . Actually before we could finish setting up we had sales going like crazy.”
Apart from the inviting booths, the ladies also were treated to fashion shows and workshops throughout the event, which lasted from noon until 10 p.m. each day.