Blind and deaf want mop market

The Barbados blind and deaf community is on a mission to make their mops the dominant brand in Barbados, having been quiet producers of the cleaning implement for several years.

In fact, the Barbados Association for the Blind and Deaf has been re-caning and re-rushing chairs for more than half a century, with the production of mops following later. 

The association had a presence at the recent Barbados Manufacturers Exhibition (BMEX 2016), where Cheryl Griffith, a member of the Board of Directors, explained that its aim was “to put the Centre for the Blind on the map” and to show the Barbadian public that people who are visually impaired are capable of producinghigh quality products.

Blind and Deaf Association member Cheryl Griffith  showing Prime Minister Freundel Stuart one of the superior mops. At left is BMA President Jason Sambrano.
Blind and Deaf Association member Cheryl Griffith showing Prime Minister Freundel Stuart one of the superior mops. At left is BMA President Jason Sambrano.

“We’re here to stay,” Griffith told Barbados TODAY.

Griffith, who is legally blind, said the board had an ambitious plan to dominate the mop market here, by producing a top quality product that was superior to anything that was imported.

“The Board’s ambition is to get Barbadians to stop importing mops and buy all of our locally produced mops. When you buy a mop you keep the blind employed,” she said.

“I’m sure that people prefer to buy a mop from the blind than to buy something that is imported that wouldn’t last long.

“There are mops being imported into Barbados but they are not of the high quality like the ones being produced at the Centre for the Blind, and because of the high quality we tend to get more orders
coming in.”

As if presenting a scripted advertisement for the product, Griffith described the variety of mops produced by the association’s members, stressing differences in styles, sizes, colours and texture.

Although the mop has taken over as its primary product, the association has not neglected the foundation on which its business was built.

Griffith told Barbados TODAY that they continued to refurbish chairs just as they did when they started over 50 years ago.

“We cane and refurbish all types of chairs,” Griffith said, while adding another advertisement.

“If you can’t make it to us, we also pick up and deliver.”

And, amid political wrangling in the wake of a motion of no confidence brought against the Freundel Stuart administration by Opposition Leader Mia Mottley, the association was able to get both leaders and members of their parties to reach consensus on one issue.

Opposition Leader Mia Mottley checks out the ‘rush’ covered stool. At left is Blind and Deaf Association member Cheryl Griffith and at centre is Opposition MP Santia Bradshaw.
Opposition Leader Mia Mottley checks out the ‘rush’ covered stool. At left is Blind and Deaf Association member Cheryl Griffith and at centre is Opposition MP Santia Bradshaw.

Stuart, Mottley, Minister of Industry, International Business, Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss, and Opposition Members of Parliament Kerrie Symmonds and Santia Bradshaw were all impressed with the quality of the recently-introduced bar stools produced by the members of the association and displayed at BMEX.

Prime Minister Freundel Stuart checks out a ‘rush’ covered stool of the Blind and Deaf Association. At right is BMA President Jason Sambrano.
Prime Minister Freundel Stuart checks out a ‘rush’ covered stool of the Blind and Deaf Association. At right is BMA President Jason Sambrano.

One Response to Blind and deaf want mop market

  1. John Da Silva
    John Da Silva May 19, 2016 at 10:33 am

    It’s 2016. Surely the blind and deaf should be offered many more opportunities than making mops and caning furniture.

    Reply

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