May 15, 2015
Bahamian cottage industry workers like the concept of Bahamas Junkanoo Carnival and want to see it expand to support their souvenir-making businesses.
"Since 1994, I have been doing crafts but I took a sabbatical and now I'm back and focusing on only straw products that are indigenous and authentic, and promoting Bahamian culture," said Collette Ferguson, of Coco Reef Crafts.
"This is actually an opportunity to get exposure, and for people to understand my art and where I am coming from, for people to appreciate what we have and what we can offer in terms of how we can be more creative with what we have right here in The Bahamas."
Ferguson advertises her products by wearing her own handmade jewelry, especially while she interacts with her customers.
"If you are not proud and appreciative of what you have, how can you sell it?" she asked.
Another Bahamian vendor, Dennis Burrows, of Mambo's Dreams Enterprises, displayed his Bahamian beverages recipe book for people who want to make Bahamian cocktails at home or business. Herbert Burrows, Dennis' father, left a bartending legacy for his son to carry on; his son continues the business using his father's nickname -- "Mambo," which he earned from his favorite dance. It resonated from there.
"My father was considered one of the best bartenders The Bahamas ever had," Burrows said. "And here it is, I'm trying to keep the legacy. I think he's probably in the grave laughing and saying 'there goes my son'.
"So I'm just trying to keep it going, probably to upgrade it to the next level and make sure Bahamians and our tourists can enjoy our beverages.
"We have the best beverages in the world and they like it. That's why they come. We have sunny shores, nice pink sand, along with our drinks. Our people are the friendliest people in the world."
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