Local skincare industry thriving through GMSA’s support
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Products made by Sherl Daniels
Products made by Sherl Daniels

–organic products to feature at Uncapped Marketplace

ALISON’S Hair and Skin Care Products was formally established by 35-year-old Alison Gilead in 2019, and offers a wide array of locally-made personal care products such as lip balms, body scrubs, and hair and skin serums.
Alison began making natural skin care products 12 years ago, with the aim of helping her son who was diagnosed with Atopic Eczema, a disorder that is characterised by inflammation of the skin (dermatitis). The condition usually begins in early infancy, and often ends before adolescence. Alison noted that the medication her son was using for the condition contained steroids that caused more damage to his skin. This prompted her search for an alternative solution, which resulted in the formulation of a skin serum, using beeswax. This serum improved his skin’s appearance tremendously, and she realised that it could help other persons suffering from the same condition. “After I would have shared my inspiration for making the serum, persons were eager to try it, and it worked for them,” she shared.

Sherl Daniels

Following the success of that product, Alison ventured into producing soaps to complement the skin serum. This product, like the skin serum, was also well received by buyers on the local market, however, while her products received support from her local clientele, Alison longed for the opportunity to expand her reach to regional and international markets. Fortunately, she was encouraged by a friend to participate in the Guyana Manufacturing and Services Association (GMSA)’s UncappeD Marketplace in 2019, and recalled that her business was able to acquire tremendous support.

“That experience was wonderful; it was the first time I went to such a huge event and received that level of support. It was a great experience for me; it helped me to put myself out there more,” the businesswoman said.

SUPPORT
Since participating in the event, Alison was able to acquire continuous support from local, regional and international customers. She attributes her success to the exposure her business gained through UncappeD Marketplace. The event is scheduled to return this year for two days, April 30 and May 1, after a two-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alison believes that the support this time around will surpass the previous years, with more exhibitors and more patrons supporting the event. She will be launching a natural deodorant at this year’s exhibition, and patrons will be receiving free samples of some of her products.

She believes that the UncappeD event is one which provides a unique opportunity for new agro-processing businesses to become established. As such, she praised the GMSA for providing agro-processors with the chance to build their businesses.

Alison Gilead

“This is a way of helping agro-processors to become established, because, if I wasn’t told about the event and then participated, I would not have had this great business,” Alison said.
Similarly, UncappeD was also the catalyst of success for Sherl Marsha Daniels, the owner of Sherl’s Cosmetics. This business, which was established in 2010, has been a part of the UncappeD experience from the inception. Sherl’s Cosmetics offers a number of beauty products, including shampoos and conditioners, as well as hair, body and beard oils, and body and face soaps. According to Sherl, UncappeD Marketplace was the first exhibition she participated in.

RETURNED TO BUY
“Due to the UncappeD experience, we’re on the international market, because folks came to Guyana for the UncappeD event, and they used our products and then returned to buy them wholesale to resell overseas,” Sherl said, adding: “It also helped us to reach a lot of people locally; the ‘expo’ caused people to realise that there are superior products available locally.”

Like Alison, Sherl believes that this year’s event will be spectacular, and she is optimistic about the support local agro-processors will receive. “I think it’s going to be wonderful, and I am looking forward for more people coming, and more support,” she said, while commending the GMSA for the immeasurable opportunities being presented to local agro-processors.

Products made Alison Gilead

This year, Sherl will be introducing a few new products to the market, including lip balms, lip glosses and body butters. Additionally, supporters can look forward to new labels and packaging.

Since 2017, the GMSA has been playing its part in the development of the local agro-processing sector though UncappeD Marketplace. UncappeD is an exhibition and food festival which was created primarily to give agro-processors a platform to showcase their products, and attract more sales. The event has benefited a number of agro-processors across the country, and is slated to return today to the Guyana National Stadium, at Providence, East Bank Demerara, from 10:00 hrs daily. (Ahreefa Bacchus of Sagacity)

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