Vend 2 Win contest winners announced
Six local vendors have beat out the competition to secure a spot at an exclusive New York City market on Saturday, July 1.
The Bermuda Economic Development Corporation's inaugural ‘Vend 2 Win' Competition and Market has been hailed a “huge success” after attracting 36 local vendors and scores of patrons this past Saturday at Bermuda Athletic Association (BAA) from 2pm until 6pm.
A secret panel of judges were invited to browse the market this weekend to assess vendors on their booth's presentation, customer service, packaging/ display, ability to deal with large crowds and the overall buying experience to select the competition winners. Based on their overall scores, there are now six local vendors that have been selected as the first Vend 2 Win champions. They include: Limestone + Cedar Co.; Native by Channing Dill; His N Hers & Beauty Co.; Queendom Heights; Chiko's Smokey Rub; and NovelTea.
Said organiser Ondreyah Rochester, BEDC's Junior Micro, Small, and Medium Enterprise (MSME) Officer: “It was breathtaking to see so many vendors come out and display their handmade and Bermuda inspired items this past weekend. I was really impressed with the overall calibre of the talent that came out and wish I could take all these vendors with us to New York.
“We had originally set out to award five local vendors with the grand prize, but there ended up being a tie that the judges couldn't break. We have decided to take all six entrepreneurs with us and know they will represent the Island well in July.'
Ms Rochester said she was particularly impressed with His N Hers & Beauty Co's booth, run by Kayuntae Ming, a 19-year-old who just last year graduated from The CedarBridge Academy.
Driven Society's The Reserve market was established to stimulate business growth for multicultural business owners and provide a fun, inspiring and interactive experience for guests. Geared at attracting millennial consumers, including some of New York City's biggest influencers and trendsetters, those who attend the vibrant events are encouraged to engage with new brands and meet the entrepreneurs behind the products and services,
In addition to sponsoring their registration fee for the market, BEDC will award Vend 2 Win top prize winners with a round-trip ticket to the Big Apple and accommodation. Erica Smith, BEDC's Executive Director, said the experience would be a “worthwhile investment' into the lives of Bermuda's entrepreneurs.
“I was very impressed with the talent that came out this past weekend to BAA and believe those chosen will showcase some amazing products; and help to continue to put Bermuda's entrepreneurs and products on the map,” Mrs. Smith explained. “The overall goal of the competition was to facilitate another way to expose our Island's entrepreneurs to international opportunities. During this unique trade mission to New York, the winners will observe overseas vendors, network with other entrepreneurs, build an international client-base, and learn as much as possible, so they can bring that experience back with them for the betterment of their businesses and Bermuda.”
Jayde Gibbons, owner of Queendom Heights, described the recent Vend 2 Win Market as ‘amazing'. “To see so many creatives come together and produce the level of work I saw was phenomenal,” she said. “I was very proud to be a part of that and the feedback I got for my prints was amazing, the atmosphere was unmatched and I really had a good time networking with all of the other entrepreneurs. Great job to everyone who participated!”
In addition to the six winners, the public also had an opportunity to vote for their favourite vendor at Saturday's event. The ‘People's Choice' award and $100 travel voucher prize was given to Lifestyles Co Ltd. The event also featured an innovative passport system, encouraging customers to shop in order to be eligible to win the door prize draw, a $300 travel voucher.
The BEDC is hoping to provide another opportunity for local vendors to attend a similar market in Los Angeles later this year. Dustin Edelhertz, Co-founder of Driven Society, was on Island this week to meet the vending competition winners. Mr. Edelhertz said: “I've personally travelled to Bermuda for many years as a tourist and just love the Island. I'm excited to be able to introduce these other Americans, who haven't yet experienced the culture and heritage here, and to be able to bring a piece of Bermuda to them.
“These six vendors will be showcasing aspects of local fashion, food and drink flavours and other Bermuda inspired items to the wider public. Hundreds of people usually come to our events looking for the next new brand and that exclusive first look at something, which is why we carefully select each vendor that will be part of every single event.”
Mr. Edelhertz encouraged any other local vendors interested in experiencing The Reserve to either stop by as a patron or to consider applying directly through them by e-mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org.
For more information on the BEDC, e-mail email@example.com; or to learn more about the upcoming July event offered by the Driven Society, visit www.drivensociety.com.
Bermuda Economic Development Corporation (BEDC) is Bermuda's premier source of free confidential business advice for entrepreneurs. The mission is to serve Bermuda's local business community with the highest degree of professionalism by providing, authoritative business advice; counsel and loan guarantee support. Bermuda Business Starts Here! For more information visit www.bedc.bm.
About Driven Society
Driven Society is an organisation focused on building success for multicultural millennials and post-millennials by providing educational entertainment, professional resources, mentorship, and specialised live events. Our community of creative entrepreneurs exists to inspire, energise, and nurture ideas in support of a culture where business, philosophy, and art converge to provide equal opportunity for success regardless of background or privilege. We aim to lead, nurture, and support the next generation of innovative entrepreneurs and leaders in creating cultural change and professional success.