The owner of Kimya Glasgow Boutique, located in the Kingstown Cruise Ship Terminal in St. Vincent, credited the Caribbean Export Development Agency for supporting her dream.
She was a beneficiary of Caribbean Exports’ Women Empowered through Export (WE-Xport) programme, which was launched in March 2018. The initiative provides business coaching, training and numerous resources to women-owned businesses in the Caribbean. It also seeks to facilitate export or increase the export of products and services.
“Caribbean Export has been a significant part of my business growth. Over the years, I received many opportunities for business and export training, such as Export Marketing Training.” she recalled.
“I applied and succeeded in obtaining a Direct Assistance Grant from Caribbean Export in 2011, which allowed me to do some much needed expansion on my business. Caribbean Export has also supported me by funding my participation in Dominicana Moda 2014, where my collection was well-received and I was able to do significant research on manufacturing in Dominican Republic and Haiti,” she added.
Divulging some of her differentiating factors, the Vincentian designer said she had a strong preference for natural fabrics and invoking history in her work.
“We are very much a natural line, we only use natural fabrics so things that are bio-degradable like cottons, linens and silk that feel good on the skin and are actually healthier. People don’t often realize because the skin is the largest organ of your body that it actually has an impact on you as a person, but we are moving towards becoming a full eco line in terms of our resort wear and to have a sustainable and ethical brand,” she disclosed.
Kimya has also added a touch of Vincentian uniqueness to her designs by incorporating hieroglyphics from Carib stones on one of her mesh cover-ups. The bronze glittered hand-painted symbol pays tribute to the Caribbean’s indigenous inhabitants and preserves their history. She intends to recreate more “Carib stone symbols” by hand painting them onto garments and eventually producing a print.
In addition to Kimya Glasgow, the other designers who participated in the International Fashion Festival – Barbados Fashion Week and received support from the Caribbean Export Development Agency were: Kristin Frazer of Tortola in the British Virgin Islands; Roy Thompson of Barbados; David André of Haiti; Indira Moss of The Bahamas and Henré Designs of Antigua.
The Caribbean Export Development Agency provides transformative and targeted interventions aimed at enhancing the exportability and competitiveness of regional brands. The Creative Industry, of which fashion is an important sector, has been identified as a priority area. (SP/Caribbean Export)