Queendom Images To Be Showcased In NY

June 16, 2018 | 0 Comments

Jayde Gibbons of Queendom Heights – one of the vendors selected during the recent BEDC contest to showcase their products in New York – is set to offer a stunning collection of images of Bermuda at the New York market.

Six local entrepreneurs have been given a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to go to New York City and take part in an exclusive vendor market called The Reserve on July 1.

The opportunity was provided to them through the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation [BEDC]’s recent Vend 2 Win Competition, which saw more than 30 vendors vie for the chance to show their wares in front of influencers and trendsetters in the Big Apple.

Bernews will be profiling the winners of the competition, and in the third of six profiles, we hear from Jayde Gibbons, owner of Queendom Heights.

Jayde Gibbons Bermuda June 2018

Q: What inspired you to start your vending business?

A: Honestly, working hard to fulfill someone else’s dream isn’t the life I want for myself, I have my own. When you see local photographers such as Nhuri Bashir produce that level of work and be able to do what he loves for a living is amazing, makes you realize that it can be done. Photography has always been a silent passion of mine and people who have known this have always said I should try to sell my work so I figured why not turn that into a business, that way I can sustain myself while doing something I love.

Q: How long have you been an entrepreneur and how would you describe the entrepreneurial journey so far?

A: I’ve only started to sell my prints within the last month, however, as stated this has always been a silent passion of mine so I’ve been taking pictures for a while, only within the last couple of months I’ve decided to turn this into a business. I still have a lot to learn but I’m excited for that ride.

Q: What have been the challenges? What have been the biggest rewards?

A: Unfortunately there isn’t a huge market for the arts in Bermuda, everything needs to be shipped, which costs money on top of the high costs of everything else here. Even in regards to printing services, high quality photo printing here is very expensive for someone starting out so you have to figure out a way to maneuver your way through to get what you want, a lot of research, sacrifices and networking. The biggest rewards so far, is the reaction I get from people. Just to see that someone loves my work honestly makes me so happy and makes it all worth the headaches.

Q: What kinds of products do you currently sell? What kinds of feedback do you typically get from customers?

A: Queendom Heights is a collection of pictures of my Bermuda, I wanted to showcase Bermuda from my perspective, so you won’t see the typical pink sands and Bermuda shorts. What you will see is the Bermuda myself and my peers enjoy: the places we go, the familiar faces we see, the activities we enjoy, just things that are staples to Bermuda and my community from a different perspective.

I think because of that, the feedback has been amazing, it makes me very proud and makes me want to keep pushing and show more. I feel like this is important because there is so much more to this little island than what pops up from a Google search. We have such a rich culture that truly cannot be matched, so being able to see the look on people’s faces when they genuinely love what they see is an amazing feeling.

Q: Why did you decide to enter BEDC’s Vend 2 Win Competition?

A: A co worker of mine mentioned the Vend 2 Win Competition to me and I didn’t think anything of it until another friend of mine brought it to my attention with more detail. After that, I jumped at the opportunity! Not often do entrepreneurs get the chance to showcase their hard work internationally so I figured why not try it.

Q: What was the reaction when you found out you had been selected as a grand prize winner?

A: Shock! The first thing I did was call my mom, she’s my biggest fan. I’m at my desk in this quiet corporate office and as soon as I told her I won my co workers heard the excitement coming through the phone! I honestly didn’t expect to win, especially seeing all of the other vendors who had been doing this way longer than I have. The quality of work I saw was impeccable so to know I was chosen is an honor, made me very proud! All this means is that I need to raise the bar a notch.

Q: What does this experience mean to you? How do you hope this will help to grow/ elevate your business to the next level?

A: I can’t put into words what this win means to me, I don’t win anything, so I still cant believe it. My main focus is to network while at the reserve. I hope to catch the eye of someone who sees my vision and is willing to help take my work to another level in regards to production and quality of work. I have so many more visuals that haven’t been seen so I plan on taking my ‘A’ game to The Reserve.

For prints, Queendom Heights can be contacted via email at qheights3@gmail.com. Their products will also be sold exclusively at Urban Cottage on Front Street, Hamilton; and at Harbor Nights on Wednesdays. Find them on Instagram @queendom_heights.

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