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By Enid JoaquinIrene Bacchus Holder comes from the mold of those women, for whom home management alone is simply not enough. Irene always wanted to do something which involved more than cooking, doing dishes and laundry, and being teacher, nurse-maid to her family.“I don’t like being totally dependent upon a man- that irritates me. I didn’t want to have to go to my husband every time I needed a new dress or pair of shoes or things like that, that is simply not my style. So I was always looking to do something whereby I could establish myself and become financially independent.”That ‘something’, turned out to be pyrography: purchasing blocks of wood- cutting them, shaping, sanding and lacquering them, and finally hand-painting them.The end products would be beautiful jewel boxes, bowls, platters, rolling pins, and table lamps, with Irene’s unique hand painting embellishing them. This array of items has been exhibited and sold both at home and abroad, and has seen Irene’s transition from resourceful housewife to shrewd entrepreneur.Her aim at present is to secure an overseas market for her rolling pins.Hard at work: Irene Bacchus Holder in her workshopNo Woman’s World.A visit to Irene’s factory will jar the average person, upon seeing the piles and piles of wood amidst the dust and machinery that covers almost every available space.This is not your typical worksite, with the manager sitting demurely at her desk,Cheap NFL Jerseys China, but one where you’ll most likely find her cutting or sanding wood.And she certainly cuts a unique picture, dressed in faded blue jeans and jersey and a face mask sitting atop her windblown and disheveled hair, as she turns out a piece of her prized wood.But despite the dust and seeming disarray, Irene wears a perpetual smile on her face, lending to it a look of serene content.She apologizes profusely for what she calls the obvious mess of the place, which I told her is to be expected,Wholesale Authentic Jerseys, considering her work.Irene speaks of her current occupation, with the passion and pride of one who has surely found their true purpose in life.STARTING OUT“I used to buy these jewellery boxes and other trinkets from a woman that used to do hand painting on them; so after she left, the guy that used to supply her with the boxes,Jerseys NFL China, asked me if I could do it ( hand paint), and I said yes,Cheap NFL Jerseys, even though I had never done it before.“And that is how I got started, with the encouragement of my brother who sent me a wood burning pen with interchangeable tips. That was over ten years ago. However initially, I ordered the boxes from the same young man that used to supply the lady. But then I thought it might be better if I could produce my own things from scratch, as he was becoming unreliable, and that is what I did.”She said that she started to make her first Simarupa boxes with the help of two trainees from the Linden Technical Institute, who helped her to develop her products.Her first work station was located inside the LEAP building on Republic Avenue, but after outgrowing that location, she subsequently moved to her present location, in the old Guyana Stores building, aback the Toucan Call Centre.Irene has sold her unique array of wooden items to places such as Guyana Stores, and other Georgetown businesses over the years.“But the main problem is that people don’t like to pay- not the people at Guyana Stores,NFL Jerseys Clearance, but the other businesses- they would take your things and then it’s a problem to get your money.However though I’m self taught, I can safely say that I’ve developed my techniques to the point where I can enter art competitions and exhibitions.”Only last year she applied for and was successful in acquiring funding from the “matching Grant” initiative, which enabled her to participate in trade shows in Germany ,Cheap NFL Jerseys, France and California.She noted that in California, all of the things were sold out on the very first day of the exhibition.Ms. Bacchus displays some of her creations“One lady came and she just bought out everything, but then she was gracious enough to allow me to keep them on show for the duration of the exhibition. And I can tell you I got a lot of glowing compliments; the people really love our woods. They go crazy- to them; our woods are really exotic.”So it was really a good experience for me. I also participated in several other trade fairs overseas, and my work was always well received.Some of the countries I’ve done exhibitions in include Germany, the US, Canada and France. I’ve also travelled to the Caribbean for several exhibitions and sold quite a few pieces.”Irene said that she has however not pursued the Caribbean Market in a while as sales have dwindled.She has been participating in Guy-expo every year, but said that every year it’s mostly more of the same.I have never really picked up any orders from Guy-expo, because to me people basically just go to look, they hardly buy anything.The only thing I really sell there is my lucky seed key rings which are very popular, so I make a lot of those just for the occasion.”Apart from making hand painted gift and novelty items, Irene is also a talented seamstress, and does batik and cake decorating.She points out that before delving into pyrography, she used to sew and hand paint clothes, which she sold to a boutique owner in Georgetown.Currently, Irene has an outlet for her products at 73 Robb Street Lacytown. The place is called “Amazon Authentic Art Gallery”.Irene said that she chose to establish the place in Georgetown as there was hardly anywhere where one could find authentic and beautiful artwork which featured our beautiful woods.Apart from her own pieces, Irene says that she also allows other artists to showcase and sell their pieces there.
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