Garry Parrish Turns ‘Granny Seh’ Quotes Into Thriving Business

Photo: Chief Executive Officer of Garry’s Concept, Garry Parrish, displays two of his refrigerator magnets at the recent Institute of Jamaica (IOJ) heritage festival held at the entity’s headquarters, 10-16 East Street, Kingston. - Rudranath Fraser

Story Highlights

  • The quotes are placed on a variety of souvenir items such as wall plaques, scrolls, aprons, pot holders and refrigerator magnets.
  • It is now on a refrigerator magnet with artwork depicting a man hanging on to a rope above a pond with a crocodile lurking below.
  • Granny Seh also offers recipes for Jamaican fruit cake, coconut drops, sorrel wine, rum punch, ackee and corn pork, ackee and salt fish and salt fish rundown on plaques.

For persons looking for a unique and authentically Jamaican gift idea for Christmas, Garry’s Concept, owned by Entrepreneur Garry Parrish could be the ideal choice.

Under the trademark ‘Granny Seh’ Mr. Parrish provides inspiring and motivational proverbs and quotes that have their roots in the Jamaican cultural experience.

The quotes are placed on a variety of souvenir items such as wall plaques, scrolls, aprons, pot holders and refrigerator magnets. They were recently on display at the third staging of the Institute of Jamaica’s (IOJ) heritage festival held at the entity’s offices, 10-16 East Street, Kingston.

Mr. Parrish tells JIS News he first started writing quotes as inspiration after a failed cable business, where he lost $10 million.

The first quote was “Faith doesn’t work for people who let go easily, but it is ideal for those who are determined to hold on”.

It is now on a refrigerator magnet with artwork depicting a man hanging on to a rope above a pond with a crocodile lurking below.

After the failed cable operation, Mr. Parrish started a restaurant, where he would display his proverbs.

He says his customers always looked forward to his ‘thought for the day’ and some even asked him for the name of the book from which the quotes were taken.

“My customers were far more into my quotes. They loved the food, but I would get more compliments about what I wrote. The customers would take pictures or write down the quotes,” he says with pride.

“I didn’t know that this was God telling me that the direction that I should go is writing. I write prayers,” he says.

After leaving the restaurant business, Mr. Parrish registered Granny Seh, writing inspiring words for every situation, often with a twist of humour.

The top-selling items are the  fridge magnets, which bear quotes such as “Not because pastor gi yuh church key, that nuh mean it can open heaven’s gate” and “If you think it’s painful to hold on to a hot iron, try and hold on to cold love”.

Granny Seh also offers recipes for Jamaican fruit cake, coconut drops, sorrel wine, rum punch, ackee and corn pork, ackee and salt fish and salt fish rundown on plaques.

Mr. Parrish, who has a passion for writing, says he can look at a picture and the words would come.

“It is a very unusual talent and I use it to the best of my ability. For instance, the first time I saw a picture of a lion online, I wrote, ‘Don’t always expect gratitude from the people who you are generous to’,” he says, “meaning that being kind to a lion does not exempt you from being on its menu.”

Another humorous proverb, “Granny Seh you can’t use puss to watch fish”, advises persons to be careful who they place in certain jobs/positions.

“A lot of people think that my writing is like throwing words, but when God gives you a talent, I can’t water it down. I will go to bed and I will sleep and I would wake with words to write, so this is just my God-given talent,” Mr. Parrish notes.

He tells JIS News that the quotes, which come with illustrations, have been translated into English, Spanish and French for visitors to the island.

“When I do something it is done properly, and anybody in Jamaica that is going to a country where Spanish or French is spoken, they can buy the product to take as a gift,” he points out.

The items can be found at Things Jamaican, Sun Island and Fontana Pharmacy and other pharmacies in St Andrew. Mr. Parrish says he is looking to export his products and has approached the Jamaica Promotions Corporation (JAMPRO) for assistance.

He says he will also be going overseas to promote his business.

Mr. Parrish says the growth and development of his business are centred on the core values of faith, perseverance and integrity. He says he intends to continue using his “God-given talent to change and influence lives”.

His vision statement is ‘Preserving our rich traditional food culture, inspire and motivate, competing among world-renowned writers and making a name internationally”.

JIS Social