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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Fourteen-year-old Gabriella Spence is no ordinary teen.
  • The youngster, who has a passion for jewellery making has turned her hobby talent into a business.
  • Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says he is impressed with Gabriella for being the youngest exhibitor to take part in Christmas in July.

Fourteen-year-old Gabriella Spence is no ordinary teen.

The youngster, who has a passion for jewellery making has turned her hobby talent into a business.

Gabriella, who was the youngest participant in the second staging of the ‘Christmas in July’ exhibition, held recently at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston, says she began selling her creations to family and friends before deciding to start her own venture called ‘Just GES’.

Using beads, thin wires, fishing lines and ornate wire clasps, she creates earrings, necklaces, and bracelets. Gabriella tells JIS News that she enjoys making signature pieces, adorned by intricate pendants.

Her favourites are spiders and seahorses, which she says take about an hour to make. The young entrepreneur is hopeful that her business will be sustainable for years to come.

She says that participating in events such as Christmas in July will enable her business to gain recognition so that others will use her jewellery for corporate gift-giving.

Tourism Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, says he is impressed with Gabriella for being the youngest exhibitor to take part in Christmas in July.

“What this tells me is that the creative genius resides not only in the seniors and adults among us, but it begins even in the cradle,” he says.

Minister Bartlett encouraged patrons at the exhibition to support the young entrepreneur.

He announced that in a few weeks a memorandum of understanding (MOU) will be signed with the Export-Import (EXIM) Bank of Jamaica to enable small and micro-tourism enterprises (SMTE) to access up to $25 million at five per cent interest over five years to develop their businesses.

For her part, Executive Director of the Jamaica Manufacturers’ Association (JMA), Imega Breese McNab, says young manufacturers like Gabriella Spence are always welcome in the industry.

“This is the way we believe we can grow Jamaica. Having young minds believing the same is tremendous,” Mrs. McNab notes.

“(Gabriella’s) innovation is exuded in the products that we’re seeing,” she adds.

The JMA Executive Director also encouraged more persons to look at buying locally produced items for corporate gift-giving.