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IT’S ALL IN THE BAG
Published on May 9, 2016 by admin

IT’S ALL IN THE BAG

The road to success is filled with turns and detours and no one understands that better than Marva Forde of Navazoë. With the strong desire to become and remain an entrepreneur she faced several forks and roundabouts along the way. Consequently when the response to her clothing line became too restrictive she found her niche for bags and accessories. Her success in this area has been amazing and as she looks back she muses on the fact that stemming from her first appearance at BMEX she won a contract to supply a local store and several years later she is still supplying them with her one-of-a-kind products.

“The hallmark of my work is its uniqueness, and when I looked around at what was available in the market in terms of fabrics there were all very similar and very likely for other persons to use the same fabrics. So I was on a mission to develop my own fabrics, which no-one else would have and came to realize that I could print on a variety of fabrics - the possibilities were endless. It would also allow me to provide exclusivity at a very affordable price.

I have developed a number of lines over the years and some have been particularly special to me.  For example, my Recycling Line; a few years back I was involved in a sustainable development programme for crafts people and it got me thinking about the volume of waste being sent to the landfill and how I was contributing to that with the waste from my garment making. I started thinking about what I could do with the bits of fabric and got excited at the thought of being able to make something new and creative out of something used. So for two years I made bags out of recycled fabric.  For example if a company had scrap sample books, I used the fabrics with different colours and textures to come up with unique designs; and our customers liked the idea that they were one-of-a-kind pieces, which could not be duplicated. The fabrics came in different patterns and tones and each piece was unique.  This allowed me to be creative, provide exclusivity and still be environmentally responsible. I have won awards at the Crop Over Exhibition with the Recyclable Line as well as a couple of HIV awards for creating handbags out of recyclable fabric. Every bag I have ever done in this line was sold, and the finishes, harmony and blending of the colours is the success secret.

 The Frangipani Line is also very special to me because I was able to develop my own signature material with my branding on the inside. I spent time developing this line and I conducted a survey to see what people would like to take when leaving the island. The resounding response was something with bright colours. That is how I turned to the Frangipani which was indigenous and colourful. I started by screen printing the fabric but the production cost was so high it became prohibitive, especially as the cost to the consumer would have been a bit high.  As I pursued the vision I found a company which could print on microfiber suede and that made a huge difference. When I took this line to the Islands of the World Fashion Week in Bahamas the response was very good.

The line that I am excited about bringing to BMEX is the Heritage line which is brand new. I wanted to do something to celebrate our 50th Anniversary as a nation, particularly as I felt that visitors would like to have a souvenir to take back to their home countries. Last Crop Over I experienced a display of old paraphernalia from Barbados – the relics, and it inspired me to take some photographs and develop some collages of local scenery; of things forgotten. As a result some of my designs in this line feature historic Bridgetown, there is the Careenage bag line, the Fountain images, the Historic Garrison, a collage of the Museum, the Clock Tower as well as bags which focus on the museum, George Washington house and even Bridgetown. To compliment these bags we also developed a line of T-shirts.

Navazoë definitely stays in tune with what the market is receptive to and to this end she has a line of beach wear hats as well as a hand-painted line.  If you are looking for that unique piece be sure to look for them at BMEX 2016.  You will be delighted.

 


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