YardEdge talks to Expérience Jamaïque – Switzerland’s gateway to Jamaica
YardEdge talks to Denise Allen from Expérience Jamaïque, Switzerland’s gateway to Jamaican culture.
YardEdge: Tell me about Expérience Jamaïque?
Expérience Jamaïque: EJ is a newly constructed online business that is based in Geneva Switzerland. This website company is designed to be Switzerland’s online gateway to Jamaica’s vibrant visual art, culture, as well as the country’s authentic goods and services. EJ offers Swiss and European consumers a reliable source of information and direct access to Jamaican fine art.
YardEdge: What are you trying to achieve?
Expérience Jamaïque: There are few sources of information on Jamaica designed for Switzerland and continental Europe (i.e. Western Europe not including Great Britain). Most websites about Jamaica are designed for the diaspora. Consequently Europeans who do not have a Jamaican background know little about the country. ‘Brand Jamaica’ is quite strong worldwide, though for the most part limited to being a tropical vacation spot, reggae music and world class athletics.
EJ offers a gateway for interested European online consumers to gain a deeper understanding of the country. According to a recent EU report retail e-commerce sales reached 257 billion Euros in 2014 and projected to increase to 356 billion Euros by 2017. Approximately 80% of the EU region is on online. These trends signal a key opportunity for Jamaican artists and businesses to benefit from this growing market.
YardEdge: What are your plans for the future of EJ?
Expérience Jamaïque: There are three main sections to the website – the online gallery, shop and blog:
The Online Gallery showcases Jamaican visual artists who work in a variety of media. Online customers are able to purchase artwork from these artists through EJ.
The Blog covers a range of theme surrounding the island’s that suit the interests of a fairly mature European audience.
In the near future the third part of the website will be activated. The Online Marketplace provides a platform for Jamaican businesses to advertise, as well as sell directly to customers through their own websites.
The Jamaica Tourist Board statistics for 2014 revealed that a little over half of the visitors from Europe were women above 35 years old. The Blog themes include – food and restaurants, personalities, dance, music, history, lifestyle, recreational activities and the marketplace. Through the blogs the viewer will be conversant with many aspects of Jamaica’s dynamic culture. There are also social media features (Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest) designed to develop relationships with online viewers and increase the return rate to the website.
YardEdge: Tell me a little about yourself?
Expérience Jamaïque: I, Denise Allen am Jamaican and have been living in Geneva, Switzerland since 1998. After several years working with international human rights and development organizations, I have taken a new direction by starting EJ.
Travelling over the years to more than fifty countries I was struck by the positive reaction people across the world had toward Jamaica, although most knew very little about the country. Similarly in Europe where there are small Jamaican populations, surprisingly little is known about the country. However there is an appetite, which is evident by the popularity of Jamaican reggae music and performers, Usain Bolt, as well as our premium coffee and spicy sauces in Western Europe to mention just a few examples. Denise’s passion for fine art, coupled with being an ‘ambassador’ for Jamaica inspired the creation of EJ.
YardEdge: How can other artists get involved?
Expérience Jamaïque: Experience Jamaïque welcomes artists who are recognized by their peers and art community. They can contact me, Denise Allen at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please send a brief biography and a few sample of your artworks or link to your website. Looking forward!
Check out https://experiencejamaique.com/