A wide range of products from Caribbean business owners and manufacturers are on display in Downtown Brooklyn for most of December as part of an annual Christmas exposition, organizers say, is growing in stature.
The Holiday Market Experience has been shifted to The Plaza at 300 Ashland, three years after its birth in Flatbush, considered the heart of New York’s Caribbean Community.
Hand crafted goods and items from skin care products to jewelry, including Food and drinks from across the islands, form part of the exhibition which climaxes towards the end of December.
“The entire market is to promote our products and to promote the Caribbean culture,” declared Janluk Stanislas, the co-founder of Caribbeing, the organization behind The Holiday Market Experience.
“We have the flavor of the islands through the products that the makers are doing. Food, pepper sauces, snacks etc etc.”
Businesses displaying their wares from a container relocated to 300 Ashland, include Breukelen Rub Spice Co, NaturalAnnie Essentials, Spicegrove Roselle, Art Matenwa, Hunterhue and L’Enchanteur.
Products range from soy candles, jewelry and artwork to sorrel, Haitian ornaments and room spray.
“This is Christmas. So basically, it’s about Caribbean people coming to buy Caribbean presents for their family and their friends,” Stanislas explained in an interview with Caribbean Life.
“The whole idea is a Caribbean mission. We are really highlighting the entire Caribbean.”
Caribbeing was started nine years ago when likeminded individuals bonded to brainstorm ways of assisting Haiti recover from the Jan. 12, 2010, 7.3 magnitude earthquake which killed more than 230,000 people and injured 300,000.
In nearly 10 years, the organization has been partnering with institutions, including museums, to stage about 400 events including panel discussions, film festivals and public viewing of pan Caribbean movies.
Stanislas believes Caribbeing’s new project, The Holiday Market Experience, will will grow as a result of its new venue.
“This year we are into a different location. We are not in the heart of the Caribbean community. We were in the heart of the Caribbean community before because we started in Flatbush. But now that we are in downtown Brooklyn, we are seeing the experience of how people are reacting to who we are,” he said.
“We also have to engage other communities. And we are seeing a whole bunch of people who are not Caribbean passing by and it’s also a way for us to communicate with them.”
The Holiday Market Experience, occurring Wednesdays to Sundays 11 am to 8 pm, started Dec. 4 and ends on Dec. 29.
“We are also playing music inside (the container),” said Stanislas.
“Reggae, calypso, salsa, Haitian music, cadence — it’s important for us to understand who we are,” he added.