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Sunday, May 20, 2007

TIC 2007

So yesterday I visited the Trade & Investment Convention 2007, normally not an event I would readily visit on my own but we did receive invitations at work and the hubby wanted to go so we slipped on our "buyer" pass and went to check it out. There were over 200 Exhibitors on display at individual booths displaying their products and services to potential investors and buyers, it took us several hours to visit them all. Included within the exhibits from many Trinidad and Tobago Manufacturers and Service providers were International companies from Costa Rica, Canada, United States of America,Guatemala,The Netherlands, Grenada and Brazil.

Now I am sure you are asking yourself what does a Trade Convention have to do with Carnival, well at the Brazilian contingent booth there was an exhibitor showing a Carnival costume, in addition to other products, which were manufactured in Brazil and open for purchasing! I took the opportunity to examine the costume myself, sorry no photos as I did not walk with the camera, and the entire costume looked just as good as any we produce in Trinidad for our Carnival. It consisted of a bra which is not a "regular" bra but made of a wire frame covered in sequins and beads, a belt, wrist and foot pieces as well as a headpiece. The cost for the costume, $400.00US!!

The lady showing off the costume did not speak much English but did give me her website address where costume enquires can be made. Brand Brazil is the website but when I checked it out at home I did not see any section for purchasing costumes. However some research of my own turned up another website where you can purchase Samba costumes online called Samba Collection.Obviously Brazil has recognised that there is not only interest but a market for their product and is using the Carnival brand to their advantage. Some of the Samba costumes end up in Carnivals around the world while others are used in entertainment, as advertised by this website.

Personally after examining the costume up close I honestly think it was just as good as any costume manufactured locally (well the ones that are still made here!) and I would love to see the day when you visit a Trade Convention and see a booth with Carnival costumes from Trinidad and Tobago on display. It is about time our local costume manufacturers recognise that mas is big business and there are buyers around the globe who would pay for the product. So here is hoping someone takes the leap of faith at the next Trade Convention (there is one in Curacao in September and TIC 2008 takes place May14th to 17th) and advertise the mas production skills to the global market; since we have "borrowed" many an idea from Brazil's Carnivals this venture is one I think is worth aping!
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