Ashley Stephens' aunt Feria Alpha serves up a cup of Ashley's Lemonade at this year's Annual Exhibition. *File photo by Kageaki Smith
Ashley Stephens' aunt Feria Alpha serves up a cup of Ashley's Lemonade at this year's Annual Exhibition. *File photo by Kageaki Smith
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It’s not often 10-year-olds get to impart their business acumen to others, but Ashley Stephens did so last week.

She was one of the vendors who took part in the Bermuda Economic Development Corporation’s Vendor Seminar on November 5.

This second seminar in a three part series focused on Tips and Techniques to Increase Sales and Reduce Costs. 

Tony Thompson, menswear buyer and visual planner for Gibbons Company, gave the more than 50 people who attended the event tips on how to do displays.

 His general message to vendors was that they should highlight their merchandise and that good displays do not have to be expensive. 

Brian Bennett of Bermuda Flag and Sign Company displayed a range of products which they have developed for their customers to help them attract customers. 

Mr. Bennett said: “We are willing to work with our clients to develop merchandising solutions that are effective and affordable.”

Ms Stephens of Ashley’s Lemonade  spoke about the importance of cleanliness and having the support of family. 

When asked about the most important piece of advice to someone who may be considering vending, she said: “Do something that you are passionate about as passion is the most important part of developing a business.”

Allison Smith of Confections showed a number of examples that she uses in the merchandising of her cookie business. Since many of her cookies are ordered as gifts she stressed the importance of professionalism and presentation not only to the person who placed the order, but also to the recipient. 

Wendy Avery of Dockyard Glassworks spoke of the hard work and dedication it takes to build a quality brand. She showed how she arranges her products in groups by size, type or colour and the importance of having something for all levels of affordability.

Ray Lambert, event organizer, said: “The objective was to organize a panel that have a wide range of experiences and were willing to share with our audience to help improve vendors across the island”. 

Mr. Lambert, who is the St. George’s economic development officer, added that “merchandising is an integral part of being successful and everyone in attendance learned something”.  

The “Merchandising for Success” workshop is part of a series and the third and last workshop in the series is entitled Bermuda’s Vendor Markets – Identifying your niche, and will take place on November 19. 

The final seminar will be held at the Manchester Unity Lodge Hall, 71 Victoria Street, Hamilton from 5:30pm to 8pm. 

To register in advance, please email info@bedc.bm. Registration is $15 for BEDC Members and $20 for all others. Those registered for both seminars, receive a discount of $10.  Light refreshments will be served from 5:30pm to 6pm.  Walk-ins are welcome.