The products created Wooden Memories Inc were among those that captured the imagination of visitors to Guyana’s first ever Business Exposition held from Friday November 27 to Sunday November 29 at the Sophia Exhibition Complex.
Proprietor of Wooden Memories Inc Chhman Sukhna was one of over 250 local entrepreneurs who seized the opportunity afforded by the expo to showcase his line of products at an event tailored specifically for small and medium-sized Guyanese businesses.
Sukhna has managed to combine his artistic abilities with a proprietary wood-burning technology to produce unique, stunning pieces of artwork – images burnt onto wooden surfaces to create a distinctive finish. The pieces range from portraits of historical landmarks and buildings to personalized images of icons as well as ordinary individuals. Although he uses the technology mainly on wood, Sukhna has begun using canvas, denim, linen, cardboard and even ceramic surfaces. The versatility of this particular genre of art is the essence of its attractiveness.
What began as a hobby for this father of two, has, over the last seven years, become both a passion and, he says, good business with a very promising future. Over time he has created and sold his personalized pieces to individuals in the United States and Europe. Sukhna believes that this is as good a time as any to take advantage of what is a niche market for the creative sector. The technology, he says, isn’t being utilized anywhere else in South America.
While he was excited to showcase his unique pieces to the Guyanese public, he hopes that more will be done to assist small entrepreneurs to take advantage of markets both at home and abroad. He says that government can further contribute to the growth and development of small businesses by utilizing the products and services which they offer. He recommends that unique pieces of locally produced art can be used to decorate government offices and public buildings. This, he says, will provide a platform for showcasing local talent while simultaneously impacting positively on the growth of small businesses. Similar arrangements could be made for accessing other local products and services.
Three years ago, Sukhna, a consultant in the chemicals industry decided to remigrate to his homeland from the United States to build his business here. Like so many other Guyanese, he has a love for craft and for nature. He applauds the efforts of the planners of Business Expo 2015 for organizing an event that “put smaller entrepreneurs on centre stage.” He believes that the Business Expo merits being repeated annually though he says that there may be organizational and marketing limitations to be worked on. The artist told Stabroek Business that he would have liked to see more government functionaries as well as local businessmen visiting the booths. “By so doing, they’ll be able to engage and inspire those exhibiting small entrepreneurs,” he said.
While he is still working on a patent for his line of products, he continues to seek markets in Guyana, the Caribbean and further afield through existing clients, the internet and events such as the Business Exposition.