GuyExpo 2016 saw the launch of Guyana’s latest footwear brand, Limers, owned by Patrice St Clair Hinds, a UK national, born to Guyanese parents.
The brand, carrying the tagline “Conceived in London, Made in Guyana,” first debuted at a soft-launch last summer in the United Kingdom, and subsequently launched in Barbados. It was finally introduced to the Guyanese public last weekend, though up until now the products have been made locally and exported.
The flip flops represent all that is cool and classy, according to the entrepreneur. “The people who wear Limers are people who like to look good, are really kind of cool and chilled, love quality and they like to be a bit different,” Hinds expressed.
He explained that this same attitude, generally a trait of Caribbean people, is what inspired the name, stating that that chill and easygoing vibe was characteristic of what the brand represented. He did not, however, believe that it represented the Caribbean exclusively, noting that the designs were largely influenced by his vast cultural experiences.
“To be really honest, what makes it uniquely Caribbean is simply that it’s made in South America and the Caribbean. Because when you look at the brand, you’ll see that it has a fusion which is definitely from outside. … This is who I am. I’m English, I’m Guyanese…I’ve travelled around the world. I’ve got friends all over the place, it’s just influences. You can look at the shoes and not have in your brain that it is anything to do with a country unless I tell you, unless you see it and it says Made in Guyana.”
Limers’ flip flops are all hand-made using 100% vegetable tanned leather. They are available with different coloured soles imported from the Far East, setting them apart from their local counterparts.
The response at the launch last weekend was “mind-blowing”, according to Hinds, who related quite excitedly that the crowd had been in high support of the products. The owner of Inspiration Ideas, a marketing company in the UK, Hinds creates brands and produces items for businesses and individuals. Having travelled to Guyana since early childhood, he explained that over the years he has recognized the vast opportunities that exist for business locally, especially in the area of fashion, in which he is engaged.
Describing his local business network, Hinds related that he sub-contracts workers and is currently in partnership with individuals involved in an array of technical works including wood and Tibisiri craft, ceramics and gold. He stated that it did not matter what size the business was, anyone could “plug in” as he was looking to be global and competitors would be hard-pressed to copy as he believed he was already “five years in front of the game.”
Although Limers has not yet set up shop per se locally, there are plans to have the flip flops sold at select boutiques and department stores. Until then, a visit to the Jubilee Festival between May 19 and 22, at the National Stadium where Limers will be on show, is the opportune time to grab a pair.
The footwear will cost in the vicinity of $9,000 a pair once it hits the stores, but is currently being sold at factory price of just $3,500, and patrons can also look forward to possibly winning a customizable pair of gold Limers flip flops, of which the logo is made of pure Guyana gold.
Limers can be found on social media platforms Facebook, Twitter and Instagram at Limers London, or accessed at firstname.lastname@example.org.