Success Stories

Leo Cousins and Vincent Hill are engineers by profession who have mined success in the Jamaican hills. They are the owners of Lydford Mining, a multi-million dollar operation located in St. Ann, the birth parish of Reggae legend Bob Marley.

The mining and processing operation is an investor’s dream with full order books for limestone products, zero debt and extensive reserves of high grade limestone. Their tale of success is one of vision and perseverance.

Established in 1991 as a limited liability company, Lydford Mining weathered the early storm when local bauxite companies declined to pick up their merchandise. The resilient team eventually managed to land the US-based J.M. Huber Corporation, with its subsidiary Huber Engineered Materials, as their first customer. With that initial single order of whiting grade limestone, the company charted upward in an aggressive growth spurt that continues today.

Lydford Mining currently exports 120,000 tonnes of high purity limestone, 100,000 tonnes of industrial grade and 2,000 tonnes of ground material each year.  In addition to J.M. Huber, the company’s client list also includes the US-based Mississippi Lime Company and Chilean company Electroandina.

Lydford Mining also sells its limestone to local manufacturers who use it in processing fertilizers, animal feed, fillers for plastics and paints and many other industrial products. Before the company commenced operations, all these products were imported at twice the cost in most cases.

The company’s staff complement has grown from six in 1991 to 60 in 2014, and the rental of 25 trucks and six pieces of mining equipment has created additional employment for at least 30 workers.

Through the years, the resourceful team of Cousins and Hill has invested significantly in state-of-the-art technology – a move that has kept productivity at optimal levels. They are currently in the process of expanding their high-tech lab, which is used to analyse and test processed material.

With their sights set on a larger share of the world market, where there is demand for food and medical/pharmaceutical grade limestone, Cousins and Hill are currently working on securing a US$4 million investment to bring this goal to fruition. According to Cousins, the future plans to increase output of the higher profit-yielding, value-added limestone products are predicated on the quality of Jamaican limestone and the enabling business climate.

“After all, without quality, we wouldn’t exist…With its numerous viable investment possibilities, economic and political stability, Jamaica is both a reliable and dynamic quality brand,” says Cousins.

With Jamaica boasting world class sprinters, ground breaking bobsledders and outstanding cricketers and footballers, it is no doubt that the sporting industry is big business. For 22 years Wynlee Distributors has ensured that the island is well represented in the creation of quality uniforms for a variety of sporting activities. 

Wynlee Trading produces a wide variety of sportswear for top athletes as well as aspiring ones at the club and school level or for those who just want to keep fit.  Winsome Halliman stands proudly among some of Wynlee’s products.

“What’s special about Wynlee is that we’re open and flexible: we design and create uniforms with the style and colours that our clients want,” says Winsome Halliman, CEO of Wynlee Distributors. “Teams want uniforms that reflect their institution or team colours”, she adds. In the early days the company focused on the local market, with the hope of one day expanding beyond the borders of their home ground. Then five years ago Wynlee visited the JAMPRO offices for help in expanding their business into the overseas market, realizing that export was vital to the company’s survival.  Uncertain as to how to approach the export market, Wynlee soon found themselves in capable hands.

 

Wynlee Trading  increased their export sales by 60 per cent as a result of their participation in Export Max, earning them the trophy for Highest Growth in Export Sales.  Winsome Halliman receives the award from JAMPRO President, Diane Edwards.

Halliman explains, “JAMPRO set up a structure for us, and when Export Max came along we were invited to apply, and were selected.” It was a game changer for Wynlee. “They taught us the importance of quality and assisted us in getting into the export market: we benefitted from consultancy, developed marketing plans and went to trade shows in Trinidad, Barbados, Cuba, the Dominican Republic and China.  When we were falling, the consultants pulled us up.  We learned the importance of social media, and our export business has grown in the last two years.”


 JAMPRO’s Export Max helped Wynlee Trading to increase their export sales by 60 per cent in 2013. Winsome Halliman checks her mail for new orders.

Now Wynlee has expanded into the Caribbean and as far afield as New York. Teams in Cayman, the Turks and Caicos Islands and Trinidad are sporting Wynlee creations on the field.

Throughout the years Wynlee has learned that since they can’t compete on price, they have to offer their customers specialized design and quality products. For the next five years they plan to move into new export markets, beginning with additional Caribbean countries. They want to improve the quality of life of their employees, who are the backbone of the company’s success. 

 

 

Wynlee Trading acquired machine embroidery equipment through the technical support of JAMPRO and its partners. This equipment  allows them to offer their clients customized embroidered logos and other designs.

Winsome Halliman is reaching out to financing companies to make it easier for small and medium sized companies to access capital for their businesses. To companies who want to improve their export capacity, she says: “Apply to participate in Export Max II.  You have nothing to lose, and a lot to gain.”

For more information on Export Max I and Export Max II, click here.

 

Vistaprint Jamaica Limited began operations in 2003 as a customer service centre for parent company Vistaprint – the world’s leading online design and print solution for small businesses worldwide. After initially starting with over 20 employees, Vistaprint Jamaica’s staff grew to 720 agents and 175 management/support personnel in 2012.

The company’s US$23-million, 92,000-square-foot facility in the Barnett Tech Park in Montego Bay was officially opened in September 2012. The company’s steady growth over the past eight years necessitated the build out of their own facility.

In 2008, Vistaprint Jamaica had the distinction of becoming the first subsidiary outside of the Lexington office to have a unit dedicated to graphic design services. The unit distinguished itself by producing “Hearts”, which became a top selling design on Vistaprint’s global website. Vistaprint executives have cited the quality of the Vistaprint Jamaica team as one of the compelling reasons for the company’s continued win-win investment in the island.

Learn more about Jamaica's Knowledge Services industry.

Entrepreneur Racquell Brown has translated her love and passion for Jamaica's flora into a lucrative line of exotic, all-natural skincare products. Operating under the Irie Rock Yaad Spa brand, Brown has developed a range of mood-boosting scents, namely: Papaya Path, Mango Walk, Coconut Sensation, Vanilla Bliss, Citrus Fields, Coffee Delight, Pineapple Express, Watermelon Fresh and Jamaican Cocoa Butter.

Her products are available in most of Jamaica's high-end boutique properties, as well as in pharmacies and gift shops across the island.   

“Hotels are currently my biggest customers, as well as spas and gift shops. Those products usually only reach to the tourists and I would like to expand to locals and pushing that as a core market,” she said.

Irie Rock has consistently participated in JAMPRO’s Business Linkages programmes, in particular the annual Jamaica Product Exchange (JAPEX) tourism trade fair. In 2012, the Irie Rock brand benefited from favourable exposure in the Commonwealth Secretariat-sponsored Spring Fair International in the United Kingdom. Irie Rock products are sold in Trinidad and the Bahamas, and Brown is seeking to find markets in the UK and North America.

Brown applauded JAMPRO’s ongoing efforts to facilitate her spa line, noting that the agency provides her with constant feedback, updates and invitations to useful and informative trade events.

The FINPYME ExportPlus programme is an initiative of the Inter-American Investment Corporation. The programme provides technical assistance, training and financial support to SMEs in developing countries.

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