Down Home feel sparks a 33% brand expansion


Tribune Business Reporter

A concept store that aims to provide a platform for Bahamian entrepreneurs to exhibit their wares has increased its brand membership by one-third within months of opening.

Natalie Carey, owner of Down Home, told Tribune Business that since opening last year it has been in consistent expansion mode. She said: “We’ve been open for a few months now since the grand opening, and since then we’ve expanded from about 30 Bahamian brands in our store to over 40.”

Bahamian brands sign up with Down Home to have their goods showcased in the store. “We have a membership model. So everyone that’s in our store is a member in some way, shape or form,” Ms Carey said. “So we go off of a percentage and it’s whatever is greater. So people pay a fee to be in our store on a monthly basis. All of our members have been able to forego that fee, because they’ve sold more than 15 percent in sales revenue in order to stay on board.”

Down Home Bahamas was created to support the local small business community, especially products that needed a retail showcase through which to reach consumers - both local and tourists. Its outlet, located on Parliament Street in downtown Nassau, is home to more than 40 homegrown, Bahamian-owned brands.

Ms Carey said: “We exclusively sell Bahamian-owned products, so when you come in we are right on Parliament Street in a very highly trafficked area. Our goal is to make sure we are up front and centre, and not limit our small business community to the backstreets or to pop-ups. We’re open all year round.

“Sales are going fantastic. It’s been a blessing to say that all of our brands have been extremely successful in the store, and that’s why we have been able to expand the way we have.

“We think it’s a great opportunity for those folks who haven’t been able to patronise, or to put their money within the community. There is no better time than Independence Day to show up for the small business community.”

To mark Independence Day on July 10, Down Home will be having a sale where all shoppers will receive a free gift. Ms Carey added: “The response we have been getting is great, not only from the cruise lines and from the ambassadors but from the food tours as well.”