George Abrams’s Primo’s Sewing Establishment which is located at Lot 23 Company Road, Buxton opened its doors last Sunday and so far 11 women have gained employment.
In a recent interview with Stabroek News, Production Manager Garfield Amos said that the establishment is not the first of its kind in the community. “There was one before but that was more of a co-op. They had asked them to bring their own machines and I think that they had also asked them to support it financially. So it was like on a percentage basis. You put so much and the returns would have been based on what you would have done,” he said.
According to Amos, while production started about five weeks ago, the establishment has been in the works for the past three years and while they are currently at the “teething” stage, “things are moving along decently.”
With a goal of employing a total of 30 women in the near future, Amos said that they have had a favourable amount of applications. “We have started getting a steady influx of applications from near and far. People from as far as Mahaica and Georgetown have been applying,” Amos said. He also said that while they received the majority of applications from women, there are some men who have also applied.
Amos told this newspaper that for the 50th Independence Anniversary they had quite a few orders and several overseas-based Guyanese also wanted to take some items back with them. “The foreigners wanted to take back some stuff for the jubilee over there but we had none in stock,” he said.
According to the production manager, what sets the establishment apart from others is its quality. He said, “Our quality is part and parcel of our mission. We also want to make the cost and price accessible to all.”
At present, the establishment does work for a few security companies and it also specializes in school uniforms and dress shirts.
In relation to the dress shirts, he said that at present there is no place in Guyana making these. “Basically they are all imported in Guyana so this is the first of its kind,” he said.
Asked about the challenges faced in opening the establishment he said that while he has only been on board for two weeks, he understands that concessions had been received from the government. “…There were concessions from the Government but we are still looking forward to whatever help we can get from the powers that be,” he stated.
Amos told this newspaper that he believes this is a good venture that others can follow and which would generate a great deal of employment. “…Look at Bangladesh, a developing nation, a lot of their foreign exchange is from garment and textile and they are employing a lot of people right now,” he said.
Reflecting on the early days when Guyana was a top garment producer, Amos said, “a lot of people missed out a lot because of the generation gap. In the early days, Guyana was second to none in the Caribbean when it came to producing garments, especially shirts.
“We [Guyana] were producing brand name shirts such as Windsor, Terry and Elite. We even exported to as far as London… Barbados was among our main markets in the Caribbean.”
He added that, “those were in the Sanata textile days. While a lot of people are of the opinion that Sanata was all rugged pieces, in those days we had the best cotton, rated the best in the world and we were not only exporting the cotton fabric but also garments made out of cotton.”
Amos commended Abrams for the initiative, “Whenever he speaks about Guyana he speaks about Buxton. He has the people of Buxton at heart and he needs to be commended and persons need to emulate him.”