By LETRE SWEETING
Tribune Staff Reporter
AFTER she lost her hair to alopecia, Tecoya Curry’s boyfriend showed his love for her by making a wooden craft of her baldness.
“I still love you bald,” he said when giving her the gift earlier this year.
Ms Curry then added coloured paint and affirmations to the wooden craft. The message said: “I am bald, bold and sexy.”
The craft was one of many displayed at the couple’s booth during Jollification on Saturday.
Ms Curry was one of over a hundred vendors at the festival, which is celebrating its 30th year. The Bahamas National Trust’s (BNT) Jollification event, held at The Retreat Garden on Saturday and Sunday, featured crafts, jewellery, and, for the first time, a food court section.
The fundraiser attracted hundreds. Event coordinators said Jollification has raised over $3m in 30 years. The funds let the BNT care for and upgrade The Retreat Garden.
Ms Curry and her boyfriend, first-time vendors, didn’t expect to be a vendor because the business was on the waiting list until last Thursday. She said last-minute preparations were completed in one week, including submitting documents for a vendor’s permit, setting up a booth, and creating a wooden sign.
“When I got the call, all I could do was cry because I was really excited,” she said.
A vendor’s permit from The Ministry of Works is required to sell merchandise on government property such as The Retreat Garden.
Applicants must have valid identification, a valid business licence, a letter from the Royal Bahamas Police Force (RBPF), a food handler’s certificate and a letter from the Department of Environmental Health if they are handling food.
The application is then evaluated by relevant agencies and is typically processed within one to six weeks.
Some vendors this year were frustrated but not discouraged by stiffer requirements.
Bianca Lee, owner of Tantalizing Treats, has participated for three years, showcasing cupcakes, breads and other desserts from her business, which she launched from her home after giving birth to her second child 15 years ago.
“They’re trying to make sure things are in order for safety, for security,” she said of the demands for documents this year. “It was more mandatory this year. It was always asked for. However, it was much more stringent this go around.”
Lyn Gape, the event organiser, said she wants to meet government officials next year to make the process simpler, describing this year’s dynamic as challenging.
“We would really like to have a one-stop-shop for all of our vendors, because as it was, we were told one thing, they all went out, they sent us all their stuff, then we sent in all the stuff. Then they came back and said, oh well we need this too. So we had to go back to the vendors again. It was probably growing pains,” she said. “The vendors were great.”