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gparrot
(@gparrot)
Advanced Member

I spent the winter on St. John sizing up the market for tourist items on St. Thomas and St. John. I have determined that there is a huge need for the items I manufacture. My company is in Wyoming, and needs to be moved to St. John. I rode the economy here in Wyoming right to ground level, thinking it would recover soon. The tourist industry in Wyoming is dead, do to gas prices, distance from populated places, and the general state of the economy. So....I am seeking an investor who is willing to look at what we do...and determine if they are confident that we can borrow their money and pay them back with a 15% per year, return on their money. I would also consider a partner. If any of this interests you, please feel free to call me at 307-683-2222 .

Richard

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Topic starter Posted : July 10, 2011 8:13 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Are you asking to start a manufacturing business in St John?? You know that nothing is manufactured here, don't you?

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Posted : July 10, 2011 10:34 pm
jsmith
(@jsmith)
Advanced Member

Richard there will always be naysayers, had I listened to them I wouldn't had started my business 10 years ago. Hope it works out for you. Justin

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Posted : July 10, 2011 10:54 pm
gparrot
(@gparrot)
Advanced Member

Yes, I know nothing is manufactured on St John...and that is exactly why my company will do very well there... Do you think people come to the Virgin Islands to purchase items made in China or India? My company will make items that we will mark "Made on St. John, or Made in the VI, or Made in the Caribbean." These items will produce jobs and according to my survey of stores in the Caribbean will be sought after because it is hard to find items "Made in the Caribbean" or on the Virgin Islands.

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Topic starter Posted : July 10, 2011 11:45 pm
mminstx
(@mminstx)
Advanced Member

Okay this sounds like a scam. People reading this , please beware. Check this person's prior posts . They were recently asking people for free items like dishes because 'the previous tenants stole everything"....Now they offer you a 15% return on your money??

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Posted : July 11, 2011 12:06 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Okay, good luck.

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Posted : July 11, 2011 12:47 am
gparrot
(@gparrot)
Advanced Member

I clearly said in my post "..I am seeking an investor who is willing to look at what we do...and determine if they are confident that we can borrow their money and pay them back with a 15% per year, return on their money". I am not asking people to blindly send me money or loan us money without looking at my business plan, my experience in manufacturing tourist gift ware, or believing in what we want to do. We rented a place to live on St. John supposedly fully furnished, from Wyoming and arrived in a totally gutted apartment. Yes, we asked for help, because we had no intention of furnishing an apartment that we were only going to live in for 4 months while we got to evaluate whether we should consider moving our company there. Also, the tourist industry in Wyoming has been dying for a few years , and we were on a limited budget. Since we were victims of the previous tenants and the landlords refusal to live up to our agreement of a furnished apartment which we already paid for, how does that make me a scam artist? I would not offer 15% if I didn't think that there was a huge opportunity here. I already have commitments from several stores to carry my products.....why don't you look more closely into someones proposal before calling it a scam?

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Topic starter Posted : July 11, 2011 1:15 am
gparrot
(@gparrot)
Advanced Member

mminstx... you sell things from China and India so our manufacturing items on the island of St. John is a threat to you? Too Bad.... we will sell our items in the Virgin Islands whether we make them in Wyoming or St. John and we are currently making them in Wyoming and shipping them to the Virgin Islands.

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Topic starter Posted : July 11, 2011 1:43 am
STXBob
(@STXBob)
Trusted Member

Richard: From my wife's experience as an artist/craftmaker on STX, locally-made items are definitely desirable to tourists, and the lower the price, the better. $10 items sell well. Be prepared to switch your product line as you and the merchants figure out what actually sells. And keep tabs on your merchants so they give you the feedback you need, and so they keep your stuff in stock and displayed properly. Some of the business people here are not very organized. Good luck!

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Posted : July 11, 2011 1:48 am
gparrot
(@gparrot)
Advanced Member

Bob thanks for the friendly advise.....part of the reason we want to move there is to be able to adjust or create new products quickly...we have automatic casting machines that we can make molds in a day or two.....and cast anywhere from one to 10,000 items in a day.... so if a product is flying off the shelves...we can meet the demand quickly...or we can try an item without having to make a lot of them.

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Topic starter Posted : July 11, 2011 2:30 am
Cruz
 Cruz
(@Cruz)
Advanced Member

So what exactly do you manufacture?

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Posted : July 11, 2011 2:31 am
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

A little research showed me that there are some references to "nonferrous Metal Foundry" in Story Wyoming owned by a man named Richard F.

Just my two cents but think this guy is legitimate with such things coming back as, "Green Parrot in Story, WY is a private company categorized under Metal Castings. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of less than $500,000 and employs a staff of approximately 1 to 4."

What would you do Richard, keep the foundry in Story and try to create a salesman type of relationship with someone on one of the islands, where their investment is time and knowledge of people on the islands?

Be very careful, there are so many people from both your side of the fence and the "salesman" side of the fence that are con-artists.

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Posted : July 11, 2011 2:55 am
gparrot
(@gparrot)
Advanced Member

noOne you are pretty good with the research...I originally moved to Story, Wy to help my mother who had cancer and there were no companies that did the things I was qualified to do...so I started my own company to give myself a job and be close to my mother....Anyway ..she has since died, and I have no family or ties here...and the economy here is really bad ...so I started looking for a place to move my company. I love to surf, sail and anything in the ocean....so I started looking in the Caribbean....And after 2 years of looking, decided on St. John. If I get an investor whom I feel I can work with , I will move my company ,,... lock stock and barrel to St. John. In the interim period, I will continue to sell my products in the Caribbean , until I have enough money to move my company down there. I am currently doing the selling of my products myself....that way I can get the feedback I need to keep improving and creating. I manufacture perfume, lip balm, tourist type clothing, jewelry, windchimes, etched glassware, leather tools, picture frames, key chains, and a whole variety of tourist items.....with name dropping, christmas ornaments, toy cannons, specialty boxes, sculpture, figurines....about 500 items. I have registered trademark ..... Pirate Girl and I own about 200 web sites..which I am currently learning Dreamweaver so I can get some of them online. I am working on the sites, Stjohnhookbracelets.com and caribbeanjewelrymanufacturing.com and caribbeantouristsupply.com and caribbeantshirtsupply.com.

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Topic starter Posted : July 11, 2011 4:12 am
Linda J
(@Linda_J)
Expert

These would not be local art or crafts. What difference where they are made?? Doesn't sound very promising to me.

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Posted : July 12, 2011 12:33 am
onthespot
(@onthespot)
Advanced Member

Could be local. Not sure what his abilities are, but they could be castings of local flora/fauna, starfish shells, common birds, fish, sailboats, "island" stuff, like coconuts, even if they were just glued frige magnets and said USVI, people buy that stuff by the handful to give friends when they get home. People are not supposed to take home shells, if they could buy a replica and hold up a recipe on their fridge at the same time, lots would be happy to pay for it, priced according to quality of course. I say continue checking it out. If it is dead in WI, it's gonna be dead next year and the next. Get out before you are dead too (financially) ! LOL

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Posted : July 12, 2011 12:43 am
gparrot
(@gparrot)
Advanced Member

Onthespot.....You have the idea of what we are doing....I am currently casting several types of shells in lead-free pewter. We make magnets, picture frames, napkin rings, etc with the shells made from the pewter. Just because nobody has ever manufactured on St. John does not mean that it cannot be done. In addition to talking , selling to several stores, a few locals were very interested in coming to work for us when we get things up and running there.

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Topic starter Posted : July 12, 2011 1:03 am
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Just because nobody has ever manufactured on St. John does not mean that it cannot be done.

Please excuse all the unruly children around here. 😉

Seriously, why do you think no one has ever manufactured on St John?

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Posted : July 12, 2011 1:44 am
gparrot
(@gparrot)
Advanced Member

Actually, that is just my ignorance....I do know of a few people making items on St. John. Jewelry, framed prints, bird houses, wall hangings, art and craft items, beer. I am more interested in making inexpensive tourist items that the locals, really would have very little interest in owning. I am told 2 million people come to the VI every year and with the price of precious metals out of site, I believe that a few well made, inexpensive tourist items might interest the people who are not going to , or cannot afford to spend $100 on up for sterling jewelry. And with the economy possibly getting worse....my inexpensive tourist items, that we can pump out in mass quantities for very little, might have some real appeal to people who want to take a little something home, without having to mortgage the house to buy them. Also, a lot of the jewelry sold on St. John and for that matter on St. Thomas is made in Dominica. Why not make it on St. John, and let the money stay there instead or on St. Thomas. I taught silversmithing classes at the local college for a few years....people on St. John expressed an interest in learning to make jewelry...I see no reason to not teach them...and expand the products and dollars coming to the islands.

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Topic starter Posted : July 12, 2011 2:51 am
BigAlAnd
(@BigAlAnd)
Active Member

Unless I am mistaken items manufactured in the VI will bear the label "Made in U.S.A." I believe you may have greater success opening your factory on the Big Island of St Croix .St John's is more or less a tourist retreat. St. Croix has manufacturing already present on the island with the Cruzan Rum facility and I believe Diageo will also be opening a distillery there as well. The island at one time was able to boast to be a major productive center for watches as well.

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Posted : July 12, 2011 6:10 pm
gparrot
(@gparrot)
Advanced Member

Al....nice to meet you.... Some of our products that have labels that are tightly controlled, like the perfume and lip balm, you are probably correct in the "Made in USA", but other items that don't have such tight controls over labeling, we will probably label them "Made in USVI" or something like that. I spent 4 months on St. John, talked to what seemed like half the island about what I wanted to do, and never had anyone be the slightest bit negative towards me. And several were very encouraging. I put this posting on line yesterday, and the people of St. Croix {Ric poorthang Linda etc.} have really shown me what the people of St. Croix are like. Yesterday, the message board had to come in and delete several of the most caustic remarks. I might find an easier place to set up on St. Croix, but I will definitely will work to make my company move to St. John.

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Topic starter Posted : July 12, 2011 6:48 pm
swans
(@swans)
Trusted Member

G'afternoon:

May I voice my humble opinion? The local artisans and crafters create the most beautiful and artistic works found on island that are truly of Virgin Island origin, unique and creative in design, and inspired by Caribbean nature and all it's glory. These very gifted and highly talented individuals create and interpret from the heart. Each of their pieces will instill and remind tourists and visitors from all over the world the wonderful memories taken home and allow them to reflect upon these memories for years to come.

Manufacturing cheap items - even by the hundreds and thousands -, thus having the ability to pawn these trinket items off as "Caribbean" in any way or fashion seems insulting, not only to the island guests, but to very the soul of the lovely Virgin Islands themselves.

I would suggest exporting the manufactured items to China and allow our artisans/crafters to represent that which they know as the experts they are: experts from the glorious blue waters to the wonderful culture and peoples of our Virgin Islands.

Swan

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Posted : July 12, 2011 6:56 pm
gparrot
(@gparrot)
Advanced Member

Swan We are not trying to take away anything from the local artists and craftsman who make things to sell to the general public or the tourists. We are trying to fill that space where the local merchants have to buy items from China, and keep that money here instead of supporting China. Nowhere in our postings, have I said anything about replacing, competing with, or degrading local artists and craftsmen. And, I would be more than happy to help local artists and craftsmen in any way I can.

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Topic starter Posted : July 12, 2011 7:28 pm
swans
(@swans)
Trusted Member

Swan: Nowhere in our postings, have I said anything about replacing, competing with, or degrading local artists and craftsmen. And, I would be more than happy to help local artists and craftsmen in any way I can.

G'afternoon Richard,

Pardon me, but I respectfully disagree with you. You are implying that the local merchants will purchase these trinkets labeled "Made in U.S.A" or "Made in the U.S.V.I" from you to sell to locals, guests, or tourists and, thusly, eliminate the importation of such from China.

I must ask you: Do you rely on China for any of your raw materials, which ultimately are consumed into the manufacture of your products? Virgin Island artisans/ crafters - in fact - order certain materials from off island in order to create their works. BUT, they "CREATE!" Therefore, regarding this point alone, I doubt if you can "help local artists and craftsmen in any way I can," as you state in your post.

Further, how many locals are you planning to hire for your manufacturing facility? 100? 1000? Or just you and a friend or two?

It is that which you did not imply, say, state, or bring forth that spoke volumes: "No where in our postings, have I said anything about replacing, competing with, or degrading local artists and craftsmen." Really? As I see it, manufacturing less expensive (cheap) "what have you" for the purpose of sheer volume with total disregard for quality is precisely what you are proposing.

Artisans and crafters proudly devote hours to days creating honest and original items for the millions of visitors to enjoy.

Again, in my humble opinion, you can't compete with our artists; that's what they are...Artists.

In my humble opinion, yes, you will adversely affect locals who rely on selling less expensive as well as more expensive items when tourist guests visit.

In my humble opinion, you may be - in fact - deep in thought about benefitting Richard over benefitting the many wonderful and talented individuals living and working as artisans and craftsmen and women on these beautiful Virgin Islands.

Am I an artist or artisan? No; I wish I were, but consider myself blessed and fortunate to call many my friends.

Swan

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Posted : July 12, 2011 8:44 pm
gparrot
(@gparrot)
Advanced Member

Swan....you have no idea what I can or cannot do..... One of the jewelers on St. John has been sending his designs to New York to get the patterns made....and cast....he told me to hurry up and bring my laser down to St. John so I could make his patterns locally and do the castings for him. You don't have anything good to say about me or my company....fine... but if you are going to say something....try to be accurate...... I put this posting here to find someone who was interested in investing in a small manufacturing business to promote the Virgin Islands..... I am not asking for your approval......I don't give a rat's ass what you think....... obviously you are from St. Croix.....I have no interest in moving there...... and I do not get any of my materials from China.

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Topic starter Posted : July 12, 2011 9:28 pm
swans
(@swans)
Trusted Member

G'evening Richard,

Please pardon me in that I do not know exactly what your company does or plans on doing. I do not think you mentioned the possibility of "casting" in your posts. If so, accept my apology for missing it.

Casting may, indeed, help the local artisans, as I understand they send off island for this service.

I am in your corner regarding casting possibility...of course as long as it is done with the highest of quality!

Swan

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Posted : July 12, 2011 9:46 pm
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