On Friday, Jan, 24, HaitiNexMedia, the parent company of The Haitian Times, launched BelMachann.com, an eCommerce company that sells Haitian artisanal products in an effort to bridge the gap between consumers and producers.
BelMachann, intends to take advantage of The Haitian Times’ robust traffic by providing its readers with more than just news and information. Garry Pierre-Pierre, The Haitian Times founder and CEO of BelMachann, said that innovation in technology, shipping, and consumer confidence in buying goods online have made it the right moment for this venture.
“The time is propitious for BelMachann,” said Pierre-Pierre, whose company just celebrated its 20th anniversary. “You have talented artisans in Haiti and in the United States who are looking for distribution and marketing networks. With BelMachann, they can create and leave the rest to us.”
Pierre-Pierre said that while many Haitian Americans would eagerly buy handmade artisanal crafts and goods, they are difficult to come by at an affordable price. While Haitian entrepreneurs, on the other hand, are looking for markets and promotional opportunities. BelMachann hopes to serve as a hub to connect producers and buyers. The site will set itself apart by offering quality products at a reasonable price. So far, BelMachann offers products ranging from art to beauty and wellness products. In addition, a few food products are also available.
In the beginning, the website will sell mostly Haitian-made products, but BelMachann intends to branch out to other markets and sell goods from other Caribbean nations and Africa. “I see those markets as the potential for massive opportunity to scale beyond our Haitian consumer base,” Pierre-Pierre said.
Dr. Jean Claude Compas, a community leader, says that he has full confidence in BelMachann because, at this time, “This is a potential game-changer.”
Vania Andre, BelMachann’s, COO said that she is excited about this project because it builds on the success of The Haitian Times and is able to provide its audience with quality artisanal products. The Haitian Times morphed into a digital-only publication six years ago.