Writer: Mia G
Down Home Bahamas, located on Parliament street, presents a rare opportunity to bring attention and placement to local Bahamian businesses. Down Home Bahamas has created a spot for small business owners, where each invester gets to own their portion of a storefront for a combined cost.
Down Home Bahamas, opened its doors to the public by way of a soft launch in March of 2022, followed by an official Grand Opening on April 23rd, 2022. The store has since served over 100 guests in the Bahamas and around the world.
In an interview with Keva Carey, Co-Founder and owner of Down Home – alongside her partner and sister-in-law, Natalie Carey –
we asked, “What was the concept behind the store?” To which she replied, “The concept is simple. To showcase and provide space exclusively for Bahamian-owned products. There is a difference between, made in the Bahamas and made by Bahamians.”
At Down Home all brands featured are Bahamian owned, many of which are artisanal, sourced and created locally.
B2B: So far, how would you say that Down Home Bahamas has been received by the public?
KC: The response has been overwhelmingly positive, from both Bahamian locals and visitors from around the world. Everyone is equally surprised by the quality, variety, and creativity found in the brands featured in our store.
As Keva Carey stated, “Down Home Bahamas is more than a store. It’s a movement to promote and prioritize Bahamian-owned businesses.” The creators of Down Home hope to elevate the community by providing a premium space where Bahamian businesses and products can be easily found by locals as well as tourists who visit our shores.
KC: “We believe that our small business community shouldn’t be limited to the backstreets and pop ups, and must instead be front and center, year round. ” Down Home Bahamas, provides a home to over 40 Bahamian-owned brands, catering to EVERYONE from ages 0-99.”
Shopping is not limited here, with a wide selection of merchandise like food, art, clothing, jewelry sunkissed chapstick and accessories. You can also find fashionable straw purses, your choice of the famous ‘Believe’ wines, Bahamian dolls and stuffed animals and the ambience is vibrant, reminiscent of the Bahamian Junkanoo festival.
As you enter the doors of the beautiful Down Home – tucked in, next door to Coles of Nassau – you will be greeted by exceptional customer service, a stunning bright yellow piano, inviting you to tickle its keys, and a wall of signatures where each guest is encouraged to mark a spot.
You may also be captivated by the exclusive selection of Bahamian music, causing you to move your feet to the beat. It is reminiscent of a Museum of Bahamian Culture and fashions. Walking through these doors as a Bahamian, brings about a sense of pride and hope to upcoming business owners.
B2B: Would you say that fashion plays a role in your establishment?
KC: We’re fortunate to have many fashion accessories, jewelry, and clothing, swimwear and resort lines. From sunglases to jewelry to headpieces to tshirts, every piece allows you to look good while representing the culture.
When asked what she would change about Down Home since opening, Keva expressed, “We would have started this journey sooner! We didn’t realize how much this was needed for our community.”
For years it has been a struggle for small Bahamian business owners to bring attention to their brands, but also a lack of support to even be encouraged to produce and sell to the Bahamian Public. Down Home provides a place where small business owners can finally own a space without the full responsibility of overhead, marketing or the headaches of setting up a location.
B2B: The concept of Down Home is quite a unique idea. What advice would you give to someone who would want to do something, out of the box, similar to what you’ve done?
KC: Our advice is a question that you should ask yourself, if not you, then who? If you feel compelled to do it, then try. If there is a space that needs to be filled, fill it. Surround yourself with likeminded people who will motivate and rally behind you.
With just one location currently, the owners of Down Home hope to expand sometime in the future.
To become a member of the Down Home Bahamas family, persons are encouraged to visit the Down Home website at downhomecollective.com and fill out an application form. It is required that products sold at the location, align with their mission. Brands are placed on a waiting list until review. While there is currently no option to shop online, you can follow and stay updated with Down Home’s progress via their social media pages.
Until then, you can visit the store every day of the week, except Sundays, between 10am-6pm, with the option of private shopping tours for large groups, by request.
Down Home Bahamas is on a mission to help brands and entrepreneurs to not just survive but thrive. We provide the access and expertise needed to make it just as easy for our small business community to open a brick & mortar store as it is to set up a website.