Press Kit

Press releases 2012

June 15, 2012
BK-NY-USA connects Retailers to Local Suppliers of “Made in Brooklyn” at Festival
Queens, New York. BK-NY-USA, the Made in America initiative invites independent retailers in the tristate area to shop with local suppliers that manufacture in Brooklyn at the 41th annual International African Arts Festival (IAAF) starting June 30 through July 4, 2012 at Commodore Barry Park in Brooklyn near the Navy yards.

The BK-NY-USA project promotes small businesses of the African heritage community who manufacture products in Brooklyn and the United States and connects them with consumers. It uses events to make introduces for designers and small businesses to the trade industry. BK-NY-USA is directing buyers who are challenged to meet the demand for American made products to “shop in their backyards” to find suppliers that produce quality  merchandise in Brooklyn (or domestically). These businesses seek the opportunity to distribute in their local vicinity as well as globally.

The International African Arts Festival annually hosts “pop-up shops” of grass roots entrepreneurs selling an assortment of products from both the African Diaspora and made in the USA. The outdoor festival offers an arena to showcase products and gives shoppers the best in product design: Apparel, jewelry, home décor, textiles, natural hair products, bath & body products, fine arts, hand crafts and stationery; including the hottest fashion trend -African inspired design!

This special campaign is also targeting the foreign tourists that travel to New York. “This year we focus on Brooklyn as the destination location. Tourism has been very good for the city's economy. And the demand for Made in America products is growing every moment” , says Barbara Garnes, founder of
BK-NY-USA and recent member to the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “By using the keywords of the day, our campaign will invite the foreign tourist to Brooklyn to shop with our talented designers and small businesses that manufacture 'Made in America' or 'Made in Brooklyn, USA' products.”

Buyers who plan to attend can register on the BK-NY-USA website. A special weekend orientation will be held in the welcome booth on site on Saturday & Sunday between10:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m. to accommodate those buyers that need get back at their shops. The booth will have extended store buyer registration, exhibitor information and space for networking between the buyers and the designers. Arrangements are scheduled with for local contractors to meet up with designers seeking to expand their manufacturing capabilities.

BK-NY-USA will green market this event while partnering with the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce to identify and contact retailers in the local vicinity. The Empowerment Experiment is also a partner and a promoting the support of the small businesses.

For more information, to read the blog and to review the designers go to

Barbara Garnes, the founder of BK-NY-USA, is an activist for made in America. She is also the Lifestyle Creator for the company Southern Hemisphere Design Group, Inc. a lifestyle brand embracing the inspiration of African art and culture.

The International African Art Festival (IAAF) is a grass roots event celebrating the art and culture of the African Diaspora. For more information visit
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