Anthony Toulon, one of Dominica's local manufacturers, celebrated a milestone as he observed the 21st anniversary of his product, Oil of Ojas, a distinctive healing and massage oil, at a ceremony at the Diocesan Pastoral Centre in Morne Bruce on February 18.

"Today is very special to me when I thought of it, 21 years, it's a lot to have that dream, to persevere," Toulon said.

He noted that due to the lack of incubation and expansion capital during the rough times his wife was his "banker" of last resort.

Director of Trade Matthan Walter said at his first encounter with Toulon he was "most impressed".

"What I was most impressed with was his practical creative powers of the Oil of Ojasā€¦and also his persistence in marketing the product regionally," said Walter.

Walter said Toulon has expanded outside of the Dominican market.

The oil is being sold in Antigua, St Lucia, St Vincent, Martinique, St Kitts and Grenada and Toulon is trying to penetrate the Guadeloupe and Trinidad and Tobago markets.

Walter urged manufacturers to follow Toulon's footsteps.

"I want to urge you to study this exporter, his model; he did not wait for government to plan a mission for him to go out there. He actually got up and went into those markets, bravely and I must say this is the kind of effort that gives me the pleasure to leave Dominica and go out there to negotiate market access opportunities on behalf of exporters and producers," Walter said.

Toulon added: "We kept going on and overseas was very difficult and the internet was not there; I wanted to get into Barbados, I had to jump on the plane, St Lucia was very easy, Antigua wasn't easy".

Toulon said Oil of Ojas is doing well in Martinique and plans are ongoing to move into the Guadeloupe market.

He revealed that soon he will launch an all-natural men and women fragrance.