5 Questions with a Jamaican Entrepreneur
Happy Sunday everyone! There is something a bit different right? I know I am a day or two late with the blog post but trust me this blog post is well worth it. I decided to start a series on our blog, at least once a month I'll introduce you to a vendor in The Art Cloud family. Throughout this series you will get to learn about the wonderful and unique stories behind our vendors brand. Today you will meet Alecia Bent, the owner of Ro-Al Crochet Dezigns. Alecia was the first entrepreneur to join The Art Cloud fam, so it is beyond perfect to have her as the first entrepreneur for this series. We asked Alecia 5 questions, and this is what she said:
1. Tell us about your brand
In 2012 I learnt the art of crochet. Something I had wanted to learn for as long as I knew myself. Technically, as soon as I started off I became a business, as I started earning from making small crossbody bags for children. I then had bigger dreams of it becoming an official business and continued to work towards that. Ro-Al is a combination of my name, Alecia and my boyfriend's name, Robert. It also means Rare, Original, Authentic and Luxurious. I'm the sole designer and I manage everything for the business. We primarily supply made to order swimwear and bags. We're online based, operating from the parish of Westmoreland.
2. What inspired you to start a business?
I think deep inside me I knew I wasn't cut out for a 9-5. I am not a person who functions well with....routine. I hate waking up consistently at a particular time to go to work.
Because I'm passionate about crochet, I figured it was a great idea to see whether it was logical to make it into a business. I must say though that while going to school I had dreams of becoming a teacher or an author
3. What were some of you biggest challenges you faced so far?
My biggest challenge in being a business owner really is time. I'm always tired and never seem to have enough time to do as much as I'd love to. Because my vision is not just to be an online business, and I'd actually love to have a presence in stores island wide, especially in resort areas, time really is my biggest challenge.
4. Where do you see your brand in 5 years?
In 5 years time I definitely hope to be a full-time entrepreneur. I see Ro-Al having a "factory" with about 5 workers. Some for bags, some for bikinis, some for the sewing aspect like tags and linings etc. It's scary to think of inviting someone in and showing them my secrets but in order to grow, that's a sacrifice I have to make. I've always said that whatever happens, I will be the one in charge of the social media and customer service because ain't no way I'm gonna allow a random person to give my customers bad customer service. Also I'm going to have a bus with my logo on it, lol. Maybe not a 5 year goal but let's just throw that into the universe.
5. If you had one piece of advice to someone who is starting a business, what would it be?
One piece of advice is certainly not enough. Let's just say it's a lonely road, but it's worth it and if what you're venturing into is your passion, that in itself is enough drive and motivation to push through. Entrepreneurship requires patience, discipline and simplicity. Patience most of all. Because things will take time to happen. Also invest in yourself whether through free tutorials or coaching. What's yours is yours. Go forth and be great.
Since the blog post was a little late I'll throw in an extra question :)
6. Why should people support your brand?
Because I'm very conscious about what I put out there, if it's not something I have tested or something i own for myself, I would never put it out there. I also believe my products can be used for many purposes, which make them very valuable, for example my wristlets can be worn as a wristlets, it can be used as a purse that you keep in your handbag, it can be used as a pencil case or even a makeup bag. My bikini tops can be worn to the beach, and then it could be used to complete your outfit.
Supporting Ro-Al Crochet Designz is also supporting a country girl’s dream, a person who could not afford to graduate from high school, or couldn't even afford to further her education. Supporting my brand simply means you are supporting a brand that stands for ambition, regardless of where you are coming from.
I want to thank Alecia once more, for sitting down and talking to us, we truly enjoyed your company. So that's it for today everyone! Enjoy unu sunday dinner.