Hard to stick to business beat
Entertainers pursue profits off the stage
From time to time, singers and deejays start business ventures outside of music with a splash. Within a few months, however, many times, those businesses are nearly non-existent. Producer and designer Romeich Major says the key to keeping the venture going is being businesses-oriented.
"It is sustainable if you do it on a business level. A lot of them don't follow up on it because it is not something that you get a lump sum of money from," Major told The Gleaner. "I am part of Konz 876 (sneakers) and they do well because Konshens is a businessman. You need to be a business person, or have someone on your team who is business-minded."
Major has worked on T-shirt lines for Popcaan, Spice, Tarrus Riley, Beenie Man and Bounty Killer's Alliance. He noted that having a brand of some sort can do a lot for the artiste.
"It is very important. If you go international and look at Jay-Z and P Diddy, they make more money off their clothing and merchandise than their music. When they go on tour, they can use those things as merchandise, because it is still promoting you. It (the artiste's line) is supposed to be even more sustainable than even mine (Romeich Wear) because they are international acts," Major said.
local business ventures
Deejay Tifa recently launched a line of headphones and Aidonia has started a new T-shirt line. D'Angel owned a clothing store for years.
While they are no longer on the market, Beenie Man and Aidonia were associated with Yaad Stout and Vybz Kartel had his Street Vybz Rum and Daggerin condoms.
In 2009, Spice opened Spicey Couture in Kingston and recently opened a branch in Clarendon. She also recently started a T-shirt line.
"I believe in investment. I believe in making my money make money for me. You are not always going to be in music. In the long run it will be successful. I want to have a franchise. I want to have branches all over in the Caribbean and the United States," she said.
Spice is confident her business will be sustainable because of her plans. "I offer online services, so people can order anywhere in Jamaica and we deliver to them. That will help me to grow my customer base, so I will see where people are ordering from and, over a period of time, that will help me to decide where the next store will be," Spice said.
D'Angel's former store
After over eight years, D'Angel recently closed her clothing store, Angel's, in order to focus more on her career. Nonetheless, she said she was able to stay in business that long because she took it seriously.
"When you are operating a business, you have to look at the market and what's there and try to be different. You have to keep promoting and appreciating your customers. You have to make sure you have what is wearing and talk to your clientele and find out what they want. You have to be in it 100 per cent and give it your all," she said.
"I used to manage the store, but because I can't give it my all, I had to move on to other things. I am looking into merchandising that doesn't need my physical presence, because the items will be available online and some will be available in stores worldwide," D'Angel said.