It's Fashion Baby: Baby Boosh Clothing Style
Krysta Anderson, Gleaner Writer
Brazilian model and actress Adriana Lima once said, "Fashion is about good energy. It's about feelings. That's what I have to give the people - good energy and good feelings."
Jamaican baby clothing designer Tarike Clarke decided to provide just that for fashionable babies everywhere. She explained to Flair how her journey into the fashion industry began. "I started designing when I had a baby in 2012, and could not find 'cute' clothes. So I started designing them."
Residing in Florida, she began doing her designs initially only for her daughter, but pretty soon she expanded and started selling to local baby store Babeelicious. From there, Baby Bop loved her designs and started carrying her clothing and headbands, and then she decided to start distributing in the United States. Now, she is on Amazon , Etsy, eBay and Zulily.
But she is no stranger to the world of fashion design. In 2009, she had her first business venture: Boosh. "It's a women's clothing store and Jamaica's first online clothing store, so Baby Boosh came from Boosh. Boosh is a word I always used as a slang to describe something fabulous or fashionable," she revealed. She designs for newborns to five-years-old.
So far, the response to her designs has been great, and it's for that reason that she had to start manufacturing her pieces in bulk. The challenge she faced was getting her name out there in establishing her brand. "It was hard to find a factory. I finally found one far away in China where they hardly spoke English. China is about 12 hours ahead, so I had to stay up late just to communicate, so there were no delays in communication. It was just a sacrifice, but definitely worth it in the long run."
Being accepted on Zulily and approved by Amazon has opened her brands to global markets and is, by far, a high point of her career. Zulily, in the United Kingdom, has recently approached her to sell her brand. "I'm now in talks with stores in Jamaica trying to get my brand islandwide. Right now, I'm in Baby Bop in Kingston, and Beyond Pink and Blue in Mandeville. My eBay store and storefront in Kingston (that processes local orders) does have some retail pieces which are sourced, but everything with the label Baby Boosh are my designs. While reception has been better in the United States, I am elated to be expanding in Jamaica."
Clarke admits to being a workaholic and confessed that it is difficult to balance work and home life. "Balance is hard. I have a two-year-old so it is not easy, but I incorporate her in my day. When I'm drawing my designs, she's drawing too and we have our mommy-daughter moment."
Her advice to aspiring entrepreneurs within the fashion industry is, "When manufacturing, always get a sample before bulk production, even though it's expensive. Always get the opinion of others on your designs - feedback always helps. And never be afraid to be different. Once you have an awesome product, if you sell one, you can sell a million: That's my business motto and something I stand strongly by."