Crochet Eye Candy - Threading a mark on Jamaican Fashion.
With one needle, a bundle of thread, and a big dream, this designer was determined to make her mark on the Jamaican fashion industry. Strong-minded and talented, Michellae Walker has thread a very rewarding career for herself as a young entrepreneur.
Starting her business, Crochet Eye Candy, in September 2013, the third-year University of the West Indies student decided after high school that she wanted to make herself more marketable, so she made a list of skills she wanted to learn, and crocheting was one of them. Walker resolved to learn crocheting in lower sixth form at St Andrew High School and started her business in upper sixth form. Her small business has been operating for the past three years, offering a wide range of crocheted items, including sandals, crop-tops, and swimwear.
"I am a very goal-oriented and creative individual who doesn't allow reality to limit my imagination. I believe that virtually anything is possible and can be achieved if I put my mind to it." This is the motivation that keeps pushing Michellae to better herself as a designer. She says that her unique designs make her products extraordinary, even though about 10 per cent of her designs are pre-existing styles, to facilitate the taste of her less conservative customers.
But this business did not come without its ups and downs. Some challenges she faced since starting her business included, first of all, formalisation. The idea of actually taking the big step of creating a business plan and registering her business officially was daunting, but she did it. Second, she shared: "I still struggle with producing enough to meet demands and pursue bigger sale orders," therefore, mass production seems to be a weighty endeavour for the young designer, but she is slowly advancing and employing more persons to help her.
And scalability - a hurdle she is constantly jumping over. It is her desire to make Crochet Eye Candy marketable internationally and more accessible to persons worldwide. "I am still looking for affordable ways to get this done, but I know many solutions are out there, so I'm sure I will find it in due time," she added.
Michelle, as a young entrepreneur and business woman, says she sets goals for herself and believes in them. She encourages others who may be pursuing entrepreneurship to "keep positive company because as they say, 'encouragement sweetens labour' and 'iron sharpens iron'."
Most important, Walker says, "Being an entrepreneur is a big risk but the freedom and reward are worth it!"