Sun | Mar 25, 2018

Shamak Apparel, bringing class to your wardrobe

Published:Monday | May 22, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Sharon McKain
McKain is dedicated to giving her customers nothing but the best.

Sharon McKain was that four-year-old who was constantly changing her dolls for tea parties and other pretend events. The difference with McKain and other girls her age was that she was putting these outfits together on her own.

Being the daughter of the community dressmaker, she had access to the scraps that would fall on the floor from her mother's cuttings. She would then seek to mimic her mother's designs, and in some instances, she even created originals. As she got older, she didn't wait for the bits of fabric to fall to the floor, instead, she would anxiously wait until her mother went to run errands and then she would slip in and cut pieces of her own. Her mother was not amused when she did this as she would then be short for her designs and would have to find a way to manoeuvre what she had since her customers had brought in sufficient fabric. McKain also shared that her mother discouraged her from following in her footsteps, as back then dressmakers were not well respected, and didn't necessarily make six-figure salaries. She wanted her daughter to be a doctor or a lawyer, who back then were the acceptable professions.




By high school, McKain was making her own clothes and she would turn heads wherever she went. After a while, persons could not believe she was not dressed by her mother. Her friends started asking her to make clothes for them, and so her skill got better with each garment she sewed. "Of course, we were the best dressed wherever we went," she chuckled.

It is important to note that she received no formal training and that her mother did not teach her. She stressed that to be a designer one had to be artistic and imaginative. Her daughter, Natalie Roach, is extremely proud of her mother and boasts that she is that designer who knows how to cut-to-fit any body type. "It is so hard for plus-sized women to find that piece that fits the body perfectly." Receiving formal training at Fashion Institute of Technology in the United States, McKain admitted that she might not have stayed as long as she should. She explains that she was too excited to come back to Jamaica and settle into her passion of creating refined pieces for her customers.

An important factor of any business is customer service, and McKain is dedicated to make each of her customers feel like they are the only one. Each person gets a one-on-one consultation in which they are given enough time to adequately explain what they want.

McKain is praised by corporate groups for understanding and bringing their visions to life, always on time with every hem and button superbly done.