Sat | Dec 15, 2018

Passionate Purpose - Brand'em and Beyond

Published:Monday | July 30, 2018 | 12:00 AM

Motivational Speaker Gabrielle Bernstein once said: "Allow your passion to become your purpose, and it will one day become your profession." Entrepreneur and artist Orane Watson was fortunate to passionately pursue not one but two hobbies of his, that of art and mentorship, where he was able to 'Brand'em' beyond expectations.

For as long he could remember, Watson was always creative. He told Flair in a recent interview that his deep-rooted passion for the art granted his creativity permission to flow freely. He came up with the concept for his business during the final year of his marketing degree at the University of the West Indies.

"After I realised my two interests could become a viable combination, I embarked on doing just that and dubbed it 'Brand'em', with the tag line 'Creating lasting impressions'."

Registered A-Z Brand'em almost two years ago, Brand'em creates, supplies and distributes a range of memorabilia or merchandise. Constructing caricatures is among the trending features of his company, presented in the form of framed photos, unique plaques, keychains, and even phone cases - you name it, Watson will deliver a true depiction of your reflection in style. He also makes emoji buttons - popular among the millennials, and wristbands and school pins which allow students to 'rep' their colours and crests for special sporting occasions and more. "My delivery time is seven days, factoring the number of orders. I'll do referrals as well, depending on the flow - the person chose to represent Brand'em is actually mentor of mine, who inspired me to follow this path."

The self taught artist, who also holds down a day job in Information Technology, shared that learning to master his craft wasn't easy but he takes great pleasure in getting better with each stride. He uses the social media platform, Instagram, as means of marketing his skill and boosting revenue. On average, an ad pop up in home feeds of those both near and far on the forum can generate between 200 to 500 visitors. Soon after, Watson will receive enquiring messages, orders consequently come rolling in and he gets to work in putting sketch to paper.

The reception so far, he pointed out, has been great. Business is always a balancing act of supply and demand, so executing of different variety of marketing has been his main strategy towards success. He recalled the days hitting a growth block. With a flurry of ideas for the business, he faced difficulty in bringing them to fruition in a coherent manner, "I had to eventually seek the assistance of business mentors and I was able to find my way out of the gloomy tunnel through a local business coaching program. I gained a wealth of knowledge and have since been building on that foundation."

Another major passion of his is helping others. Mentorship was something Watson established during his formative years at Jamaica College while he was actively involved in leadership initiatives. With the ethos of being an example for my peers, he wanted to continue in that vein but this time through the blood flow of providing employment opportunities primarily for at risk youths. It's better to teach a man how to fish, than give him one, he expressed.

So what's next for this young innovator? His ultimate goal is to foster a nurturing environment for those who want the opportunity to be great, "I want to be the type of business leader who seeks to help his staff to grow and become financially sound individuals. In the words of the old African saying Ubuntu - I am, because we are."

Also on horizon for Watson is creating more demand for his products and services for jirung and training purposes. He would like to secure grant funding through entrepreneurship competitions to assist in purchasing new equipment.

Outside of business, Watson enjoys watching anime, playing favorite video or online games.

His advice to others like him on a quest of passionate pursuit, "Never use a shortcut on quality: you always want your brand to always be associated with the best. Be consistent and persistent, create a to-do list with timelines, try to do something everyday that takes you closer to your goals. Avoid procrastination and distractions. And never give up."

For more information in how you can get Brand'em and beyond, you can check out the website www.brandem.net or follow on Instagram @brandem_drawing

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com