Mon | Nov 30, 2020

Men's Accessories Granted: Live on the “Edge”

Published:Monday | August 26, 2019 | 12:00 AM

Casual or formal, no menswear is complete without the right accessory. One local company beading trendy with cutting-edge armlets is Edge Accessories.

Flair had a one-on-one with owner Andre Whittaker to find out more about his edge in men’s fashion. Always having a genuine love for the arts, both visual or performing, Whittaker considered himself a creative at heart. “I’ve been involved with the arts for over 15 years. The addition of jewellery making was just an expansion of the love in recent years,” he explained.

When bracelets for men were trending on the international scene a few years ago, Whittaker’s good friend grew obsessed with a popular local accessories brand. This interest sparked his curiosity. Since local options, particularly for males, were far, few, highly priced and low in quality, he began his quest of artistic explorations, experimenting with the unique creation of his own bracelets.

“Initially, it happened pretty organically with people asking me to make pieces for them or stealing pieces I made for myself,” he revealed. He took this as an opportunity to test the market and was surprised by the overwhelming response. Praying about transitioning from a hobby to a business, he got the vision of the logo with the word edge. Since then, he has adopted the mantra of his line of accessories that are not only cutting edge, bold in faith and fashion, while standing and living on the edge.

Three year in, Whittaker has no regrets. “I think bracelets are a cool and creative way to accessorise, especially for men, given the limited scope of male accessories in general,” he shared.

The brand started out with predominantly male or gender-neutral pieces. Women started making requests for pieces that were more feminine with a little glitz and glam, so driven by the demand, Whittaker encouraged his wife to start a female line.

The entrepreneurial journey, Whittaker confessed, hasn’t been an easy feat. Finding good-quality stones and gems, as well as consistent and affordable suppliers of raw materials, presented a big challenge at the beginning. After conducting the necessary research and taking risks on different international suppliers, everything worked out beautifully in the long run.

Also, in recent times, new accessory creators emerged on the style scene. Whittaker tackled the competition by establishing Edge as a brand. “We have customers who literally buy a new piece from every line we have introduced. Collaborations with other Christian brands like Plus Hope tees, Praise Pieces Ja and Moya Moys Designs have also been very beneficial,” he added.

Intent on keeping up with popular trends as well as utilising feedback from customers, Edge Accessories stands out in high quality, providing long-lasting products (inclusive of free repairs if something goes awry at an affordable cost to you. “We are willing to create unique custom pieces for our clients.”

Ensuring that Edge is available in more retail outlets across the island, as well as being available online with international shipping, he is looking forward to developing the concept of edge as moving beyond just bracelets to a lifestyle.

When he’s not living on the edge with his beaded bracelets, he is focusing on event management, inclusive of event planning, event decor, audiovisual rentals, event lighting, floral arrangements, courtesy of his other business, Simply Perfect Events. “I am also a full-time intercessory missionary with the Jamaica House of Prayer as the Night Watch Director.”

His advice to aspiring business owners is don’t give up. He went on further to say, “Be willing to commit for at least three to five years before deciding that a project is a failure. Also, be intentional about learning and growing with your industry of choice.”

If it is your desire to live on the edge, then follow Edge Accessories on Instagram: @edgeaccessoriesja, Facebook: Edge Accessories Ja or Email: edgeaccessoriesja@gmail.com for more information.

krysta.anderson@gleanerjm.com