Fri | Oct 19, 2018

Big money in fashion industry, says designer

Published:Tuesday | August 26, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Rosemarie Malcolm
Audrey Murray

Jodi-Ann Gilpin, Gleaner Writer

The potential for economic gain is huge in the apparel and fashion industry. However, even the very thread used must be carefully considered.

That is a word of advice from Audrey Murray, owner of Audrey's Fashion Wear located at Courtney Walsh Drive in St Andrew, who says nothing beats excellence and creativity.

Speaking at a recent Gleaner Editors' Forum that was held at the newspaper's North Street offices in central Kingston, she said once persons work hard, good results can be achieved.

"I can't recall ever having a slow period. There is always something to do, but quality is key," declared Murray, who has been in the business for more than 10 years.

"If you position yourself well, you will make money and shine in the industry. People will pay to look good, especially women, but as a designer or dressmaker, you have to be organised and be very creative. I pay attention to the very thread that I use," she continued.

Murray added: "Interpersonal skill is very important. You should be able to develop a stable relationship with your customers. If a customer comes to you with a jacket or any other piece of clothing and suggests a particular design, as an expert, you should know whether or not it works and assist them in coming up with something better, and that is what I have done over the year."

Location and the aesthetics of the business place are also integral contributors to success.

"When I got into business, I decided that I wanted my business to feel as comfortable as my home, and it worked. The way you organise the business says a lot about you and will determine whether or not clients will be attracted to your product," Murray told journalists.

"I arrange the shop in such a way that persons feel comfortable when they get there. A lot of work goes into the ambience of my business and my clients are very pleased and they speak highly of my efforts," she said.

Networking crucial

According to Murray, networking with other persons in the industry is also very important.

"I work closely with tailors and the fabric stores, so if I get something to do and I can't manage, I send it to somebody else who does good work in the business. Sometimes it's to build a suit, sometimes it's just alterations. I leave my cards in every fabric store, so as to increase productivity and network, and that's one way through which I increase my clientele," said Murray.

Rosemarie Malcom, owner of RM Couture, echoed similar sentiments, adding that organisation is paramount.

"Keep your clients happy and you will always make money. You have to put your work out there. Even if you're from the most remote areas in Jamaica, if you do good work, you will never fall short," she charged.