Mon | Mar 1, 2021

#Jamaica Together | Jamaican jack of all trades offers credit cushion in US

Published:Thursday | June 11, 2020 | 12:09 AMJudana Murphy/Gleaner Writer
Alec Martin
Alec Martin

TWENTY-NINE-YEAR-OLD ALEC Martin, a Jamaican living in the United States, always desired to be his own boss.

That hunger drove him to sink his teeth in the rough and tumble of entrepreneurship by learning from his dad, a dentist and businessman.

“Being around him when I was in Jamaica, as well as hearing about all the businesses he started over the years, opened up my eyes to follow his lead,” Martin said of his father.

Martin shared that his first dabble in entrepreneurship “wasn’t really a business” but more so a development of his personal brand, AStyleAlive, in 2010.

“I used to design T-shirts and hoodies, and I used to select music, which is really deejaying. After doing the clothing, it opened up many doors – I had a few celebrities wearing my T-shirts and I was donating to charity at the time,” he explained.

With one foot in the door, he launched his first official business in 2017.

“I wanted to have something of my own to the point where I could offer a family member a job if they needed it,” he said.

One Umbrella Enterprise focuses on real-estate development and construction.

Martin also uses his business venture to purchase houses in disrepair and renovate them with modern designs.

With real estate and credit working hand in hand, he launched a credit-repair services in early 2018.

“If a client needs a credit boost or can’t qualify to purchase a car or a home, anything credit related, I am able to assist with that,” he said, adding that his company has removed more than US$1 million in debt for his clients.

SOMETHING FOR CHILDREN

Martin migrated at age six and doesn’t remember much about life in Jamaica, but he has big plans to expand his business locally and also venture into children’s entertainment.

“I want to open something for children like an arcade facility, and I’m also working with my father to branch out his dentist office into different parishes.”

He is most grateful to his older brother, who is also in real estate and from whom he gained most of his knowledge in the field.

“It’s hard when you don’t have that strength or someone that has already done it at your side to guide you with your ideas in that area of entrepreneurship,” he said.

He is encouraging aspiring entrepreneurs to stay focused and be persistent.

“Don’t take no for an answer, and if someone thinks that your entrepreneurial idea is not something you should pursue, don’t let that deter you,” said the young businessman.

judana.murphy@gleanerjm.com