St Thomas' finest creation
ALBION, St Thomas:
Only a few children hope to continue a legacy made by their parents, only a few share similar dreams and even fewer wish to use their talents and qualifications to perfect the craft of their fathers and mothers.
But like father like son, Arthur Miller had a vested interest in becoming an entrepreneur and what better way to do than to capitalise on and improve the furniture-making business that has been a product of his father's sweat and tears for more than 35 years.
"During college, I had a final year project, where we had to showcase our skills in the different areas that we studied. I pursued a bachelor in fine arts (visual communication), what most people call graphic designing. So I merged my designing skills with the work of my dad in a functional manner," Miller said, adding that he did all the branding and marketing, with the intention to use the exhibition as a platform to publicise his father's furniture pieces which led to the creation of Miller's Furnishing.
Now, with an improved named and approximately 350 clients later, the 24-year-old told Rural Xpress how he made it all happen.
"As the managing director of Miller's Few Fine Things, I have been doing a lot of ground work with the help of my team to formalise the business. We have been in a number of expos to get into the public domain as much as possible. This plays an integral role in becoming a major player in the industry of furniture. The journey has not been easy at all, I would call it all a process of accretion", he said.
HARD BUT FULFILLING
Miller, who lives in Albion, St Thomas said the seven-employee business continues to operate from his home while factory spaces are being sourced.
According to him, being a young entrepreneur is hard, but very fulfilling because he is pursuing his passion to the fullest. Being a part of the creative industry has been very lucrative and the possibilities of being a part of such a movement have endless opportunities.
The past student of the Morant Bay High School (MBHS) admits that while attending the institution he did not perform at his best. In fact, he says it was only when he got accepted to continue his education at the Wolmer's Boys School that he realised he had to step up his performance academically.
"Being in that environment forced me to develop myself as an individual holistically. I call it a 'transformation by association'. Attending two of the best institutions in Jamaica has taught me to always seize the opportunity (MBHS' motto) and that whatever I do, I should do it well, (Wolmer's motto).
I have had to align myself with persons who have been successful in going into business for themselves. In order to change my situation, I have had to display a lot of faith in what I am," he said, adding that it is important to have faith.
With his father as the production manager and his sister as his sales representative, the young managing director told Rural Xpress that Miller's Few Fine Things produces furniture that are of both traditional and contemporary styles.
"Our business has a good value proposition and has products that are very competitive in the marketplace.
We make tables, chairs, coffee tables and other small items. They are made from solid wood such as poplar, mahogany, guango, and Blue Mahoe and so on and most importantly, they are made by highly skilled persons," she shared.
And when asked about what makes his products unique Miller responded: "At the moment, we don't have a symbol etched out on our pieces. Plans are being made to leave a mark of authenticity on our products but for now, you will know or products by their quality."