Woman Power - Carvelyn Reynolds-Brown stamping her signature across the globe
For the past 13 years, Carvelyn Reynolds-Brown has been holding her own, making her mark as an entrepreneur and student while managing the home as a wife and mother of two sons.
She says that to the best of her knowledge, she has always been the ardent multi-tasker – whether working and studying, or working, taking care of family and being true to the duties bestowed upon her through her many other involvements.
In the past 10 years, she completed a Bachelor of Law degree and a master’s in project management, and she has no plans to stop excelling as the years progress.
“As my husband would say, a nine-to-five (job) by itself is not able to satisfy me. After completing my last degree, I knew I had to start a business, and being a woman of great faith, I began to seek the Lord for what He would have me to do. I started to look around and listen for indications of possible gaps in the market. I realised that persons, in general, were unappreciated or underappreciated, which could be due to our society’s inexpressiveness.”
Reynolds-Brown decided on the concept of appreciation through awards and personalised products, hence, her business, Signature Products and Awards, was born.
She says, “My husband is now full time in the business, and it makes a huge difference as he takes on a lot of the day-to-day pressures while I manage my nine-to-five full-time job as a compliance inspector at the National Housing Trust. At Signature Products and Awards, we have created unique personalised products that express appreciation to staff – for an organization, to students – for a school, to members – for a church. And we do get a lot of orders for birthdays and anniversaries (all personalised). When someone receives a Signature gift with their name on it, it does make them feel more appreciated.”`
The wife of David and mother of Reynear, 13, and Zachary, 6, said her overall duties, even with church, require diligent time, but her family understands and supports her.
“I am an ardent Christian and worship at the Church of God of Prophecy in Mandeville. I serve in several capacities, and with the day-to-day demands of being a wife, mother, employee and business operator, it takes a lot to balance. Our support structure within the family is quite tight. If my husband has to work late to finish an order, I will wait up with him. At no time should anyone feel as if he is being neglected. Each member is involved,” she said.
But with their days starting as early as 5 a.m., lunchtime used for finishing up work and meeting clients’ deadlines, and evenings booked for homework review and other work-related activities, when do the Browns have a little fun?
“Both of my boys are engaged in the operations of the business, and especially during our peak seasons, they are of great help. I have found that the key to making it work is involvement. Whatever we do, we do as a family. We set one-to-two-year goals, and we focus, work hard and achieve them as a family. We take our family vacations once per year, which everyone looks forward to, and know that it is because we were able to work hard during the year why we can afford to do so. We also do trips to my home town in Whitehouse, Westmoreland, where we go to the beach and get some real downtime.”
Though this woman of God, entrepreneur and wife feels as though she is not doing enough in her role as mother, she says she is confident that God will give her the strength to live the life He desires for her.
“My boys are growing up so fast, and sometimes I feel as if I am missing out as I don’t get to do everything with them. But I always want them to know that they can achieve anything they set their minds to. I want to grow to be that person that God created me to be. Not to be content with where I am, but to grow continuously to be that person He had in mind when He created me,” she said.