Get Trendy with RasFit
Out with shady metals and in with trendy bamboo! Telling the time or blocking the harsh UV rays of the sun can now be done in style with RasFit.
This week, we had a one-on-one interview with the company's director and founder, Chadrick Lawrence, as he tells us about his uniquely irie product line.
According to Lawrence, RasFit is a fashion company which not only focuses on achieving the right look, but also highlights Jamaica's reggae culture, while helping the planet. "The first products we introduced to the market were sustainable handcrafted bamboo reggae sunglasses and wooden watches," he told Outlook.
Lawrence, who wanted to become an architect, shifted his interest and attended the University of Technology, majoring in construction engineering and management. He noted, however, that he likes to be creative and saw himself excelling in fashion at some point.
"I had a friend who was allergic to metals. She bought a bamboo wooden watch online which was hypoallergenic. I saw it and liked it, and thought that it looked like a new and exciting product," he revealed of his foray into the fashion industry. He continued, "As a result, I contacted the manufacturer and told him that we were interested in starting our own Jamaican line of similar products, and they were willing to work with us."
He notes that his dream is to create a brand and a business that creates a new world for consumers. "The reason I attempted this venture was to experience the achievements and difficulties the fashion industry can bring. In the future, we intend to eventually have these products made in Jamaica."
But why the name RasFit? Lawrence explained, "We chose RasFit because we wanted a name that would both resonate with those who are nature lovers as well as the Jamaican culture. As you know, the Rasta community is known for being nature loving and preserving the planet in which they inhabit. Also, when people hear about Jamaica they think about Rastafarian and the reggae culture, so that's how we came up with the name."
The biggest challenge he has encountered with RasFit thus far is finding start up funding, establishing product credibility and balancing sales and marketing. But he hopes to create a brand that will put Jamaica on the map, and make his family proud, building a legacy he can pass down to his children.
His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs: "The most important thing you can do is think. It's not about what you're thinking, but how you are thinking. Try not to think negatively of yourself. If you do this, then you're putting up internal roadblocks and blocking yourself from going forward in your life. Internal roadblocks such as: "They'll never like my idea anyway. If I make a mistake, I'll look foolish. It's too hard to try to change people's minds. I can't bother with the red tape and bureaucracy. All of these are not an issue with someone on the outside - it's an issue with you and how you think of yourself."
He opines the flip side, "Turn every obstacle in opportunity: The power of your own suggestion is more powerful than 300 compliments from others! After you start to think differently about your own capabilities and values, you can start to work on the issue at hand. Don't force a situation if you really don't have the skill set necessary to complete a project. Understand your assets, but also understand your weaknesses."