Arrianne the Unexpected VisionArri
Arrianne Leigh Williams' need to share Jamaica's magic through photography manifested itself into something bigger than she expected - transforming her into a fashion 'VisionArri'.
VisionArri Creations is more than a line of bags and notebooks, but rather art on the go. Williams never thought of herself as a designer, and still doesn't. She blushes at the reference because this was not the plan, and she thinks that there is much more for her to learn as it relates to the industry. She is a swimming teacher and a photographer - more of a hobbyist but not quite, as she has done some freelance photography work. VisionArri started as she was trying to find a way to share her art.
Williams credits her friend Kerry-Ann Clarke for getting her on the right track. She had always liked taking photos, and many of her friends suggested that she start a coffee-table book. Though she considered it for the future, it was not where she saw herself going at the moment. So in July 2015, she decided that she would create a handbag line.
"I love bags, so why not? Plus, I wanted to create something that is used every day - functional things to share my pictures," she told Outlook.
Admittedly, Williams was a bit uncertain where to start. It was Clarke who pointed her in the direction of the Alpha Boys' Home, who had created her first set of bags. A prototype was finally decided on in September 2015, after sourcing the best fabric for the photographs to be properly displayed on. Again, it was Clarke who gave her the nudge, telling her that she needed to have her bags ready in time for MoDA Market 2015 - and she did. This was where the VisionArri Creations was officially launched. At the time, she had two bags - Totally Spacious, which was designed to be a travel or weekend bag, and the pouch Inside Out.
Of Totally Spacious, she tells Outlook, "I believe in travelling sensibly, so I took into consideration, if you were travelling, that it could be used as a handbag, so it can fit under the seat of a plane. They are also big enough to hold all you need for a day at the beach, and you can even roll your yoga mat and it fits perfectly at the bottom," Williams explains, highlighting the diversity of Totally Spacious.
The Inside Out is intended to be a pouch that could be slipped within a bag, but customers has turned it into a clutch because of its beautiful pictures. Williams also developed notebooks, cushions and notecards.
One year later, she has expanded her collection with her Artful Moments - smaller than Totally Spacious; Hands Free Fun - a strapped version to Inside Out; and When Change Makes Cents - a tiny pocket pouch. All the images on the bags also carries a name to personalise her work.
It was important to Williams that her products were 100 per cent locally made. So the printing is done by Copy Cat, with the exception of her books, which are done by Topp In Designz - another local company. Sandra Hardy is her head seamstress, while The Portal Virtual Service is responsible for her website development.
Jamaica is definitely her inspiration even though it was her trip to Berlin that really ignited her appreciation for her country.
"I always thought that we had magic, but I could not put my finger on it; and when I went and I saw the street art, it hit me. Their country was beautiful because they created the colour, but we grew it. The beauty is in everything around us - from our diversity in people to the landscape. We have true beauty," she stated.
While she has not taken on the persona of a designer, she encourages persons to go after their dreams.
"Go after it. Pursue your passion relentlessly. This was something inside of me that I needed to get out. You do not have to be a creative person, but for every and anyone, just go after it because you do not have that dream or desire for nothing."