Handmade treasures stamped with love
There's a child in all of us, who will undeniably come to life when we allow our imagination to run wild. For Sonya Lawrence, this child is reflective in her love for toys, and it's this factor that brings out her creativity. She's a skilful crochet doll maker, bag designer and the owner of the burgeoning Jahsanbands - an authentic company which she built with quick-dexterous hands.
Lawrence has always been enthralled by the artistic, highly therapeutic and versatile knitting technique. For years, she watched her mother, who is also gifted with the craft, but had never seriously contemplated the skill until four years ago.
"My mother made bags and other accessories, so I decided to let her teach me how to crochet. But at the time I couldn't learn, because she was superfast. Still, I could not resist it, I just decided to teach myself," she explained.
At the time, she had her debut in the crochet arena, the market was inundated with others who made swimsuit, and so decided to try her hands at jewellery making.
After setting up shop, her first venture was interlocking threads to create fashionable bracelets with engraved animals. Her business is co-owned by her mother, Sharon Harris.
However, being an innovative soul, Lawrence sought that extra element to make her offerings more unique. And coming from a perpetual admiration for cartoon characters, she started making the dolls and stuffed animals.
"I wanted to do something that you could look at and say, 'Yes, this is Jamaican'. I've realised that people are buying a lot of ready-made dolls. But I wanted to be different. My black dolls with natural hairstyles, like twists and cornrows, are unique to your child."
She caters to both mothers and their babies. As it relates to her pieces, she describes them as handmade treasures, stamped with love.
A creative at heart, Lawrence is bent on proving her weaving prowess. Life-size toys and look-a-like dolls are two of her strongest points, which, she says, you'll adore. Newborns and teens can enjoy the warmth and cuddling features of the play things that Lawrence knits.
"I'm always true to myself and it's expressive in my pieces. I have a happy and bubbly personality and that's what I try to bring across with my creations," she told Outlook.