Lucea kids' clothes store targets Jamaican manufacturers
Claudia Gardner, Assignment Coordinator
WESTERN BUREAU:When Roan Lowe and his partner Mishka Spence attempted to buy quality clothes and accessories for their newborn baby boy, they were unable to find a store in Lucea and had to go to either Montego Bay or Savanna-la-Mar.
Approximately two years later, they conceptualised the idea of a baby and toddler clothing store, which they dubbed 'R&S Prestige Baby Clothing and Accessories' to provide parents in Hanover with another alternative. The store is located on Millers Drive in Lucea and has now been in operation for three months.
"Being a parent - my first son is actually two years old now - we were unable to get clothes for him. Most of the stuff we have for him are from abroad," Lowe explained. "I had a taxi on the road but that wasn't working , so I had to sell that car to start this business."
But Lowe also has another mission. He said while the store specialises in United States brands such as Hello Kitty, GAP, Old Navy, Disney, and Dora, his primary aim is to work with Jamaican manufacturers and designers in order to enable the store to specialise in selling reasonably-priced, high-quality brands of clothing for children, which are made in Jamaica by Jamaicans.
"We don't want to get everything from abroad, because that wouldn't be right. We have some quality stuff out here in Jamaica, but we are trying to locate Jamaican manufacturers, where we can get products wholesale. We are trying to access local manufacturers for long-lasting, quality stuff - quality baby clothes that can last and can even be passed on to younger siblings," he said. "It makes no sense for people to leave Hanover and go to Montego Bay and to Sav to get quality stuff," he said.
Lowe said his business is not only aimed at the superficial, but also targets the improvement of children's education, by currently offering educational materials such as story books, colouring books, and crayons.
"What I am trying to do is to get some more educational stuff for kids, because you can't just want the child to look pretty and have no education behind it," he said. "Because education is the key and everybody should know that by now, we want them to be educated and to be fully respectable kids, and so as we grow, we plan to begin to offer educational toys and cards and charts."
He said despite the business still being in its cradle stage, the response from residents in the town of Lucea and the wider community has been very encouraging.
"We know this is a very good business idea. We are just trying to put our all in it. So far, it has been successful and people have been coming around. They are saying we are really making a difference in Lucea and they appreciate it. A lot of persons don't know about it yet, so in December, we are trying to have a fun day to let persons know that the business is up and running," he said.