Romeich Major on hard work
The moment one sets foot inside Romeich Major’s office, one immediately realises that, when it comes to his business, the 35-year-old entrepreneur takes no prisoners. In fact, he made sure to warn The Sunday Gleaner team that our conversation would perhaps be interrupted by phone calls, as he was in the middle of finalising some important business deals. Before he could finish that statement, the phone rang and we could hear Major issuing orders to one of his many employees about a task that needed to be done before evening. If one wasn’t familiar with the schedule of a man of Major’s stature, watching him at work right there and then would have painted a clear picture.
“This is my life all day, every day,” he declared. “I love it though.” And that was evident. Although it seemed like a lot for any one person to handle, Major managed to complete every task, sort through every problem, while still finding time to run jokes with his staff. He made it all look so effortless as he pointed out to The Sunday Gleaner team that he was ‘born for this’. “Shenseea always tell mi say she nuh know how mi dweet and dat mi make fi dis, which is true. Mi is a person weh will go all three/four days with just six hour sleep. Mi wi get up 3 o’ clock inna di morning and start work. Romeich Entertainment and everything it is was built on my name. If anything under Romeich Entertainment fails, yuh nah go hear say Jadean or Black Boy or Shenseea or Ding fail, yuh go hear say Romeich fail. Mi name deh pan di duty, so mi affi make sure say mi on top of things.”
Staying on top of things has always been something of utmost importance to Major, who revealed that, even as a student at Ardenne High School, he aspired to be his own boss. As he ‘juggled’ knick-knacks, from glow sticks to CDs, as a student, his entrepreneurial skills became evident. “Dem used to call mi FINSAC a Ardenne High School, and if yuh know nothing ‘bout FINSAC, dat was like a money thing, so mi did have it inna mi from long time. Mi did always tell mi self say yow, mi nah go work fi nobody, mi a go try someway somehow, no matter how small it is, fi be my own boss, and that is the whole thing weh help mi reach weh mi deh. Mi have this whole boss mentality weh say mi ago be the leader and employ people,” he said pointing out that, although he had a ‘winning mindset’, his ‘come up’ did not happen overnight. “My journey never easy innu. If mi fi talk ‘bout all the things mi go through fi reach here so issi. Sometimes people see we vision and maybe because a we skin dem say ‘da brown likke Indian yute yah him come from uptown’ but no, a Waltham Park mi born and grown and mi go chu it. Mi go chu it from people a tease me, a call mi piggy and some whole heap a dirty things to where I am at now. At the end of the day, everything mi go chu, a it help mi fi be who mi is and mi nuh stuck up, mi nuh gwaan like mi better than people, because mi come from the roots. And yuh now everybody will think say we (Romeich Entertainment) keep winning, but there are alot of times weh we lose, too.”
BUSINESS WAS BOOMING
Speaking more about those losses, Major recalled his days as a blossoming fashion designer. He said, as the man who was dressing some of dancehall’s most notable figures, his business was booming. He also revealed that, during the heights of his career as a designer, things took a turn for the worst and he had to seek out new avenues to keep his brand and business afloat. “Mi memba one year a Sumfest, di way mi book out cuz the (clothing) line a bloom, outta di 27 artistes weh did a work dancehall night mi dress 18 a dem, and so it was a joy. Everybody, from Bounty Killer, to Aidonia to Tommy Lee, everybody have on Romeich Wear. But yuh see, the bigger we got, the more we did a invest inna di company and the artiste dem pan a whole start take the thing pan a level weh chu mi wah start music, mi start affi gi dem clothes fi get songs,” he said. “Some man start owe me and bad vibes start keep. One artiste start owe me all 5/600,000 worth a clothes and nuh pay mi fi all a year and deh so was the worst time a mi business. The business start go down deh so and mi affi just branch off and go corporate wid mi button-up shirt, and das where my relationship with corporate started.” Because of that genesis with corporate Jamaica today, if one is looking to gain corporate backing or endorsement, Major is perhaps the man to go to.
Having been moulded by fire, Major sought to encourage aspiring entrepreneurs. He said there was a time when his vision would earn him nothing but ridicule, but today, the same ideas people used to shut down are the ones they are willing to invest in. He urged young people looking to start their own businesses to not focus on the naysayers and ‘just do it’. “When you working, you don’t know how far yah go go and mi wah di yutes dem listen to mi carefully. Every day unu get up and say unu wah do dis or do dat, the biggest thing is to start. Is just like the lotto, if yuh don’t buy the ticket yuh dont’ know if you can win. So if you don’t start whatever, based on your drive or vision, yuh nah go know if it will work. And if yuh start and it fail, get up back and start supmn else. Mi did just get up and work, and if mi say mi ago do supmn, mi just do it.”