Collaboration over competition
How new local lifestyle brands are working together to create a pop-up shopping experience
Competition can be a dominant part of human nature, and while it can have healthy components, it can also be acrimonious and hold one back. Collaboration, however, is about people and entities advancing together, giving everyone the potential to win collectively.
With the latter mindset, jewellery brand Metal X Wire, and sustainable household décor label Veeva Home decided to join forces for their Kingston pop-up event, slated for the weekends of June 18 and 25 at 10A West Kings House Rd.
Veeva Home, which is founded by Anna Ward, and Metal X Wire, which is headed by Symoné Currie, both launched in 2020 after two years of the women working on their brands in silence while simultaneously holding down full-time jobs. As local creatives, they were introduced by mutual friends, and both agree that the idea (for the pop-up) unfolded naturally.
Cognisant that they could have easily embarked on separate shopping events, Currie says, “the more people who collaborate, the better the experience”. Deciding to pool their resources, networks, and followings, Ward adds, “Symone and I talk about the power of collaboration now all the time. For us, as young entrepreneurs and professionals, this (the pop-up) is a great opportunity for us to come together and join forces to showcase our work”.
They are in accord that “there is a space for everyone. I think people often feel that, if there’s another person in that industry or arena, that they can’t put their creativity into it, and that is a very restricting thought, that is not good,” says Ward, as Currie nods in approval. “There is no limit, and I don’t think that we need to think that, just within Jamaica, there can only be certain people within certain areas,” she adds.
METAL X WIRE
Currie’s brand, which is pronounced ‘Metal Wire’, is a unisex demi-fine jewellery imprint dedicated to celebrating the power of self. With a delicate balance of elegance and edge, they offer the perfect way to add understated elements of individuality to your style that can defy the seasons and stand the test of time.
Being allergic to costume jewellery, Currie, who is originally an engineer by profession, designed gold and silver pieces to let the wearer select options that represent who they are. Allowing wearers to stack and create their patterns, Currie, who oozes artistry from the tips of her toes to the top of her crown, explains you can “build the pieces that you can wear in so many different ways”. She continues, “It makes it true to you.”
With careful consideration paid to using high-quality materials and working with local manufacturers, her jewellery is specifically crafted with timelessness and sustainability in mind. “I want these pieces to last and be passed on for generations,” she declares.
With multiple pieces set to be launched at the pop-up, the biggest buzz is about the Metal X Wire Evil Eye anklet—burning bad mind one step at a time.
With the guiding principles of reducing single-use plastic, a dedication to the increase of local production, and celebrating the beauty of life, ‘Veeva’ stems from a nickname Ward was given by her cousins as a child. Also, in keeping with the brand’s production of everyday essentials in the abode — ‘home’ was added—and the name Veeva Home was born.
Working with a lot of natural earth tones, wood, clay, and straw to create different products, their home line is also inclusive of a lot of practical everyday décor items that are alternatives to plastic. Think sustainable straws, reusable cotton rounds, biodegradable dish brushes, drying racks, and much more, made mainly by local manufacturers.
Having grown up around many artists and people in community-based fields, Ward notes that her creative and sociology background aided in creating the brand.
For the pop-up, they will be launching new items from notable ceramist Margaret McGhee in Veeva Home’s signature stripes. “Expect to touch, feel and interact with the products for the first time,” says Ward, who is also quick to point out that COVID-19 protocols will be observed.
‘GLAD BAG BUSS’
“I want to be open to a lot of different experiences, and we’re just excited to share,” says Currie of the expectations for the pop-up. Noting that she loves the ambience of the 10A Kings House Road location, and with Mina Robertson’s Haveli also at the locale, shoppers will be in for a treat.
Ward adds, “You’re also going to see two very excited entrepreneurs who just want to share our work. Our glad bag is going to buss!”
Remarking that she is astounded by the entrepreneurship taking place locally, Ward says, “I love to see how many young business people are going for it. The community of young entrepreneurs in Jamaica is really special, and it gives me goosebumps when I think about it. And there’s space for everyone”.
Find Metal X Wire online at www.metalxwire.com and on Instagram at @metalxwire. Veeva Home may be found on Instagram at @veevahome. New items are added to their arsenal every week.