Youth Focus - Sheldon Dryden: Living a 'pipe dream'
Sheena Gayle, Gleaner Writer
Twenty-four-year-old Sheldon Dryden turned a bone of contention into a growing business venture with custom pottery made out of PVC pipes.
S&S Custom Pottery is the brainchild of this young entrepreneur and his girlfriend and co-owner, Shanique Grant.
"I was inspired by my girlfriend's mother and her friends who often complained about the wooden orchid pots rotting very quickly. So I decided to try constructing orchid pots out of PVC pipes because I know those will last longer," Dryden said.
"The idea so far has been well received because all who have purchased are satisfied."
Grant specialises in custom orchid pots and greenhouses, and it was easy for the couple to come up with a name that had a personal touch using the initials of their Christian names. Dryden recalled that it was through the support and assistance of his father that he was able to start his first batch of orders.
The self-motivated young entrepreneur added that what makes the S&S Custom Pottery items unique is that they come with a warranty - something, he boasted, that is not customary when people purchase ordinary orchid pots.
Being a full-time employee at Vista Print in Montego Bay and a business owner can be demanding, but Dryden said that his schedules do not interfere with each other in meeting his targets.
Striking a balance
"I am a design and sales specialists at Vista Print. It's not very difficult to balance my day job with the business because I do all my work for S&S Custom Pottery when I get home and on weekends," he said.
"Sometimes, I will work for most of the night when I get home in order to meet my target and customer orders. We have been doing this for almost two months."
Dryden, who also designs pottery, ack-nowledged that public opinion would factor into the growth of the business. He also seeks to partner with other companies to improve and increase the number of products that they offer.
Nevertheless, he is adamant, despite the economic obstacles, that persons are still willing to spend if what they are purchasing is of a high quality.
"One thing I often hear is, 'the economy is tough'. However, there are still people who will treat themselves every chance they get. I like the challenge of meeting these people and convincing them that their money is well spent with us."