We’ve made it through another week unscathed! Yay! Lots to be proud of. We decided to change things up a bit and feature one of our twin island’s talented entrepreneurs each Friday. Those people who have dug deep to discover and live their life’s purpose and inspire others with their courage and passion.
Our first feature is a talented young lady hailing from South Trinidad. The very inspiring Patricia Grannum! Here’s our 7 questions with Patricia!
1. Tell us in 5 words who Patricia is?
Creative, Passionate, Dreamer, Caribbean, Aquarius
2. What is the genesis of your business? How did you get started and why?
To be honest, I don’t think I ever dreamed of being an entrepreneur, but I always wanted to find a way to channel my affinity for art into a living. I realised that if I wanted to do that in Trinidad I’d have to start a business. So that’s when I started figuring out what my products and brand identity should be. It’s been a long process, with a lot of setbacks, but I believe that I’ve figured out what my brand is about and who it’s for. It’s about the courage to be yourself and to live boldly and for women who embody that.
3. Why the name Colour Riot Jewelry?
I’d actually been making jewelry under another brand name, but it turned out that there was another designer that also had the same name, so I realised I had to change it quick. I’m so glad that I did, though, because there’s a terrorist group using that name now! I’ll let you guess the people I’m speaking about.
I chose Colour Riot because I love to use a lot of color in my pieces so that customers can use them to add that pop of personality to their outfits. I added ‘Riot’ because I want my customers to stand out when they enter a room. You can’t ignore a riot, so the #Riotgirl won’t be ignored either when they show up wearing something I’ve made.
4. What are some of the services you provide?
I create collections of unique, handmade jewelry pieces. I also create custom pieces for clients based on requirements they send me. A lot of my custom jewelry business comes from doing Carnival jewelry masqueraders can pair with their Monday wear.
5. What are some of your milestones to date?
One of my favourite memories is getting my first online sale. The order came from Australia! That’s when I knew what I was making had real global potential. Another great memory came when my bangles were featured in a US Magazine.
I also recently did a collaboration with a fashion design house called Bene Caribe and we produced necklaces wholesale. Those pieces were stocked at retail stores across Trinidad and a portion of the proceeds benefited Conflict Women, an organisation that helps victims of domestic violence to become financially independent. It felt great to know that my creativity could really make a difference in someone’s life.
6. What are some challenges thus far?
The biggest challenge for me has always been staying motivated. Entrepreneurship can be a very lonely place sometimes, especially during the periods when things aren’t going the way you want them to.
But when I feel that way, I go back and look at pictures of happy customers and realise that I have a reason to move forward. I also have a business coach and a network of local fashion entrepreneurs who I can reach out to and vent with. So, that helps.
7. What is your advice to other entrepreneurs?
Do your research. Make sure you have the market for your product or service you want to start. But don’t overthink it. Sometimes, you just have to start and adapt as you go along.
Don’t stop marketing. Sometimes, when you’re the person creating the product, you get so focused on doing that, you forget to tell people about it. I’ve made that mistake lots of times. But without marketing there are no sales, so you have to keep connecting with your customers as much as you can.
Also, get a coach or a mentor. As I said before, entrepreneurship can be a lonely place especially if you don’t have a network of like-minded individuals around you. A coach can help you to get organised and show you the possibilities of your brand. (Shout out to my coach, Alicia ‘Favala’ Sanchez!)
Lastly, take it one day at a time. You’d be amazed at how much progress you can make if you do just one thing, every day, to improve your business.
Have a great weekend all and feel free to share this post or shoot us a comment below!
T&T’s Entrepreneurs Team