This is the first in a series by McKoy’s Business News called Women in Business.
Since the Government of Jamaica announced that the wearing of masks is mandatory for all citizens to combat the spread of the coronavirus, entrepreneur Shalonda Gordon has found a creative way to do this in style.
The 21-year-old Montegoian is the owner and operator of Just Craftin’, a business that specializes in the customization of masks. Gordon also personalizes cups/mugs, shirts, vehicle decals, shopping bags, business cards, product labels, pop sockets and cushions.
The entrepreneur who is also a certified makeup artist and operator of Glammed By Shally, walked McKoy’s Business News through the genesis of Just Craftin’.
“Due to the coronavirus, I was forced to return home while I was preparing to do makeup for the upcoming (UWI) carnival, an income I used to help my way through university. Customers had already paid for their makeup packages and had to be refunded. I was very disappointed. While home waiting for my classes to resume my online, I realized that my aunt had a machine which was not being used and I decided to use my natural creative skills to make customized masks starting April 14,” Gordon who is pursuing a degree in Operations Management at the University of the West Indies, Mona said.
Since its inception, the Just Craftin’ boss says business has been booming.
“The support has been excellent because my first objective was customizing masks which were in demand and with further assessments, I realized the need for company branding and masks would be necessary. I have done over 3500 customized masks since I started and have customers island wide. I also ship to the United States,” she told McKoy’s Business News.
Like any other business, Gordon has her fair share of obstacles. Nevertheless, she strives to provide the best quality service and products to her customers.
“The most important aspect of a business is to ensure that your customers are satisfied. I have made mistakes with customers’ masks and had to take the loss and replace them to ensure maximum satisfaction. My customers are satisfied with how I handle these situations and these same customers have recommended other persons and given me more business. Another challenge is that lots of raw materials are not readily available in Montego Bay. Thus, I’ve had to source from Kingston by taking a day trip or overseas through online platforms. This increases the wait time and causes limited options to be available to customers,” Gordon said.
Customers can look out for the expansion of Just Craftin’ in due course.
“I am in the process of getting an assistant, importing new machines due to the high demand and getting a business location where customers can come in and view items. I am always aiming to find new customers and helping them to opportunities to market through branding,” said Gordon.