Ashleigh strings altruism into Beadiful Things

Ashleigh strings altruism into Beadiful Things

BY KELLARAY MILES
Business reporter
milesk@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, February 23, 2020

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Altruism is not an area many young people are upbeat about these days, but not Ashleigh Robinson, a young entrepreneur who has shared that it was from helping others that her business, Beadiful Things, came into existence.


The young entrepreneur said that it was while volunteering as a student social worker during her college years that her love for making beaded jewellery first blossomed and has now taken root.


“While volunteering at an institution purposed for helping mentally challenged individuals, one of the activity at the agency was jewellery making, which became my favourite.


“I would rush the other social workers to oversee the class so that I could get a chance to make bracelets. I enjoyed doing this activity even more than the clients themselves. I then decided that I would buy my own tools and start making them at home. It was then and there that I got the brilliant idea that I could sell the bracelets,” she shared in outlining the genesis of her business.


She said that having discovered her ability to do something she loves and earn from it became the starting point of Beadiful Things— a small business which makes and sells custom/handmade beaded bracelets.


“I drafted my business idea and showed it to my mother and sister who were both fond of the idea. They helped me to select the name, 'Beadiful Things'. I also shared it with my father, who lives overseas and he immediately went bead shopping,” a passionate Robinson told the Jamaica Observer.


“My father is the type who admires initiative especially those that foster independence. Instead of sending me pocket money during university he would purchase beads, and I would make the bracelets and make my own money, much of which I also reinvested into the business,” she shared.


Having completed college and now gainfully employed, Robinson said that she is in a better position to purchase her own materials, much of which is sourced overseas, and fund expenditures for the business. Previously much of her support came predominantly from her father who lives in the United States.


The business which is virtually based operates from the young entrepreneurs' social media platforms. The product targets mostly women, especially those who just love to be adorned by the beauty of customised, multicoloured beads accentuated by specially selected charms which give a whole new life and meaning to each bracelet.


Robinson noted that the business, having had a brief hiatus in the first half of last year due to the demands of her new job along with having to deal with the rigours of making the finished product, has now been revamped and ready for new orders.


“Beadiful Things came to a pause, however not for too long; I revamped my Instagram page last year December. My co-workers saw a few of my products and from then they have asked me about it at every single every chance, 'Ash, where is my bracelet?' or 'Ash when you gonna start making bracelets again? This motivated me to resume the business and I did exactly that,” she explained to the Sunday Finance.


“Beadiful was back on and in full effect!” she stated.


She said that with the help of her sister who manages the social media accounts and communicates with customers, the business is on track to achieve great things.


She said that while her business is still in its infancy, she expects it to expand to the point where she can employ other people noting that she intends to go through all the necessary stages to properly grow and propel her business into becoming a powerful entity in the micro- small and medium-sized enterprise (MSME) sector.


For her the business is not the typical side hustle as it was formed out of a desire to help others. As such she hopes it will generate enough money to fund programmes that will help people who are socially disadvantaged.


A confident Robinson in commenting on the growing support which she has been receiving said that she is most inspired by seeing customers wear her bracelets as each piece is handmade with love.


“It has been an amazing journey thus far. I have been getting a lot of support from people I know and from new customers. I intend to keep the momentum going as I seek to grow this small business and become a lucrative player in the creative industry,” she said.


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