AT the end of a very eventful summer, TEENage sat down with Summer Jarrett, a young fashion designer.
With her own line entitled KAJ by Summer Jarrett -- which got its name KAJ from her own mother's initials Kelly Anne Jarrett -- 17-year-old Summer's drive and love for fashion has led to her many accomplishments.
Growing up, one of her main hobbies was giving fashion tips and advice to family members and friends of what to wear and how to wear it.
She went on further to explain: "They would always call me and tell me to come over to choose outfits for them and I really enjoyed it. It was always so much fun for me. But it was when I found myself watching TV and looking at what people was wearing and saying to myself, 'I love that dress but it should have been in a different colour, etc', that I subconsciously started drawing what was in my mind, and realised that this was what I wanted to do with my life."
Believing that everyone has a hidden talent, but it is their choice to act on it, she feels that she acted on hers a little earlier than everyone else when she started taking her drawings seriously at age 14.
That's when she decided to take her designs to a seamstress.
Since then, she launched her first fashion show at her Sweet 16, which came as a surprise to all her family members and friends.
Having no formal training and practising her skill by as she describes it as just "picking up tips and tricks along the way", the passionate TEEN has a bright future as she established her first collection filled with only dresses.
Allowing dynamism to kick in, Summer then broadened her scope and created not only dresses, but blazers, and skirts.
Shortly after her launch, she participated in Jamaica Observer's Celebration of Fashion's Night Out in 2011 by doing a runway show at kerry manwomanhome and several other small fashion shows. But, she said, her biggest accomplishment to date has been participating in 2012 Caribbean Fashion Week.
Being her first, she intends to continue participating for many years to come and filled with high spirits and passion she is determined not to hold back because of fear of what others think or even failure.
"Even though there have been negative reactions to what I do, they don't compare to the outrageous amounts of positive reactions that I have gotten from both strangers and people very close to me," she said.
With Jamaica, and the overall culture of our nation and lifestyle, being her biggest inspiration, she also intends to design swimwear, footwear, menswear, jewellery, and even beauty and cosmetics.
This young entrepreneur envisions herself completing college, working as a fashion designer and another major goal would be to establish her store.
Her broad dreams even include discovering, producing and managing talents in Jamaica, whether they are singers, actors, dancers, models, fashion designers, styling, and beauty, photographers, to even opening a performing arts school where the various art forms will be taught.
"If fashion is what you want to do with your life, or even if it's a hobby, go for it! There will be people around you who will find a way to try and convince you otherwise, but they aren't living your life for you. Do what makes you happy and if that is fashion, do it. It is very important to always defend yourself and put your vision before others. Never allow people to take advantage of you or to change your opinion, which has been my biggest challenge. But with whatever dream you have, with hard work, dedication, supportive peers, and passion, anything and absolutely everything is possible. There is no dream too big, and there is no dream that is impossible," the fashionable TEEN shared with TEENage.
Make sure to check out Summer's new website www.KAJbysummerjarrett.com or keep in touch with her and her latest designs on Facebook.com/KAJbysummerjarrett.
— Talia Soares