Romahno's passion steers him to businessFriday, November 12, 2021
BY KEVIN JACKSON
Twenty-one-year-old The University of the West Indies (UWI) student, Romahno Williams says his love for cars was enough reason for him to start his business, Sport Mode Auto Accessories & More.
The store, located at Shop #4, Shadows Mall on Burke Road in Spanish Town (beside the Jamaica Public Service office), has been in operation exactly a year now.
“I've always had a liking for cars and I'd always admire other persons' cars when they are modified with lights, rims, and many other gadgets. However, I find that sometimes persons find it difficult to acquire these gadgets to beautify their car. Hence, I was geared towards having a store that caters to strictly accessories and not necessarily parts. After looking at the market and doing my personal research, I decided to make it happen,” he told the Jamaica Observer's Auto magazine.
Despite the financial constraints brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic, Williams says the business has been able to keep afloat.
“The business has been considerably good but also a roller coaster at times. There are good days and then there are bad days; times when there is an entire bad week or month and vice versa. Nevertheless, these occasions were expected because I know the business is still in its growth phase. Recently, there has been an increase in the request for items to be delivered by persons from other parishes so I'm grateful for that,” he shared.
Williams says his business primarily targets male customers.
“Initially, my target market was everyone, because I do have accessories to benefit all owners of motorcars. However, it's mostly males in their 20s and 30s who would like to modify their car, and that is where I acquire most of my sales,” he said.
“We sell LED lights and this includes headlight bulbs, fog light bulbs/kits, brake lights, park lights, strobing DRL lights, article lights, roof lights, door logo lights and many more. We also sell Benz horns, air trumpet horns and musical horns. There are also car mats of various types, steering covers, stereo systems, GPS trackers, mud guards, front lips, sunroof and a whole lot more gadgets to benefit your vehicle or/and make it look more enticing. We do islandwide delivery and we also have an independent technician that partners with us if a customer needs someone to install an accessory,” he continued.
According to Williams, the whole experience is a learning process.
“Since starting the business, the highlight for me has been the ability to learn more about cars. I learn something new every day. I know a lot more now about cars, lighting, some installations, auto suppliers, etc, than when I just started. I've also had first-hand knowledge about what it takes to be an entrepreneur, the challenges it comes with and the sacrifices that have to be made at times, and I'm still learning,” he said.
Williams shared that to get the business up and running, he invested around $300,000. He said that the profit goes back into the business to keep it afloat.
Originally from Tredegar Park in Spanish Town, Williams relocated to Eltham Park almost two years ago. A former student at Campion College in Kingston, he studies geology at The University of the West Indies with a minor in economics. He is in his second year of studies.
Online classes have helped the university student to juggle studies while running his business. He has an assistant, Ashton Davy, who keeps the business in check during his absence.
“My business impacts the auto industry as it relates to convenience and genuineness. We are here to show that the small things do matter when it comes to your vehicle. You could make minor and affordable changes to your vehicle and have it look next to brand new. I hope for my business to be a household name and a first choice for persons who need car accessories. I'd also like to have various branches and do bulk shipping,” said Williams.