Anna-Kae McNee is thriving despite struggling with complacencySunday, October 24, 2021
PEOPLE at times wish they could turn back the hands of time and get a do over, and for St Catherine native Anna-Kae McNee, she often thinks about all that she could accomplish if changing the past was a possibility.
Being the founder and owner of Jimbo's Coconuts and Shop MAK, which supply cosmetic products made from coconut oil and clothing items and accessories, respectively, McNee knew she always wanted to own her own business and she was never really interested in school or finding a job after she completed university.
However, McNee told Career & Education that had she stuck to one of her many nine-to-five jobs, she would have been better able to fund her businesses.
“For every mistake you make, there's a lesson from it and the way I grew up I was very sheltered, I didn't have to work. Whether I chose to work or I choose to hustle I had somewhere to sleep, I was sure of food, I was sure of clothing. So growing up spoiled, it has its pros and its cons, but if I could take back the hands of time I would definitely change a lot of stuff,” she stated.
“When I left university all of my friends were sending out résumés and I did not care one bit about sending out my résumé. I got my first job offer at Sagicor and I turned down the job because I was never a nine-to-five person, my passion was always business. I didn't grow up rich but my cousins and I weren't short of anything. Being sheltered you are entitled, so you don't feel the need to go out and push yourself.”
Therefore, she advised people looking to start a business to push through despite the odds and don't yield to complacency.
“If I had kept one of the jobs while operating the businesses on the side things would've been better. Don't be too complacent and do what you have to do,” she said.
Now, her businesses are doing great since their establishment and she was quick to add she is even now shipping her products internationally and offering a barrel packing service for people living overseas wishing to send barrels to their loved ones through Shop MAK.
Coming from a loving and supportive family, McNee said she was given $100,000 by her uncle to start Shop MAK and she is eternally grateful for his support, even though in the beginning she struggled with consistency.
“My first start up money for Shop MAK was from my uncle. After I started in 2012 I've never been consistent. I started, and then stopped, and then I included my cousins in 2015. My cousins invested their time [and] money. We did that for a year, then I stopped again and basically I got consistent with Shop MAK in 2018 and I haven't stopped since,” McNee stated.
McNee said those looking to start a business and are not sure how to brand themselves should, “be consistent with the work you produce. Be yourself because people love authentic people, and build a relationship with your customers and their budget.”