MORANT BAY, St Thomas — For Jamaicans at home and abroad who want to brag about the parish of their birth, Anthony Harvey and his American wife Deidre have just the thing.
They've come up with a clever T-shirt design that gets the message across.
A Portland resident, for example, would proudly don a shirt that says, “Portland mi come from” and the parish would be highlighted on the map of Jamaica.
The shirts are being sold under the Naciremaj brand. That's Jamerican spelt backwards — a nod to the seamless blend of the Harveys' roots.
Anthony Harvey is the one who came up with the idea for the T-shirts. This was after years of trying to find a career path.
“I have worked in different fields, such as machinery, welding, and in different factories. I have also worked at a leather factory here in St Thomas where they used to make purses and wallets, and I have also worked for a retreading tyre company in Kingston,” he said.
He also had the dream of running his own business, a yearning fuelled by a bout of unemployment.
“I have had this entrepreneurial mindset for a long time. I have tried different things and then I was out of a job for some time. So I began to brainstorm and started to think about what I can come up with to make some money,” he explained.
“I came up with the T-shirt idea. Then I said to myself, there are many shirts on the market, so how can I make mine different. I gave it some thought and I came up with this concept which I think is very different and original,” Harvey added.
He believes he has found the right formula; the blend of the message in patois and in the imagery. They have been selling the shirts for the past three years.
The couple's goal is to promote the Jamaican identity on a global scale and most of their clientèle live outside the country.
“People abroad love to represent where they are from and to big up their country and parish,” said Harvey, adding that special occasions, such as the Olympics, usually see a spike in business.
They also want to tap into the local market some more and have beefed up the presence of their modest, home-based business on social media and other digital platforms.
Like other commercial enterprises, this year has been tough for Naciremaj as it struggled to do business during a pandemic. It was hard to meet sales targets and plans to launch a pullover line in time for Christmas fizzled.
Undaunted, the Harveys are looking forward to better times ahead for their small business. They are doing everything they can to make it as convenient as possible for potential customers to find them and for those who place orders to get them within two days.
“Delivery is available islandwide, and most of the deliveries are done using Zip Mail. Customers have the option of picking up their package at the post office or they can utilise the post-to-door option depending on their addresses,” Harvey explained.
“My goal is for every Jamaican to have one of these shirts to represent their country and parish. Our tag line is, 'Wear weh you from,” he added with a grin.