KINGSTON, Jamaica – Kerry-Ann Clarke went from being a passionate, wide-eyed Design Marketing student in Paris to running her own local boutique Kerrymanwomanhome and becoming one of the key players promoting regional creativity and taking Jamaica’s creative industry to the next level.
As a child, Clarke had always had a passion for fashion and all things creative. She decided to sharpen her skills and sense of style by attending the Parsons School of Design in Paris. “I went to study Fashion Designing and after a year, I decided that I didn’t like Fashion Design and ended up studying Design Marketing”, a mixture of fashion and business.
After returning to Jamaica, she opened her own lifestyle boutique Kerrymanwomanhome in 2003. “It’s a concept store, that’s how I describe it to people. Its everything lifestyle, not just clothing and gift items. We sell everything from coffee table books, candles, handbags and of course, jewelry and clothing for men and women.”
From the establishment of Kerrymanwomanhome, Kerry-Ann soon realized that local designers were requesting to have their products sold in the store. She offered enough critique and business advice to local designers to turn it into another business venture, and thus, The Collection MoDa was born.
The Collection MoDa
The Collection MoDa is a business development platform that helps local and regional creatives showcase their talent and take their business to the next level. “I realized that there was a need for creatives to understand the business side of the industry because typically, creatives aren’t really business-minded.” Clarke found her business partner Aiesha Panton and since 2011, the pair have launched several series of showcases aimed at promoting creatives.
The MoDa Runway is one of the most popular fashion platforms in Jamaica which allows regional designers to showcase their designs every year. The Collection MoDa has also launched MoDa Market, MoDa Music, and MoDa Eats to promote other regional creatives.
“The vision for Collection MoDa is that it becomes the premier platform for Caribbean creatives, with Kingston being the hub of creative activity.” The Collection MoDa already has a creative representative from Trinidad and Tobago and plans to incorporate Haitian creatives in their annual events this year.
More Education & Assistance Needed For Local Creatives
Despite the success of The Collection MoDa so far, Clarke says much more education and assistance is needed to assist local creatives in business. “I find that a lot of creatives do not know that there are channels available to them, for example, registering with the Jamaica Manufacturers Association (JMA) to take advantage of the benefits. I find that many creatives also don’t believe in their work so they need help with selling their products and even pricing their items.”
Kerry-Ann Clarke is now among one of the key players in Jamaica’s creative industry helping to educate and assist local and regional creatives.