Meet Our #GirlBosses!
The "It’s a man's world" saying is officially outdated! Women are the ones running the world nowadays. A study done by the International Labour Organization (ILO) in 2015 found that Jamaica had the highest proportion of women managers, globally, ahead of countries like the United States and the United Kingdom, with 59%. How’s that for girl power? On the International scene, from Hilary Clinton's presidential campaign, to Michelle Obama and Oprah chatting it up at to Beyoncé’s "Lemonade album causing a frenzy within the music industry; women everywhere are proving that 2016 is a woman's year and it is all about girl power.
When it comes to business, people tend to think that is a man's area of expertise; but this is not so. Women are now controlling their finances, building their businesses and running their empires. In Jamaica, there are a multitude of women entrepreneurs. Forget the jumpsuits and denim shorts and clear boots; owning your own business has become the newest, most popular trend among young women and PANACHE is here for it!
Here are 5 young women that currently university students and embody everything it means to be a Girl Boss.
Shanice Allen is a 19-year-old, Marketing major at UWI, Mona. She’s also the owner of Damn I’m Glammed, an online based store which provides jewelry and accessories for females. This fashionista started this business to have a taste of independence and since to loves to accessorize, this line of products was a match made in accessory heaven. Shanice has a very large following on social media (166k Instagram followers) and this works very well in her favour. She is often seen promoting local brands and stores, as well as international companies such as Flat Tummy Tea. Damn I’m Glammed, started just January 2016, already has over 6000 followers on Instagram and is in high demand by women all across Jamaica. She also offers international shipping for her customers that are located outside of Jamaica. Although she loves to dress up and go out, this girl boss is definitely focused. She plans to expand her business within the next 5 years, to include a physical store and including a line of male accessories. By then, Shanice will hopefully be a UWI graduate, pursuing her second degree and still being “glammed”.
“Picasso baby”, 20-year-old, Shaundel Campbell is among Jamaica’s group of young, talented artists. Shaundel is a third year psychology major at UWI, Mona and even though she enjoys picking people’s brains, art is her life. Less than a year ago, Shaundel was encouraged to enter an art show in Kingston. From that, came great exposure and she later earned a place in the Imago Mundi Project- an Italian catalogue capturing art around the world. Shaundel landed a job as an illustrator for children’s books and was a part of the ‘Kingston on the Edge’ art show for 2016. She runs her business being an illustrator, tattoo designer and a wall art designer. Shaundel admits it is not easy. The most difficult part of being the girl boss that she is, is time management; but the support from her friends, clients and even strangers on social media, like Protoje, keep her going. Shaundel is the true meaning of an artist and would love to host events to showcase the work of fellow local artists. She sees her future self’s work being in galleries, books, homes and as tattoos on people’s skin and she’s currently working on making that dream her reality.
Final year Law student, 22-year-old, Christen Romans is the definition of innovative and hardworking. Her impressive line of jewelry is not your average looking accessories. Chrissy’s Coils is a handmade jewelry line, made by Christen herself, using wires. She has always been interested in jewelry and wanted to start a business that reflected her personal style; the hard part was sourcing the materials to make these interesting accessories. It has been over a year since Chrissy’s Coils has been up and running and she has gained immense support. Catering to fashionistas, carnival girls and simply women that want to spice up their outfits, Christen’s unique designs make quite a statement. She was a part of Popup Shop Jamaica’s initiative in 2015, on their mission to boost entrepreneurship and promote creative minds. Being a law student and an entrepreneur is not easy. The most difficult task for Christen is how to manage her time; and while her business is important, she makes school her number one priority. She admits that she wants to expand her business to help create jobs on the local market (like a true girl boss) and have her line be supported regionally and internationally.
It’s hard to believe that Waynette Strachan is just 20 years old. At such a young age, she already has a long list of accomplishments and is a true girl boss. “Be fearless in the pursuit of what sets your soul on fire”- this is a way of life for the youth activist and serves as motivation whenever she starts a new venture. Waynette has been known to be affiliated with Politics as she is the current Youth Mayor for Kingston and St. Andrew but those who see her on social media know that she has also has another passion- fashion. She was part-owner of the online store Rich Way, which gained a lot of popularity among young women in Jamaica. In October 2015, after months of careful planning and research, Waynette branched off to do her own business and started Shoetique; a business that offers female shoes for all occasions. What started out as an online store on Instagram soon turned into a physical dream. The support from local celebrities and women, both in Jamaica and internationally was surprisingly overwhelming and the demand for products from Shoetique grew beyond expectations and Waynette opened her first physical store in 2016, located in Savannah Plaza, Half Way Tree, Kingston. Waynette does in all in true girl boss fashion, being an entrepreneur, youth mayor and a student at UWI, Mona pursuing her Bachelors in Communications. But she has no intention of slowing down anytime soon.
Gabby Clarke is a fabulous, Afrocentric, dental student at UWI, Mona. This 20-year-old is not your average dental student. She had always been in love with sewing and the idea of making her own clothes to reflect her personal style. In November 2015, she was encouraged to showcase a few of her designs in a local fashion show. She loved the exposure she received and the thrill of being recognized as a local designer; so much so that she decided to start her own business. Regardless of the struggle to start-up, Quaint by GSC was started; an Afrocentric clothing line which includes bikinis, tops and backpacks. Her backpacks have become the most popular of all the items she designs, as they are made for both men and women. Over the past year, Gabrielle was called to show her designs on Smile Jamaica (not once, but twice). This opportunity has led to even more support from Jamaicans. It’s not easy being a dental student and a fashion designer. As all girl bosses would agree, Gabrielle says she focuses on her studies once school is in session. It is challenging but she handles it well and remains positive. Gabrielle is only a dental student and entrepreneur but she hopes that in the next few years, she will be a dentist and a leading fashion designer in Jamaica with stores all over the island.