LITTLE BAY, Montserrat – Designer Kaishah Peters told up and coming entrepreneurs at YES Caribbean last week that she used to take her great grandmother’s crochet lessons for granted until she realized they were actually the path to her success in fashion. St. Maarten-born Peters was one of several entrepreneurs speaking at the four-day event hosted by goldenmedia Montserrat May 25-28, 2011 at the Montserrat Cultural Centre.
The designer, who specializes in crocheted fashions for both women and men, spoke to conference delegates and an international audience listening via the internet about the challenges of starting her business and how she is able to balance that with a full-time job and caring for her 11-year-old son.
She also participated with Cayman Islands’ designer Luigi Moxam and actress Dionne Audain in a panel discussion on the Value of Fun and learning to turn a personal passion into a business.
“The conference was a learning experience for me as this was the first time I’ve been able to speak at such a forum other than radio. I learned a lot from the other presenters and how I can improve myself as a business person,” Peters said. “It was an opportunity to help others by sharing my experiences so far as I build my company.”
Peters creates one-of-a kind fashions, using crochet and other knits under her Knitty Kitty label. In 2008 she began to make soaps as a way to say thank you to her customers for supporting her burgeoning fashion line but soon the soaps took off and she has since added lotions and other body products.
Kaishah underscored the importance of hard work and the need to collaborate with others to build her brand. She shared about agreeing to make 3000 ribbon-shaped soaps for the St. Maarten HIV Red Campaign at nights in less than one month, even completing them ahead of schedule.
On Saturday morning, Kaishah was part of the panel of presenters who offered advice to local entrepreneurs about setting prices, creating a brand and marketing internationally.
“The response to my designs was great all around from the local people to the visiting delegates at YES.”
“I’ve been watching Kaishah grow her business and I am a big fan of her work. This was a chance to celebrate how far she has come but to encourage others who love crocheting as well but aren’t yet seeing the potential for it as a business,” explained conference host Nerissa Golden.
Photos from YES Caribbean can be found on the event website and on the Nerissa Golden – Truly Caribbean Woman page on Facebook.com as well as other related fan pages.
YES Caribbean was sponsored by ZJB Radio Montserrat, the HYPE programme in the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Office of the Deputy Governor, the Montserrat Tourist Board, LIME, the Bank of Montserrat and goldenmedia Montserrat.