Kingston Creative’s fashion-themed meetup this week featured a panel discussion with designers Carlton Brown, Kadian Nicely and Laura Jones. Jones is also a lecturer at the Edna Manley College of Visual and Performing Arts and has held business development roles in the creative industries with JAMPRO and the Jamaica Business Development Corporation.
While the discussion centered on the challenges and opportunities within Jamaica’s fashion industry, their advice rings true for all creatives. Below, the top five tips:
1. Find a lane and own it
“The pie is big enough,” says Nicely. “Hone your skills. Know your market. Keep it lean. Find one thing you’re good at and own it.”
2. Know your customer
Jones advises creatives against trying to be all things to all people. Knowing who your target customer is affects your decisions at every stage in the value chain.
3. Focus on your quality — and your customer
Nicely urges creatives to give customers the best quality work they can at all times. “That’s what keeps them coming back.” High quality and good relationships can help creatives fetch higher prices for their work and ride out disruptions in the market.
4. Build a team
“I’m a designer. I’m a creative first.” Says Nicely. “I had to learn business.” Her short cut was to align herself with people who were better at business than she was. It takes a wide range of skills to master all the tasks involved in a creative business — from production to publicity. “One person can’t build a brand.”
5. Get organized for business
Are you registered? Are you paying taxes? Do you have a business plan? Jones recommends that creatives formalize, to participate in development opportunities.
For more on Kingston Creative meetups, follow them @kgncreative or visit kingstoncreative.org.
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