I am the designer and founder of MONOXIDE. I am aim to tell tales of authenticity, translating genuine stories through the creation of visual pieces. Inspired by writing and literature growing up, I always found storytelling captivating, and through my love of jewelry making, I am able to tell visual stories with my designs. Born in Toronto and raised in Canada and The Bahamas; I am the product of Caribbean parents with global sensibilities; and often jokingly refers to myself as a "Cabajayan" (Canadian/Bahamian/Jamaican). A creative from an early age my passion was originally writing, and it was initially the career path I intended to pursue. However, being involved in the wholesale jewelry business throughout my teens and later as part of the family retail business; I found I could not deny my love for fashion and especially my passion for jewelry. Using quality materials, MONOXIDE creates stylish items in short run collections or by custom order that are unique, fun and most of all tell a story; your story.
What were the biggest initial hurdles to building your business and how did you overcome them?
Lol, I think naming the business was definitely a hurdle. I wanted a name that had a hard sound but a soft meaning because my jewelry is bold yet still classic and one day Monoxide just came into my head and it was perfect.
Did you ever deal with contention from your family and friends concerning your entrepreneurial pursuits?
How did you handle it? What would you do differently in hindsight?
It was difficult getting the family on board at first because most were like "what are you doing...?" or "what exactly is that/does that mean...?" but that just fueled me to succeed even more. Since our feature in Vulkan and other magazines and returning from our show at London Fashion Week last month, I've definitely seen an uptick in familial approval and interest.
What would you say was the single most influential factor in your business success?
I'm like a dog with a bone, once I set myself on a path I'm all in so the most influential factor is me. If I don't give a hundred percent then Monoxide won't succeed. I've also been blessed with some great people who've helped me out on my journey. Also, since I don't have formal training I feel like I'm not necessarily bound creatively.
What do you know today that you wish you would have known when you first got started as an entrepreneur?
I wish I knew that if I want something, ask for it. Don't beat around the bush or try to down play things, if you need help you'll be surprised how many people there are actually willing to help.
What advice would you give to an upcoming young and old entrepreneur locally and internationally?
Just do it. Start something and you'll know if you're on the right path because things will start happening that propel you forward.