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The Creative Entrepreneur: Euranique Bailey

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How did you become inspired to start your Jewel Plum Ja candle business?

“Jewel Plum Ja was built out of desperation and discomfort. I had just given up on my dream (or what I thought was my dream) of studying law for a long list and wide range of reasons. I had no job and so I was stuck doing nothing. This, I believe, is the most difficult thing to happen to any young, ambitious individual.

Feeling stuck and uncomfortable drove me to come up with something, anything that would occupy my mind with positive thoughts. I had $50 US and after doing a bit of research, I found a website that sold jewelry for $1 per item. For a few months I was buying and selling jewelry, barely profiting – and then I discovered a tutorial showing how one could cut liquor bottles to re-purpose them. After successfully cutting one bottle, my partner and I did a little brainstorming to figure out what could be done with these bottles. Candles seemed to be the best idea. Candles became gifts to close friends. Then friends of friends began requesting candles in their favorite containers, and Jewel Plum Ja became a candle business from then on. They became wedding and memorial souvenirs and those gifts you get when you have no idea what to give to someone who deserves everything.”

 

 

Is there still a viable market for hand-crafted products in today’s society?

“Undoubtedly, there is! Craft items are the unspoken expressions of love. They are timeless and hold so much memory, meaning, love and culture. People still travel and return with little hand-crafted trinkets for family members and loved ones. Hand-crafted products still make perfect gifts and tokens to our friends from other cultures. Traditions live through hand-crafted items; they tell stories and hold immense value to both the crafters and those who purchase these crafts. Hand-crafted items represent that portion of these large capitalist markets that still have life and a soul. Despite our desires for advanced tech, 5G-enabled technologies and self-driving electric cars, there is still part of us that is so fundamentally human that a hand-crafted candle made from natural oils and Jamaica-procured beeswax still puts as bright a smile on our faces as receiving the next iPhone.”

 

 

What influenced your decision to start your research business (Searchers Researchers)?

“My partner was a part of a research team more than a few years ago. One of their projects involved travelling to St. Thomas, my home, to collect data from farmers. I joined with the intention of showing them around, but I ended up doing a few interviews myself and I enjoyed it. I enjoyed working with other persons, having conversations outside of my norm and I learned a lot. So, whenever there were projects I could assist with, I would gladly take them on. After a while the group members went along separate paths and the team no longer existed. I continued picking up projects wherever I could, always asking around whether there was any need for data management until I began suggesting to my partner that we start our own team, to make it formal. So, we did. It didn’t always have a name, but Searchers Researchers has been around for years.”

 

 

How has the rise of the digital marketplace impacted both of your businesses?

“The digital marketplace brought new challenges, but more importantly, new opportunities. The reach of both businesses has been increased exponentially as a result of the digital marketplace. Interacting with clients has become seamless, and security (financial and personal) has become much more attainable at little to no cost to small businesses like ours. Things like taking orders, receiving payments and even assisting clients to figure out their desires, needs and preferences have been optimized by the digital marketplace. The service-driven industry, within which both businesses are situated, attracts clients that value efficiency at the expense of as little hassle as possible; the digital marketplace has made that possible.

As a young entrepreneur managing multiple streams of income, it can be very challenging to service all the needs of the business simultaneously. The marketplace being a digital space affords entrepreneurs like me the opportunity to be more agile and multi-functional. I can be on my way to a meeting while making a reservation with a client online.”

 

How do you keep yourself grounded?

“My mother and grandmother, the strongest, bravest, most powerful women I know (rest their souls) grew me in a way that prevents me from being anything but grounded no matter how rough/trying life gets. I try to recall their words, any small gems I can remember. I try to also remind myself that I cannot fight time; I cannot beat time. I can work with it – I can make the best of it. I’ve grown to understand and accept the shortness of life and I’ve decided with all of my heart and soul that I am going to make the best of it. I do slip sometimes but I catch myself. I try to remind myself daily that “I am the universe in ecstatic motion”. 

I try to live my life by simple yet attainable values. I continuously ask myself for more, but I do not push her too far. I try to be very aware of my limitations while nurturing my strengths for tomorrow’s challenges. I love dabbling in new things, but I approach this in a very calculated way. Above all, I continually ask myself “Do you want this?” I continually check-in with myself, keep my mental health up, and focus on one challenge at a time.”

 

 

 

Please feel free to contact Euranique at:

Instagram

Jewel Plum Ja (Instagram)

Searchers Researchers (Instagram)

Searchers Researchers (Facebook)

 

Blessings in abundance!

 

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