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Turning art into a business

Louise Jordan is an artist who creates beautiful works of art.

But instead of a canvass or paper she uses cotton to craft amazing items of batik and it’s not just scarves or dresses, but lovely home decor items that include wall hangings, table cloths, curtains, magazine holders, laptop cases, and throw cushions.

Her company, Saphire Batik Creations is relatively young, a few months old she said, but she has been doing batik for the past 33 years.

“I was doing it at home. When I left work a good few years ago I wanted to be at home with my children so I did it by the way to help make ends meet and by the time I went through a few ups and downs and then I even went a very long sickness and then I kind of laid it in the dust and then about two years ago my son [Shammel] was doing his Bachelor’s and he said ‘mum why don’t I do your batik for my major’.

“He [got] a logo, marketed it and did everything you could possibly do with it and at the end he said ‘I’m not going to waste all of that knowledge and information we’re going to turn it into a real business, which kind of surprised me. I saw it through new eyes as I started it with him. He’s doing his own new line and everything is local, Bajan, so it’s fresh and it’s as though I’m starting all over again,” she told Barbados TODAY.

Louise who started back in 1979 when she left school, said she enjoys the entire process from start to finish, “as long as it is called batik I would do”.

She recalled seeing an advertisement in the newspaper for art classes and she went.

“When I got there it was batik. I had never heard of batik before. The process looked kind of difficult and I couldn’t imagine how they got it done but after going and going and trying and trying I finally got it one day and I took off from there,” said the Lammings Park, St. Joseph business woman.

Her colours and vibrant and Saphire Batik Creations’ look is fresh and cool, and she explained it has to do with “how you think and how you feel” that determines how the products look.

She declared that “once it’s 100 per cent cotton or 100 per cent silk” she can make the items that customers request and it takes about a week to make the throw cushions, but that depends on the quantity required.

Her son is not in the business full time yet but with God guiding their steps, Louise is confident he will be soon. (DS)

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