Designer on to next level

Interested patrons.
Interested patrons.

Designer Rykii Dé Jude is moving his business to the next level.

When the entrepreneur launched his website at MQI, Wildey, last Friday, he was credited with being one of the innovators who was not just waiting for things to happen, but making them happen in an effort to expand his brand.

In her remarks, Minister of Labour Dr. Esther Byer-Suckoo said the designer had some good ideas that were “unique” and if he pushed he could do great things.

Noting that she had known the designer for about a decade or so, the minister said that the word innovation was still seen as much of a buzz word being thrown around when many people did not know it’s true meaning.

“[W]hat actually happens is that too often in the business community, we hear everybody wants business in Barbados to take off, they want to tap into markets all over the world, but we expect Government to do it. That is no innovation and I am so thrilled that dé Jude is actually launching his website as well.

“That is something Barbadian entrepreneurs need to really take the effort to do, to invest in marketing, in actually going beyond in expanding their sphere of influence; that is something they need to do,” she said.

Stressing that Government could not do everything, she added, “It is really inspiring when we see a generation of young people… that will go beyond what we are accustomed seeing in the business community, that will say these are the parameters that have been outlined for me but there is more out there and I am not going to wait on anybody to get that for me, I will get it for myself.”

Byer-Suckoo noted that there was an executive class of women in Barbados, who travelled for business, and would more readily shop for business attire overseas than here, because the designers here did not market their business.

Linking the BMW Mini brand to the website launch, brand manager for Mini, Joseph Johnny Tudor advised that by associating with the product, dé Jude was “in good company”, as most of the sales were along the platinum west coast.

“We expect your brand and the way you have gone about marketing at this level … is world class. The sea island cotton product is among the best in the world, there is nothing like it,” said Tudor, pointing to dé Jude’s brand.

The designer himself was full of praise to God and thanks for the people who had supported him to get the project off the ground.

“This was but a dream in 2004. That was the day I got saved and became a Christian. Before that I tried everything in my strength and power to do this and I never saw it until I got connected with the person who gave me the talent.”

Dé Jude, a self-taught designer said his website was not just about his clothing, but represented “an entire lifestyle”.

He said his website was not just for viewing pleasure, but had been designed with the intent that visitors could actually shop for the local designs online, something that not a lot of local sites did. (LB)

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