Small Business Spotlight Feature: MaroonDawta

Ladies you know how I feel about earrings/eargear…Accessory Junkie peeps!!! This next feature is special to me. I stumbled across MaroonDawta on YouTube. When I saw her body of work I was like WHOA!!! I reached out to the owner, Tremaine Rennis, who is a awesome young lady…and the rest is history. 


MaroonDawta is different, edgy, trendy, meaningful and some may say political. But whatever style you choose, I know we all can agree that it is a “MUST HAVE”!!! The quality is grade A…I’ve had her work for sometime now and MaroonDawta is definitely in my Top 3 accessory picks!!! Please take a moment to read the Q&A on MaroonDawta to find out more about Tremaine and her business. Then take advantage of the discount code “wherehaveyoubeen” to save 15% the entire month of June!!!! Thanks Tremaine!!!!

 

 

Q. What is your name and where are you from?
Hello Jackie, first of all, thank you so much for deciding to showcase MaroonDawta®. My name is Tremaine – the founder and sole designer of MaroonDawta.com. I was born and grew up on the beautiful island of Jamaica but I currently reside in the UK.

Q. Can you tell us a little about your company (name, what you offer, when established, etc)?
The name of the brand is ‘MaroonDawta’; this name was chosen as a homage to my heritage as a Jamaican Maroon (which I’m extremely passionate about) and ‘Dawta’ is just ‘daughter’ spelt with a Jamaican twist. MaroonDawta initially started in 2009 selling beaded jewellery online but unfortunately I decided to close shop in 2010 due to personal circumstances and feeling creatively ‘stuck’. I’ve always known the direction I wanted MaroonDawta to take. I wanted to build a brand of pride and confidence about African (and African Diasporan) culture mixed with heavy doses of rebel and pure niceness! In 2012 I finally developed the emotional and financial courage to put my all into creating a brand that reflects just that – and so MaroonDawta was resurrected. 
MaroonDawta offers wearable art in the forms of hand-painted earrings and gemstone bracelets – with tons more in line for 2013! Our earrings are heavily influence by Africa – from simply the map of Africa, to honouring the timeless Queen Nefertiti, to showcasing the beautiful Adinkra symbols. Again, we have new things in store for 2013 – watch this space!

Q.What was your inspiration behind starting the brand and for each design?
A. My inspiration comes from Africa history & culture – from the Kings and Queens of ancient Africa to the modern everyday girl around the corner. I am also vociferously passionate yet humbled by our history as a people – wherever the ship landed. My country (Jamaica) inspires me, my children paintings’ inspires me; my surroundings inspires me – from the driest of woods to the vibrancy of freshly bloomed flowers, as corny as it sounds – I’m inspired by life. 


 

 

Q. What distinguishes MaroonDawta from other brands?

Let me first say that there are a lot of talented sisters out there doing their thing, some I have purchased from and still continue purchase from. What I think separates MaroonDawta from other brand firstly is the rich history behind our brand (read more about the Maroons here). Our story, our fabulous designs of course but also our plans for 2013 (we have to keep shush for now though). We are not just talking about making fabulous earrings, MaroonDawta is a movement – a movement of unity, a movement of confidence, a movement of cultural pride. We will also be doing workshops for young girls focusing of confidence and self-lov and cannot wait to start.
 
Q. What challenges have you faced with starting the line?

I was going dilly dally around this question and keep it all fairy tales and daisies but honestly, the biggest challenge I’ve faced has been myself. I had this compulsion to negatively criticise myself, I lacked confidence and because of that, I delayed MaroonDawta for about two years. Uncle Marcus Garvey said it best: “..If you have no confidence in self you are twice defeated in the race of life…”. 
Sometime we wake up on our own and find our own inner confidence to start again but sometime it takes someone else recognising your abilities before you do. Whichever route you take, be sure that confidence is your destination – get there. My other obstacle was probably finance. I had to wait until I was financially able to start the business properly, for example, getting my trademark and other legal icing to get things going. 
 
Q. What personal goals would you like to accomplish with your business?

I want people to enjoy wearing MaroonDawta’s creations. Not just wear them, but tell a story with them. Be proud. Be stylish. Be yourselves! I want people to put on our jewellery and step out feeling like “dem boasy!”(translation: feeling confident lol). We have several things for the brand that should come into fruition in 2013. We want to be the ‘go to’ brand to accessorise your lives! From head to toe to home – literally. We’re talking clothing, home décor etc. I’m both excited and scared about MaroonDawta’s future. I’m ready. 
 
Q. Do you have any advice that you would offer to an aspiring entrepreneur?
My biggest advice to all is to first be confident in your aspirations. Be weary though that confidence will attract a few doubters; you will need to be able to distinguish genuine concerns/advice from negative discouragement. 
You will need to have a clear goal of what you want to do and know why you want to do it. You will need to have a plan – a S.M.A.R.T plan. 
Get yourself a business plan, if the thought of a business plan sounds daunting, then do yourself a spider diagram; this is where it becomes a plan-in-action rather than an ‘idea’.
Research, research, research! Become very familiar with Uncle Google – he is the absolute best! You can get useful information from blogs and forums etc but don’t take it as fact. Consult official 
journals and/or government websites for factual information.
Know your support team. That person (or people) must be someone you trust enough to honestly express your fears, plans, goals and ‘failures’ to. That person for me is my cousin Asanya; we grew up together so she knows me very well. She is the most beautiful and honest soul out there. If I need a kick up my backside she’s there – if it wasn’t for her BRUTAL honesty, I probably wouldn’t have started MaroonDawta again. If you don’t have that support system close to you in real life, business forums are your next best thing. Join up and immerse yourself in the community.
Lastly, I don’t know everything but if you want to chat to someone who is going through the process and learning as I go along, send me an email tremaine@maroondawta.com. 
 
Q. And finally, how do we get our hands on MaroonDawta Jewelry?

I thought you would never ask! 😀 You can find our goodies at www.MaroonDawta.com. Be sure to follow us on Instagram and Twitter (@MaroonDawta). Again, thank you Jackie for choosing to feature MaroonDawta. Take care.
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