Founder and CEO of Hot Ras Designz, Doneckia Scarlett.
Photo Credit: Contributed
By: Jayda Lunan
Mandeville, Jamaica- Many people have struggled through trauma, anxiety, and aimlessness since the onset of the coronavirus, however, final-year Communication Studies Major at the Northern Caribbean University (NCU), Doneckia Scarlett transformed her coping mechanism into a Design line.
Scarlett pulled out the sewing machine, which she had for many years, and created – Hot Ras Designz – a Mandeville-based business that offers bonnets, headbands and faces masks to a female target audience.
The television emphasis shared that her inspiration came from her love for fashion designing and the encouragement of her friends.
“My inspiration came from my ‘Internet friends.’ I just was bored and I made a bonnet and then everybody started boosting me to do more.”
Hot Ras Designz is an expression of the 29-year-old’s long-time interest in fashion designing.
She chose to study the subject in high school and even considered pursuing a tertiary level education in the field. She admits that maintaining a part-time business along with school can sometimes be a struggle.
“There are several times I could stop and give up because sometimes I have so many orders and it kind of messes with my schoolwork. I have to try to inspire myself and set a schedule,” she revealed.
Her routine is to purchase fabric in bulk then immediately pre-cut it in preparation for any sudden orders in the future. However, she avoids sewing entire bonnets or masks in advance, since many people opt for customized orders.
Scarlett mentioned that even though her business is flourishing she has met upon challenges with customers who reserve customized products but never collect or pay for their orders.
She added that because of this she has been forced to implement a business condition that requires partial payment for customize orders.
Evolving Hot Ras Designz
Scarlett ascribes her biggest business mistake to lack of research in the early days of her start-up, noting that not doing adequate research caused her to waste money.
“Resources weren’t a problem, the most that I need as it regards to resources is just fabric and thread and pretty much anywhere in Mandeville you can get that…. It’s just that I didn’t do my research to see where I could get my products cheaper,” she explained.
Scarlett has now found a supplier to provide materials for the business at a cheap cost. She feels satisfied with the growth of Hot Ras Designz so far.
“I mostly cater to NCU students and people in and around the Mandeville area. I take pride in my products and I take pride in my brand, so therefore I spend adequate time to get my products as perfect as possible.”
Scarlett says after she graduates, she intends to expand the product line of Hot Ras Designz to include skirts, blouses, and more.
Prospective customers can send their orders and mode of delivery by direct messaging the business’ page @hot_ras_designz or by calling the number provided on the page. She shared that orders can also be made in person where possible.