Angelee Powell heeds the call of designing, creating

Angelee Powell heeds the call of designing, creating

Observer West writer

Thursday, February 27, 2020

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MONTEGO BAY, St James — A love for sewing from the tender age of eight, a developing sense of style and wanting to look different, followed by frustration in later years, have led Angelee Powell to heed the call of designing and creating.

“It started from the age of eight; I was always making dresses for my dolls and it continued to where I developed a love for sewing. I liked looking different also, my sense of style was unique to me — even my parents noticed it from early,” Powell told the Jamaica Observer West.

“My business started from frustration, though. I was tired of going into stores and couldn't find anything to fit me. I have small top and a large bottom, so most of the clothing would either be too big for my top or too small for my bottom. I walked out of a store one day and said 'I am tired of this, I'm going to make my own clothing'. Later it evolved to Angelee Powell's Fashion.”

A phlebotomist by profession, Powell grew up in Wales District in Newport, Manchester, but decided to make Montego Bay home in 2013, wanting a change of environment and looking for better opportunities.

“I have never received formal training in designing, but I watched YouTube tutorials and then I would go ahead and create them. I have ideas in my head, and I can literally see them in front me, and then I make them just like that. I don't even draw them, because they are so vivid in my mind,” Powell explained, adding that “I'm a phlebotomist and I absolutely love what I do, but I also adore sewing too.”

She pointed out that it was very challenging when she started sewing.
“I was wondering if people would like my work; my lines were not clean and my measurements were off, but I didn't give up,” she stressed.

“I work a regular 9-5 [as a phlebotomist] and my schedule changes every month, and I don't work on weekends, so I use my weekends to sew and also, when I am off early from work, I try to put a little sewing within that time. Sometimes, if I am on the morning shift, I will get up early and start sewing so that when I get home the load isn't too much.”

Powell told the Observer West that she has plans to create an organisation that empowers entrepreneurs, provides a space to get information, and creates employment.

She hosted a 'Business Shower' recently for young entrepreneurs to network.

“The most challenging aspect of being an entrepreneur is getting the right connections to push your business out there. Social media has played an integral role in getting people to know my name, but getting the right persons to see it can be challenging. Also, start-up capital, because you need the necessary tools and equipment in order to start your business and when that is lacking, it may set you back. However, I encourage aspiring entrepreneurs to never give up on what you believe, your dreams, and to also find mentors and persons who can inspire you to be great. Do research and never stop learning,” she encouraged.

“Another challenge I face is getting my product into stores because persons are usually sceptical, so sometimes trying to set up a meeting with store owners can be most difficult. However, my passion and the feedback from clients keep me going. Once I have the material in front of me, I create wonders. I like challenging tasks. When a client has an idea in their head, I have to make it a reality, and then when the item is finished and they are happy, I'm happy as well.”

For the 31-year-old Powell, the journey to success has had numerous turns, but each has played a part in nurturing her love for fashion and has left her with a positive outlook for the future.

“I was a part of Miss Jamaica World Western and that brought me so much exposure and knowledge. I was also a model; I would wear designers' outfits and be amazed at the talent and imagination they had for fabrics,” Powell pointed out.

“My goal is for my designs to be well known all over the world and my name amongst the brands like Gucci and all those other fabulous and talented designers. I want to create a brand that is not only authentic and unique to me, but a brand that has a reputation for great quality, designs and fabric. Each fabric is hand -selected by me. I go into the fabric stores and I feel, smell and see how well the fabric contours; I have to find the one that best suits my clients' needs.”

She told the Observer West that she has often been asked by her clients 'where do you find the time to do so much?'

“….But when you love something you will find every possible time in the world to do that thing. If that doesn't fuel your passion, then I don't know what will,” she asserted.

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