Teenage Entertainment

TEEN feature: Four TEENs who will empower you

... through their 'Empower YOUth' T-Shirt line

by CHARLENE BUCHANAN

Wednesday, March 20, 2019

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When talented TEENs see a need, they fill it! So when Isheba Cornwall reflected on the importance of positive messages and just how hard they can be to come by, she decided to do something about it. That is how, early one Summer morning, the idea for Empower YOUth Tees was born.

17 year-old Isheba Cornwall, a student at Excelsior High School, fearlessly leads the team as founder and CEO, with operations and sales direction from 18 year-old Alexie Thomas, a proud graduate of the Ewarton High School. Errol Green (19) and Trevon Fletcher (18), both students of the Wolmer's Boys' School, round off the team as Empower YOUth Tees' official photographer and director of communications and marketing, respectively.

Even though Isheba maintains that she had not been interested in business at all until a few years ago, and none of the group of four currently studies any business subjects, this team of TEENs has managed to blend their skills and interests beautifully in pursuit of a noble vision.

Read on below to learn more about Empower YOUth Tees, find out how you can get one of their t-shirts for yourself and get to know a bit about the team.

teenAGE Observer: Isheba, you've described the flash of brilliance that brought your love of writing and motivating others together. Tell us more about how Empower YOUth Tees got started.

Isheba: Okay, Empower YOUth Tees is a start-up company run by a group of dynamic and creative Jamaican youths who desire to spread positivity through fabric. We produce apparel colourfully stained with bursts of positivity to encourage and empower [teens and young adults]. We started in August 2018 after I waspart of a Youth Can Do I.T (YCDI) Women in I.T. Mentorship Programme. Inspired to 'just do it' while talking to the founder of YCDI, Lianne McNaughton, the idea for Empower YOUth Tees came to me at 3:00 AM the very next day.

teenAGE Observer: Was it difficult pitching the idea to others, Alexie?

Alexie: At first a lot of persons thought we might be wasting our time with this business, but thankfully others were encouraging and those persons' ideas and support still motivate me, and the team, to keep believing in our business. We've already converted a few of the naysayers and now we have encouragement and responses coming in rapidly from persons who believe – like us – that our business is going places.

teenAGE Observer: So, the public's response has been mostly good?

Trevon: So far persons have generally been helping to spread the word about us, and in so doing they've been spreading the positivity we aim to spread with our tees. We've gotten positive feedback, excluding a single incident where one of our quotes was misinterpreted. But from that [unfortunate incident] we've learned valuable lessons about marketing. Basically our message is out there, it's loud, it's clear and we're happy about that.

teenAGE Observer: How can we get Empower YOUth t-shirts of our own?

Errol: Anyone interested in ordering our tees can do so by sending us a message on Instagram (@empower_youth_tees) or Facebook (Empower Youth Tees) or by sending us a WhatsApp message at 876-492-7459.

teenAGE Observer: Do you have any plans to grow the business or branch out into other forms of apparel?

Isheba: Yes. [Firstly] we wish to begin donating a portion of the cash received from sales annually to a youth organisation. We've [also had] customers ask about sweaters and dresses and we intend to deliver on that. The team's ultimate goal is for us to not only reach young people from all 14 parishes with our motivational messages, but to also make an impact on young people all across the world. Empower YOUth Tees envisions our brand becoming a premier option for Jamaican youths and becoming a household name as our products become mainstream and availablein localstores across the island.

As a group, Alexie, Errol,Isheba, and Trevonare passionate about positivity, productivity and patriotism. They all bring their personal flair and interests together in making their business successful. In the future Trevon Fletcher hopes to be a forensic pathologist, Alexie Thomas wishes to be an event planner and work in hospitality as a hospitality manager, Errol Green desires to become a software engineer and Isheba Cornwall wants to be a journalist.

teenAGE Observer wishes these four ingenious TEENS all the very bestwith Empower YOUth Tees, as well as their own personal endeavours and aspirations.


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