MONDAY MAN: Brian good at customising
EVEN THOUGH UNIVERSITY EDUCATION is often touted as the best path to success, and many people aspire to journey along this course, sometimes it just isn’t a good fit for everyone.
Case in point, Brian Gooding.
When he graduated from Ellerslie Secondary School, Gooding followed the status quo that dictated that a degree was the road he should take.
Then an avid cricketer, he had high hopes that the University of the West Indies (UWI) was the best direction for him. However, during his third year reading for a degree in sociology, his studies came to an abrupt end when he decided the academic path wasn’t for him.
With age on his side, the St Lucy native said he risked everything at that point and dropped out.
Gooding gave an account of dashing off to the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic to enrol in courses for architectural draughting and computer repairs.
“I just realised the hands-on approach was right for me and I wasn’t getting that at UWI. I wasn’t passing any of the courses. I was trying with the academic side of things but I guess it wasn’t really for me. Sociology wasn’t something that my heart was into. I guess I am more of a hands-on person rather than an academic so UWI wasn’t a good fit at all,” he told the DAILY NATION.
“My family had always backed me 100 per cent so they had no problem with my decision. I always had a focus on what I wanted to do and they saw that, so really it wasn’t heartbreaking.”
After becoming certified, Gooding did not get a chance to utilise his draughting skills because he went full throttle working with his brother repairing computers.
When business died down and with no desire to just stay at home and chill, Gooding began to again explore his artistic side. He returned to his interest in graphic designing and focused primarily on creating designs for posters, clothing, signs, stickers, mugs, table mats, key rings and other marketing paraphernalia.
It was at this point that the Customisation Centre was established – in 2013. The business, located in Final Fit: The Ladies Shoes Store on Palmetto Street in The City, puts out branded apparel as well as a number of promotional products. As long as it has a surface, Gooding can design a personalised screen print to meet customers’ specifications.
“My main focus is just getting the shirts out to people; that’s what is really being pushed. People find joy in personalised things and I like to see people happy. So if I can do that for somebody and they are pleased with the product, I am happy.
“I try to get my price as competitive as possible so I can be able to get more clients and make everybody happy,” the 27-year-old said.
Today, Gooding has a nice set-up operating from his family store, but in the beginning he had to hustle.
“I was on the road hustling trying to see if people would be interested; it was very difficult. I went to probably every mall in Barbados seeing if people wanted key rings to give their clients – so the hustle is hard.
“I can bet you that I am known in many car parks across Barbados. Many afternoons I didn’t care how hot the sun was, I was out there fighting it because I had a goal.
“That is why I always tell my friends when they have to work for something, the feeling you get when you get it cannot be compared. And then and only then do you really appreciate what you have,” Gooding said.
“Being in Town is a better central location where people can just walk in. It is really nice and comfortable but not too comfortable that I forget where I started.
“I can never forget being on the road and begging potential customers to meet me certain places ’cause I live in St Lucy and nobody wanted to come to St Lucy,” he said, laughing.
Business is steadily increasing, to the point where Gooding now employs two people. He says his goal is to continue expanding both the shoe store and the centre. (SDB Media)