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Floral dresses, bow ties – and more


DONNA SEALY

Floral dresses, bow ties – and more

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FIRST CAME THE hair accessories, then the bow ties. They were followed by floral vest designs, “a couple floral dress designs” and now hair care products.

Ranique John, the owner and creative designer of RanzCreations, started the business in 2012 but the idea came in her gap year between finishing college in St Vincent and starting studies at the Cave Hill Campus of the University of the West Indies.

She was in the United States of America on vacation and flowers and floral designs were everywhere – on hair accessories, shoes, bags and clothing.

“I thought to myself, ‘I can do this’. I love to do things with my hands and I consider myself to be a creative person. So, I went to some fabric stores and I experimented with making stuff. It was basically some tops. I would see something and try to recreate it,” John said.

“I started with headpieces and my husband Maurice John, he believed in me a lot, and he’s the one who said ‘you can make bow ties too. You can do this’. I studied bow ties and then I said it would be a good transition from hairpieces to bow ties because I already have the structure down and just had to figure out the little intricacies for them.

“I remember when I made my first bow tie I was so excited. I am really proud of any little progress and I tend to congratulate myself when I achieve small steps because I feel it is important for your confidence. When you know there aren’t external forces to give you a pat on the back and say ‘hey, good job’ or ‘hey, I like that’, then you need to be your motivator, you need to be your inspiration. That’s something I take with me in every venture I go into,” she added said.

Business has been great and she said she really appreciated the response she gets from Barbadians and Vincentians even though she is limited in her product offerings because she has to juggle her studies and the business.

“There are times when there’s nothing is going on and I have to strike a balance and turn some of that energy into my schoolwork,” explained the psychology with management major.

John noted that regardless of her having a “full-fledged job” the intention was always to do something for herself, and having extra income from doing something that she loved.

“When it comes to men, I think about what their wardrobe is looking like, what colours are they likely to have as shirts and what will go best with it. I know that some guys are eccentric and some guys are conservative so I do both plain bow ties and bow ties that pop. Something that makes you look different for those special occasions when you don’t want to look plain. Something that makes a statement.

“That’s what I look for – statement pieces. Even if it’s a plain fabric, I take my time and it would stand out. I’ve been told they appreciate the sleekness and the details of it. It’s not like some big company, manufacturing 200s things and then they store them. Everything that I make, I consider the customer – the person who’s going to buy and how they will react. If I don’t love it, I will not make it,” asserted John.

Her customers reach out to her via her social media pages. She has outfitted bridal parties, made bow ties for a graduating class, for church, for gifts for special occasions and she also makes the ties for Independence.

While she focused on developing her accessories, she also posted videos on YouTube of her hair care journey under the label My Crown of Curls. She also experimented with making and mixing shea butter gels and deep conditioners for herself and relatives.

“In 2015, I did a lavender shea butter mix and that was, at that time, the best mix I had made so far. Then coming to the end of last year, I made my peppermint mango shea butter mix and that was even better than the lavender mix. I showed how I made it on YouTube and I got so many requests from people!

“I’ve always wanted to start my own hair product line, but I didn’t want to dive too much into anything as I was trying to keep a balance.” (GBM)

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