Advice from Jamaican Entrepreneurs: Kavan & Keisha Allen


jaentkkallenName: Keisha Allen
Age: 30
Business Name: House of Clay
Job Title: Creative Director/Fashion Designer (I started the business at age 25 with my husband Kavan Allen, CEO)

What do you think is the most important character trait in a successful entrepreneur?

I believe the most important character trait in a successful entrepreneur is perseverance

Identify one hardship that you experienced while building your business and how you overcame that.

One of the most challenging things we’ve faced while building our business is starting without working capital and the lack of funding to grow. We continue to overcome this by growing one client at time and by utilising tools like social media and client referral to market our business.

Describe one moment in which you felt immense pride in your accomplishment as entrepreneur.

One moment in which we felt immense pride as entrepreneurs – in particular bridalwear designers, is having had the honour of designing and making a western style wedding dress for our bride Padmaghanda’s nuptials in India.

How important were family/connections/relationships to your work’s success?

Support, support support! Family have been a tremendous support system and key to the success of our business today.  Just to highlight a few. My parents have always invested in my interests as a little girl. They bought my first set of sewing equipment which I used to start the business and still are a major source of encouragement today. My husband … he’s my partner in crime. He takes care of ‘business’ so I can focus on creating.

What advice would you give to youth considering starting entrepreneurial ventures in Jamaica?

My advice to entrepreneurs who want to start a business in Jamaica is firstly, don’t start a business only to make money. Do what you love, what you are called to, that way when the challenges come you won’t give up easily. Secondly, stay curious. Research everything and educate yourself about what you don’t know. Last but not least, Stay Positive and surround yourself with a good support system. It will come together in time.

For the picture: Why did you choose this pic and what does it say about you?

I chose this picture of both of us because we’re a team.

Social media: Instagram: @houseofclayja |  Twitter: @houseofclayja  |  Facebook:

Be sure to leave your comments below. See responses from other Jamaican entrepreneurs here .