Three years after establishing their social enterprise, Randy and Davian McLaren, operators of Bresheh, a company, which manufactures local customized bags, have launched their new line of bags called “Roast by Bresheh.”
The new bags were officially introduced to the market on Thursday, September 27 at the Opa Greek Restaurant & Lounge,at Devon House in Kingston.
Randy McLaren, co-founder and managing director of Bresheh, said that the bags are targeted at corporate Jamaica and young professionals, who want fashionable bags.
“It satisfies their professional needs, in terms of holding everything that they need to carry from home to work and travelling, as well,” he explained. “For example, if you have a conference out of town, you are able to pack an overnight bag with items; and,if you are travelling overseas, it has compartments for your passport and laptop.”
Mr McLaren said this collection is different from Bresheh’s other bags, in that, it is more functional; it has more compartments and the designs are very different and more detailed.
“The finishing is different,” he pointed out, “And, a lot more work has gone into the design and its overall appearance. The bags are made from vegan leather, quality material, which will last up to 10 years and more without stripping.”
The collection allows room for customisation, as companies can print their logos on the bags; or, for an individual, their names.
“The collection is influenced by our culture, in the sense that, we borrowed from what a roast breadfruit looks like,” he explained. “The inside of the product is cream, mimicking what the inside of a breadfruit looks like, and, the external colours are brown, black and grey.”
McLaren said that during the past three years, the enterprise did well, despite challenges. “We now employ 10 persons, moving from a team of two; as well as, we have relocated from a smaller verandah to a more spacious location in Cumberland, Portmore, St Catherine.
“Awareness of the brand has grown,as well as the impact we have been able to make. We are now even more inclusive in the way we employ and plan to employ. We having people, single mothers, rural residents, as well as individuals from the deaf community,” he explained.
A participant in the Social Enterprise Boost Initiative (SEBI) accelerator programme, McLaren said that SEBI assisted with their employee’s training and development and equipment upgrade.
“SEBI’s workshops brought in different professionals, who expounded on management and production topics; otherwise, we would not be able to find funds to gain expertise and knowledge. SEBI gave us access to different markets, teaching us to network and build awareness for the brand,” he related.
The Social Enterprise Boost Initiative is a project of the JN Foundation and the USAID. Through the Accelerator Programme, entrepreneurs are being targeted to further enhance their social businesses.
Opal Whyte, project manager of SEBI, expressed pride in the growth of Bresheh. She commended the operators of the social enterprise for their achievements in their three years of operation.
“The growth of Bresheh is phenomenal. It is like watching a young child blossom into an adult and contributes to making an impact on our society. We are proud to be associated with this enterprise. We see Bresheh contributing much more, as it continues to grow and become an international brand,” Ms. Whyte affirmed.
Dionne Rose| Communication Officer