God gave me a gift in my time of need
With a wide array of her fashionable headbands and head wraps, it is hard to miss Odette Morris in the Independence Festival Village at the National Arena.
Her colourful handmade products, however, belie the fact that it was chance, or as she puts it, divine intervention, that has led her into this niche area of the fashion business.
"The funniest thing about it is that it was not necessarily that I chose it. It was a gift from God," she told THE STAR.
She stressed that her gift came to the fore during her time of need.
"There was a time things got bad with me and funds wasn't coming from anywhere else. I borrowed all that I could borrow and mi salary go down to nothing, and it so happened that one day when the pressure tek mi, I said 'Lord, if yu stretch me any more, mi a go pop'," Morris said.
She said that within days of her prayer, she discovered that she could make headbands and scarfs.
"Two days after my daughter went to school, she took one a piece of cloth and say, 'Mommy, just fix it up fi mi', and me fix it up fi har and she go school, and somebody said to her, 'Weh yu get that nice little thing yu have in yu hair?' And she told them, 'My Mommy did it', and the person said to her, 'If you carry them to school, we will buy them', and she move off and somebody else told her the same thing. When she came home, she told me. I decided that I am going to try it, and after I started, it just tek off," she said.
Three and a half years later, Morris said that she is in the process of getting a store of her own to sell her products after vending at a number of events as well as having them sold in various stores in Kingston and Mandeville.
"I don't have a store for myself, but I am working on that. My aim is to get it out there and to have a store that persons can come to that location," she said.
And although it is her first time selling at the Independence Festival Village, the response to her merchandise has been great.
"Every kind of persons have been buying. They buy them a lot. Everybody buy them because most persons are going natural now, so they go after these things," she said.
Among her best-sellers are head wraps, which may been worn in a number of ways.
She said, persons have been going for headbands made from bandanna fabric.
"(I do) bandanna in different styles of bows. Persons have been buying this because they have never seen it done this way," she said.