From sleeping on ply board to owning a business - Young entrepreneur overcomes hardship

April 19, 2018
Soumoya Mattis
Soumoya Mattis
Soumoya Mattis

 At only 25 years old Soumoya Mattis is the proud owner of a media production company called Soneik Entertainment. However, it has been a rough ride to get to the point where she is creating content for some well-known clients and television programmes.

While growing up in the parish of Hanover she endured a lot of hardship.

“It did rough. My mom was 16 when she had me, so that would already tell yuh say it did hard. I went to the Charlemont All-Age School, and in order to get to the school, we walked two mile go to school and then two miles to go home,” she said.

When she started high school, her parents parted ways, forcing her to spend time with different relatives who could help out.

“During that time, it did hard cause dem time deh wi a sleep pon grung. We couldn’t afford to build an actual structure fi live inna, so they use the leftover ply from the construction site and we carried sand from the sea because we live close to sea, and we woulda sleep pon di ground,” the Mount Alvernia High past student said.

And although her family could not afford to fund her tertiary education, she said she made the bold move of enrolling in the University of Technology (UTech), Jamaica.

In 2013, while attending UTech, she sent a broadcast message with the information about Soneik Entertainment, but no one responded. However, her luck would change when a woman asked her to design a flyer.

“Every time that I met someone who could use the service that I was offering, I was a designer and photographer, but at the time I never own no camera,” she explained.

However, she had a friend who went on the work and travel programme and he bought a camera but didn’t know how to use it. She said she would borrow his equipment to do small gigs.

And with funding her education becoming too burdensome, she decided to take a break from school to search for a job.

“A nuff days mi nuh nyam nothing at all because the little money that I was making, I had to use it to fund school and that was really challenging. Couple a times mi think say the school thing nuh really a work out,” she told THE STAR.

However, she was unable to find employment, which made her even more focused on having a thriving business of her own even when her own relatives doubted her. 

“My grandfather neva believe say mi coulda start a business pon mi own. Him keep on a say a better mi go look one job even though I told him that I sent out a lot resume and nobody nuh call mi back," Mattis said.

Eventually, she said she saw an opening for a videographer being advertised for Video Alley, which she applied for and got the job.

She worked on Suzie Q’s Video Alley for a number of months until she got a job at Secrets Resorts and Spa as a videographer.

Now she also edits commercials and television programmes such as Rev Talk through her company, Soneik Entertainment.

Other Jobs to Go Stories