Latoya Fry turns craft passion into business

February 25, 2019
Latoya Fry
Persons turned out for Black Fleet Market held on Fleet Street, Southside, Kingston, yesterday.
Romaine Sabukie Allen, a co-founder of Life Yard, at Black Fleet Market held on Fleet Street, Southside, Kingston, yesterday.

When Latoya Fry started making craft items in 2008, it was more about therapy than a business plan. Eleven years later, she is thrilled to have learned how to craft items such as bracelets and bags made out of coconut shells, which has turned in a profitable business.

“I started craft as therapy to balance through a shaky pregnancy, not knowing that it would eventually become a business. When I started to make the stuff, and people seeing what I did, they started to order. And that catch me attention, and I said that this can be an entrepreneurial skill,” she laughed.

The 33-year-old was among several persons who participated in the Life Yard-organised Black Fleet Market on Fleet Street, an art and craft exhibition, which WAS held in downtown Kingston, yesterday. Life Yard is a community-based social enterprise located on Fleet Street. Yesterday’s event, which was supported by Digicel Foundation, saw various entrepreneurs, including Ragga Roots Herbs and Tonics and the Trench Town Art Group coming out to showcase their wares.

Fry, who hails from Portmore, St Catherine, gets excited when Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and even Christmas approach because that is the time when business is booming.

Formerly an insurance representative, Fry is now focused on earning from craft and being her own boss. She has also made it her duty to pass on her knowledge to younger persons. Through the Forward Step Foundation, Fry said that they have taught many youths over the years, and is looking forward to teaching more because of how scarce job opportunities are.

“I am the executive director for the Foundation. This is our 11th year overall, but the third year that I am actually doing the training for the craft. The business aspect of this is not the most important part for me. The most important thing is training the youths and passing on the skill. Based on our economy, job is very limited, so job creation is very important where this is concerned,” she said.


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