August 16, 2011
Young Vincentian woman heading for fashion success

In the fashion world, accessories are all the rage now – the more elaborate and outrageous, the better. {{more}}

All fashion forward, Vincentian fashionistas have gotten the taste for them; and two local labels have taken on the task of sating their hunger.

Kimeisha Bailey, owner and designer of Xhotik accessories, is no stranger to the limelight. Last year, she was a contestant in the Miss SVG beauty pageant, and placed second runner up.

Since then, she has been quite busy – having enrolled at the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo, and set up her own small business – which she officially launched on July 8.

Although she has always had a keen interest in craft and sewing, it was only when she was stuck for a birthday gift inspiration last November, that she came up with the idea to design and create accessories.

“I decided I wanted to make her something, and went searching on YouTube for gift ideas and met up on the concept of fabric flowers,” explained 20-year-old Bailey.

She said that she found the idea so appealing that she made one and turned it into a headband to give to her friend as a birthday gift.

“She loved it!” enthused Bailey. “Soon enough, all my friends wanted one, and I made for all of them.

“With their encouragement, I decided to display my work on Facebook, and other people became interested in my work… so I started my ‘little business’.”

Within a month of that, she had her first photo-shoot of her designs, and orders came rolling in.

Xhotik currently produces hair accessories, brooches and rings.

However, things had to be put on hold when she began her degree at university in the Dominican Republic.

“While I was studying, lots of people were making orders and I told them they would have to wait until I returned to SVG. Most of them had no problem with that,” said Bailey.

She further explained that in her spare time, she would purchase materials to give life to her creations and keep up with the demand for them.

“By the end of May, I was working non-stop to be able to deliver to my customers as soon as I got back to SVG!”

While she was still in the DR, she was contacted by the Vincentian National Secondary Schools Miss Heritage Pageant committee, and contracted to create a line of hair accessories for the contestants, who will compete this upcoming October.

That was when she decided to take her budding business seriously, and brand her product.

And, as with any small business, Bailey has already encountered some challenges along the way.

Her biggest one being finding new materials to keep her designs “creative and innovative”.

“The availability and accessibility of materials in SVG is not quite the same as in the DR, but I try my best to keep my work at a high standard regardless of that,” she asserted.

Another challenge will raise its head when she returns to her studies during term time – keeping her customers happy when she is not here.

“I’m still trying to work on shipping from the DR, while keeping my accessories affordable.”

Bailey said that one of the highlights of her business is the satisfaction that her customers experience when she hands them the finished product.

“It gives me a warm feeling to know that my work has pleased someone,” she said.

“I love randomly walking into someone who is wearing my work. It’s just the best thing ever!”

Although Bailey has ambitions of expanding her line to include earrings, necklaces and bracelets, she said she will be keeping it as a part-time career.

Her main career goal, on graduating from university, is to use her Economics degree to “aid in the economic education and development of my homeland”, whether it involves teaching or advising the government.

Anyone interested in purchasing from the Xhotik line can search for the label on Facebook or contact Bailey directly at [email protected] to organise a viewing time and place.

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