In this installment of Our Stories, Romane shares how he found his strength and courage at times when it seemed impossible to be strong. For many people, Jamaica is pictured as an island paradise – white sandy beaches, a beautiful and vivacious culture, rich and wholesome food, and attractive people. And while that image is not far from the truth, if the lens is focused on the inspirational stories of ordinary Jamaicans, you’d find a sharper, richer, and truer image of the Jamaican experience…this is Our Stories!
If there’s one thing that the pandemic has done is to level the playing field with respects to financial where-with-all. Many people are now adjusting to the complex emotions and feelings of inadequacy associated with financial difficulties. However, Romane shares in his story how he has been powering through those feelings and identified his strength as well as a deep passion for marketing.
Meet Romane Beckford – Owner of R&R Designs
Romane is a past student of Kingston Technical, and he is currently an entrepreneur and owner of R&R Designs. Romane is a passion-driven individual whose journey of becoming is rather special and inspiring.
- You attended college late because of financial problems, would you say your marketing degree is very useful today in your career path?
Yes, it is very useful. The marketing sector is very much in demand along with other careers and my love for marketing is very much undeniable, as it showed in my business. It is also very useful in real life.
- You attended university later than others, do you think that changed you as a person?
Most definitely I was changed during my university and work world experience. While attending university part-time, I was working as well. Furthermore, I had the insights of coworkers who have years of experience and I learnt numerous things from them, and university provided another perspective on life. Experiencing both university and work change and molded my perspective on life and career choices.
- What were the problems you faced before and after obtaining your marketing degree?
Unfortunately, I did not have any money to go to university. I also struggled to obtain a job. In order to go to university, I had to work and send myself to the University of Technology. During attending university, I had difficulties paying. However, I was able to get my degree in marketing. My problems were far from over as I was unable to get a job in the marketing sector. I worked in the public sector for ten years and then at Scotiabank for two and a half years. I was disappointed that I was not in a marketing job as I was rejected a few times.
- And how did you overcome this problem?
After being rejected many times because I had no experience, I linked up with two members on LinkedIn that help me to understand marketing better. For those who have been rejected please know that rejection means redirection in other words, it is a redirection of where you’re supposed to go whether in your career or other endeavors.
- Tell me about your experience working in a bank.
I worked in the bank system for two and a half years. My experience as a sale officer was good. I learnt how to process loans and credit cards. Also, I guided customers in online banking and choosing suitable products. I was very grateful for the experience as I learnt many life lessons.
- What is the most memorable moment in your career to date?
One memorable moment was when I was working for the government and I won employee of the quarter and year. I was beyond grateful and happy that my coworkers voted for me. It showed me that they were appreciative of the work I was doing.
- How has the transition been from switching from your 9-5 job at Scotiabank to having your own small business?
The transition has been good. I feel as if I have a sense of passion. Honestly, I feel like I am living my dream as an entrepreneur. Even though I am grateful for my previous job and the wonderful lessons that I have learnt, nothing beats the current job I have where I make my own decisions and manage my time the way I want.
- Tell me about your business.
We design t-shirts for any occasion/event, and we do our best to deliver to our customers regardless of challenges with the pandemic or other factors.
- You haven’t quite escaped the financial setbacks in your business. Tell us more.
The challenges I am currently facing is financial setbacks and good content. Lacking the money to advance my business. In addition, good content is difficult as I need great content to promote my business and influence customers into doing business with us.
- What is your social passion?
My social passion is educating youths on their career paths. Specifically, the ones who lack information about the numerous careers. I would suggest students who are in university or high school to seek internships and mentors that are in the career path you are fascinated with and learn from them.
Thanks for sharing your story Romane and all the best in your business!