Young entrepreneur, Dana Baugh, is looking to establish herself as a major force in the local and regional creative landscape.
Through her BAUGHaus Design Studio, based in western Jamaica, she offers a range of beautiful, handmade ceramic pieces for the entire home. The pieces, inspired by the Caribbean, are intricately-designed, with exquisite details to satisfy the most discerning customer.
Miss Baugh has built a good client base, which has seen her business steadily grow over the four years since it was established.
She tells JIS News that she has always loved art and design but was discouraged from pursuing a career in this area. She however, believed in her talent and that she could do well as a creative.
“I always knew I wanted to be in business. I went away to design school and I did a mould-making course and product designing, as I always liked the idea of making things but was always advised not to because there aren’t many product designers in Jamaica,” she says.
Initially, Miss Baugh started her business as a part-time operation and in 2016, she decided to take the leap and go into design full time.
She tells JIS News that the journey has not been easy, as in addition to creating products, she is overseeing the day-to-day running of the business.
“A lot of businesses bring in the finished product and distribute but I am involved in every single part of the production process so it makes it a little difficult to grow the business while overseeing production,” she tells JIS News.
Miss Baugh says that the Things Jamaican stories have been instrument in enabling her to grow her brand.
Managed by the Jamaica Business Development Corporation (JBDC), the stores are used by over 600 local entrepreneurs to bring their products to market.
Things Jamaican stores exclusively sell and promote authentic locally-made products, primarily handmade by artisans, using mainly local material.
“I learnt about Things Jamaican before I transitioned into my business being full time. The impact of being in the stores has been good as I have gotten a lot of feedback from customers, who recognise my work (at the store at the airport). So the exposure is great especially within the Diaspora as they know Things Jamaican as an established outlet that has been around for a long time,” she explains.
Miss Baugh says that in addition to the market access that JBDC provides through Things Jamaican, there are various other benefits that business owners can gain by working with the agency.
“Entrepreneurs also have access to resources such as workshops to help improve your business skill and learn about intellectual property, which is important for creatives such as myself.
“JBDC is a good resource. If I need advice, I can call and get information or they can connect me to these persons as they are the first contact for persons that want hand-made Jamaican products,” she explains.
Miss Baugh also has advice for persons interested in starting a business and for creatives, especially in her field.
“Creatives tend to not want to look on the business and marketing aspects but I urge them ‘do not neglect the business side of it’. Ensure that you understand your industry and the customer needs as you are not just creating products but you are doing it to earn a living. We need more persons in the ceramics industry as it is a difficult one to break into but if you love it and constantly improve, then it is very rewarding,” she explains.
The entrepreneur says her focus is to continue to grow BAUGHaus Design Studio, with the long-term goal of becoming a leader in the Caribbean.
“I want my business to operate at a larger scale so I can grow production and become one of the leaders from the region, that makes authentic products from the Caribbean, but also to expand the types of materials the company works with,” she tells JIS News.
The JBDC is the Government’s business development agency that assists in the sustainable creation and development of micro, small and medium enterprises in Jamaica.