Eighteen-year-old Trishana Martin is a go-getter.
The multitalented teen, who has used her skills in sewing to start a pillow and cushion-making business, wants to convert her passion for cooking into a career as a chef.
With seven passes in the Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) examinations, including four distinctions, she is on the path to achieving her goal.
She is looking to enrol at the Western Hospitality Institute in Commercial Food Preparation under the Sixth Form Pathway II (Technical) programme. The course is a certified National Vocational Qualification of Jamaica (NVQ-J) programme.
The graduate of Mount Alvernia High School in Montego Bay tells JIS News that she was introduced to sewing in grade seven and, from there, her love for the craft grew.
“I started Home Economics where I did Clothing and Textiles and Food and Nutrition classes. For Clothing, I initially learned how to sew a pantry towel and bag. Then, in grade eight, I learnt how to make an apron and in grade nine, I sewed a dress by hand. That was the moment when I realised how much I loved to sew,” she says.
She longed for a sewing machine to hone her skills but knew that there was not enough money available within the household to make the purchase.
However, in grade nine, after appealing to her mother, “we saved little by little until we could buy the machine”.
Shortly thereafter, Trishana got her first client, when her uncle’s girlfriend asked her to make some cushion covers.
“I went on the Internet and watched videos of other people making cushion covers with their sewing machines. I tried to make them, but they didn’t come out all that great. So, I tried again and they turned out better. My uncle’s girlfriend loved them,” she says.
With her first official customer in the bag, Trishana realised that sewing could be a source of income to help with the household bills and also the purchase of school supplies.
She taught herself how to properly use the sewing machine and sought help from her Clothing and Textiles teacher to properly place zippers and create patterns.
From there, her business, Royal Crush Designs was born with her client base being neighbours in her Spring Mount community in St. James, and a few of her teachers. Trishana shares that her products are of the best quality and fit for royalty, hence the business name.
“I love to make pillows and pillow covers and when I look at where I’m coming from and I see that I can help my mommy with certain things. Trust me, it’s a joy and I want to continue to make them,” Trishana tells JIS News.
As she prepared for CSEC, it was the money that she earned from her business that enabled her to purchase data plans to do research in order to complete her School-based Assessment (SBA) and do virtual classes when school plants were closed in March due to the coronavirus (COVID-19).
Trishana says that preparing for CSEC was challenging as, without a computer a home, she had to travel to her friend’s house in John’s Hall to submit her SBAs.
“To save on time, I would type up as much as I could on my phone from my house and when I got to John’s Hall, I would complete each project and submit them on time. I received high scores for them too,” she boasts.
Trishana is proud of her achievement in CSEC, which she credits to the unwavering support from her teachers, friends and community members and the assistance she received through the Programme of Advancement Through Health and Education (PATH).
The determined young lady is looking forward to a bright future and is encouraging students to aim for the highest despite their circumstance.
“Do your best because what you’re going through won’t last forever and you have to make it. You must make yourself and the people around you proud. With or without support, always remember that if you don’t do the work, you won’t be successful,” she says.
Trishana continues to make pillows and cushions and has plans to grow as a business woman. She may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or through her Instagram account @royal_crushdesign.