Bresheh Bags is a rising star in US$1.5 million School Bag Industry.
The company, which was started by brothers Randy and Davian McLaren (Gordon, 2016, September 2), has seen them grow from two (2) people operating off their verandah to a staff of five (5) located at Alpha Institute on South Camp Road in Kingston.
In that first year since starting in July 2015, they’d made and sold some 700 bags as explain in the video below.
They have not stopped making bags since, to the surprise of Davian McLaren, quote: “Within a week, we sold our first bag and sales have been rolling in steadily since then. I thought it would die down after the back-to-school season, but it has kept going”.
They were also featured at the Expo Jamaica 2016 and gave as stellar interview explain what Bresheh Bags are all about.
So what exactly are Bresheh Bags!?
Bresheh Bags – The Basic Flips into a Rucksack
The Bresheh Bags are made from Quality Canvas Material and Upholstery Fabric. They eventually plan to make the bags from other materials such as used denim material and Rice bags, all custom made for the client.
- Bresheh Basic
- Bresheh Basic Flip
- Bresheh Rucksack
Some of their favourite bags are featured on their Bresheh Bags Quotelist:
- US$54 Bresheh BasicFlip – Leopard-Red
- US$54 Bresheh BasicFlip – Leopard-Blue
- US$54 Bresheh BasicFlip – Leopard-Yellow
- US$52 Bresheh BasicFlip – Camouflage
All of these bags can be ordered from their website Bresheh Bags.
So good were their sales that within a month, Davian McLaren quit his job in a department store and pooled their funds into a $45000 industrial sewing machine. Bresheh Bags is eyeing a 20% cut of a growing Industry in the next 2 to 5 years.
The School Bag Industry already sees over 600,000 school bags imported into Jamaica in 2014, mainly from India, China and the United States and is estimated to be worth at least US$1.5 million.
Sourcing material locally is difficult, as the consistency in the material is not there. They’ve had to resort to importing bulk material from overseas suppliers.
I’ve already pointed out via my own investigation of Bags in Luke Lane (Deer, 2016, August 16) when I was searching for Canvas Bags, high quality bags are very hard to locate. I had to hunt out most of Downtown before being guided by numerous bits of advice and a Google map to Luke Lane, where most of the Canvas Bags of fairly high quality are sold.
So Bresheh Bags is truly on to something here!
Randy and Davian McLaren – Bresheh Bags custom fitted to their growing clientele
What make the brother’s so interesting is that neither of them has had any prior experience with stitching bags or even sewing in general.
They may have even gotten their first units of training from watching YouTube videos as St. Thomas Bagmaker Shanaye Monteith (Deer, 2015, December 10) did in starting her bag making venture. They soon ran up a bill close to JA$100,000 for thread, needles, webbing and the machine.
However, their hard work has paid off, as they’re now even exporting bags to places as far away as Japan and Scotland, with payments being facilitated by PayPal (Deer, 2016, September 9) and direct debit. Not to mention being popular on local University campuses, their main clients currently!
They’ve also upgraded to a 962-square-foot facility at the Alpha Institute. Wit funds recently received through an IGNITE grant in July 2016 from the DBJ (Development Bank of Jamaica), they are poised to take on the seasonal Back-to-school market. They’ve expanded their range of products to include:
- Pencil cases
- Lunch bags
- Duffel bags
Bresheh Bags had no official logo; they make bags and their other products customized to their individual clients as pointed out by the Randy McLaren, quote: “Whatever colours or compartments they want, we can do that. If, for example, you want a secret compartment that you can hide your passports or other documents in, we can do that too”.
They now have a sustained clientele that includes and dancehall artiste and Singers who request that they make customized bags to order. This growing list of clientele (Tallawah Magazine, 2016, April 20) includes Miss Jamaica Sanneta Myrie, Emprezz Golding, Chronixx and even I-Octane.
They haven’t gotten to corporate clients as yet, as they’re keen on growing their business at a controlled pace, a philosophy they’ve adopted from training received at the Branson Centre of Entrepreneurship.
This is so that they can be taken seriously, says Randy McLaren, quote: “That can break your business, because if you get the demand for 100 bags and, at the end of the day, you cannot fulfil that, then they will think you are a joke and you are not serious about business”.
Still, they have already set their sights on having a presence in gift shops in Jamaica as well as in the Caribbean and North American markets.
Here’s the link:
- Deer, L. (2015, December 10).How St. Thomas native Shanaye Monteith is Sewing School Bags to success in 2016. Retrieved from http://mythoughtsontechnologyandjamaica.blogspot.com/2015/12/Shanaye-Monteith-st-thomas-bagmaker.html
- Tallawah Magazine. (2016, April 20). MADE IN JAMAICA: Expo Jamaica’s youngest exhibitors cut a dash with their ‘Bresheh’ bags Make Money Online. Retrieved from http://www.tallawahmagazine.com/2016/04/made-in-jamaica-expo-jamaicas-youngest.html
- Deer, L. (2016, August 16). JA$800 Canvas Bags, Matie Bags and Jansport Bags at Luke Lane, Downtown Kingston. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2016/08/16/luke-lane-canvas-bags/
- Gordon, T. (2016, September 2). Sibling Entrepreneurs Find Niche In School Bags. Retrieved from http://jamaica-gleaner.com/article/business/20160902/sibling-entrepreneurs-find-niche-school-bags
- Deer, L. (2016, September 9). How Jamaicans can make money online – Setting up a Paypal Account. Retrieved from https://lindsworthdeer.wordpress.com/2015/09/09/how-jamaicans-can-make-money-online-setting-up-a-paypal-account/