Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : December 8th 2016 Contents DECEMBER 8 • 2016 guardian.co.tt BUSINESS GUARDIAN
NEWS | BG7
Teen entrepreneurs lead the way
What started out as
"fun," for Perdie
Bradford and Logan
De Freitas has now
turned into a business
of beads and bracelets
for the teenagers. The two are 13 years old and
are eighth grade students attending the Maple
Leaf International School in Petit Valley.
Excited about their venture, they spoke to
the Business Guardian last Friday.
Offering bracelets made from semi-precious
stones to their customer base in T&T, the duo
have displayed at the Upmarket, which is a
market where local entrepreneurs showcase
their goods for sale to members of the public.
Upmarket provides an opportunity for entre-
preneurs to capitalise on the purchasing power
of dozens of consumers who attend the event.
Even though there are other established
competitors who offer products similar to
theirs, Bradford and De Freitas are convinced
they have a competitive advantage based on
Gaining brand loyalty with their brand Yeo
Beads is not an issue. Their target market began
with students their age but when they looked
at trends in sales at the Upmarket, the duo felt
the target market could include children and
Bradford said she first started to string beads
at the early age of nine but would only do it for
friends and family. She only started getting
serious about beads at the beginning of this
year. And De Freitas said he was never really
into making jewelry but being around Bradford
piqued his interest.
While their competitors use integrated mar-
keting communications strategy to reach their
customers, the two are limited to Facebook,
Instagram and word-of-mouth to reach their
Choosing the right colours to match the taste
patterns of their consumers is another strategy
adopted by the two, who source their beads
both locally and internationally.
Profits are not large compared to their com-
petitors who would have built their brand for
decades, but Bradford and De Freitas are not
daunted. Capital to start Yeo Beads came from
savings they pooled together. Their initial in-
vestment was $5,000 and whenever they need-
ed additional money their parents pitched in.
"We don't necessarily have a specific style
of beads but, our prices range from $45 to $75
for one bracelet. Our bracelets are made with
beads that are plastic, semi-precious stones
and glass. I know some places sell them for a
couple hundred dollars. I know I won't pay a
couple hundred dollars for these bracelets,"
Asked whether they purchase the beads in
bulk, or by the boxes, Perdie said it is purchased
by strands of either 28 or 60 beads.
Bradford who seems to be the strategist and
De Freitas, the designer, said the duo has been
in business for the last eight months.
Bradford said: "I would always go to Upmar-
ket and I knew it was a good place for people
starting off new businesses to get noticed. I
knew I always loved going there. I think there
are some really interesting things and I thought
it might be a good starting place for us."
Explaining further about the Upmarket ex-
perience, Bradford said it is about networking
and it is not only about "selling things but shar-
ing them with other people. You're not only
going there to make a profit, to make money
but you are going there to share things that
you find interesting."
The feeling of being a successful entrepre-
neur can be measured through sales, De Freitas
said. "I have never been in a selling environ-
ment before. It was cool to sell our first bracelet
at Upmarket because then you are officially an
entrepreneur," he said.
For Bradford, seeing the crowds come in at
about noon felt "empowering." Asked whether
the sales revenue at the end of the day was
greater than what they initially started with,
the two agreed that "it was a lot greater."
Like typical local businesspeople, they de-
clined to disclose the actual revenue they made
(perhaps fearful of an audit by the Board of
Inland Revenue) but they did agree it was a
When Bradford, who has one sibling, is not
planning or strategising the new business, she
attends martial arts twice per week, tennis once
per week, volleyball and acting classes.
And when De Freitas, who is an only child,
is not designing he is on the beach surfing. He
also attends martial arts classes twice per week.
Bradford's advice to peers who are interested
in starting a business: "they should be prepared
for a great deal of work and, at times, it can
become daunting because there is so much to
do in so little time."
She added that entrepreneurs should love
what they are doing and if they don't, they
should not take the risk of being an entre-
Teen entrepreneurs Perdie Bradford,left, and Logan De Freitas PHOTOS: ABRAHAM DIAZ
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