Powers has it in the bag


Rodney Powers, Creative Director of YenDor World Apparel has been able to incorporating Black Belly Sheep skin in a creative way to tap into the global market with his YenDor designer bag collection.
The designer bag line YenDor was officially launched to the Barbadian public last week at Hilton Resort in classic runway style and a shopping party.
The Barbados Advocate spoke to the mastermind behind the YenDor designer bag collection, Powers who believes, “The accessories business is one of the biggest functions in fashion. Every woman or man needs accessories to complete the overall outfit. The decision to design bags has been my thought process for over eight years. While working with local designers, I saw where some elements of the market was missing and decided to do some research and develop a product. The process took over four years and now we are finally up and running. Some of the bags are made using the Barbados Blackbelly sheep skin to create a product which is indigenous to Barbados. 
We worked closely with the BIDC to make five blackbelly sheep skin bags for the 50th Anniversary as part of the product research. We also had two investors who had an interest in working with us on developing high-end products. Fund Access has also worked with us on other projects and we thank them both for the support given.”
Powers stated that fashion is a difficult business especially coming from the Caribbean and highlighted that investment is always the biggest challenge creative people will have. He said, “Having the talent and creativity to design or create a product and not have support to take the product to market, that’s where most challenges come from.”
“Getting financing for projects is one thing, but understanding the direction and where you see the product is another thing. Market research allows you to find speciality markets, it also allows you to build relationships with suppliers who then become investors in your products,” he explained.
Powers also stated that, “The Caribbean Market Centre, which I am the founder has been working on developing local fashion by writing the standards for fashion, developing courses which train design managers, design directors, stylist and production technicians. We would have received grants for these projects and to develop some programmes, but YenDor has private investors so the process for us was very different.”
According to him, “There is always a need for investment however what’s very important is that you have a product which can stand-up on the market which allows investors to become interested in the product. Investors need to know when they have invested in a product that it can make money. However, I believe that entrepreneurs need to get up and help themselves. Some agencies can give you a grant to help but that’s never enough for your big dreams, so sometimes it’s best to make a start and you surely will have a finish at the end which is normally successful.”
Powers advised budding entrepreneurs, “Stay focused and understand the direction which you want for your brand and work toward developing it. Never limit your thought process because something great can be created.”

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