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Jamaician Woman Turns Passion Into Fashion

29-year-old Launches Clothing Line Featuring Crochet

Turning caution to the wind, Jamaican Renee Smith decided to turn her passion for fashion into her own business last year. This signaled quite a career change for her.

Having faced harsh economic challenges growing up in a large family in St Mary, Smith was motivated by her mother to use education as the vehicle to propel her out of poverty.

“My mom kept on reminding that I was a bright girl and education could change things. As the first of the seven children, I was determined to make her proud and set an example for my siblings so with her encouragement, I won a scholarship to high school where I did well before moving on to study mass communication and information science at Northern Caribbean University, then started working in media production shortly after graduation before moving into marketing then later corporate communications.

Smith learnt to crochet in high school by a woman in the community. Feeling the need to make something nice on a budget, drove her to crochet a simple dress to add to her wardrobe.

She was so happy with the end product that she posted it to social media and received a number of compliments. However, one comment from a local fashion icon stood out as it encouraged her to pursue her design efforts.

Later that year, she launched her clothing line “Renee Natalia” featuring hand-made crochet pieces. Renee Smith had this to say to the Jamaica Gleaner:

It is hard work! Sometimes, I stop and ask why did I do this, but then a client calls for an order or a more experienced fashion designer praises my work so far and I realise it’s all worthwhile. It is a great feeling to know that someone wants to wear one of my designs, and an even more satisfying feeling when I spot someone wearing one of my pieces and I do everything from head to toe.”



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