TT – Jennifer Moore always assumed going into business was a simple thing.
“I thought it was just a matter of making something, selling it and putting the money in the bank.”
Now 25 years into the business of making steelpan cases and covers, her assessment is that it’s not so cut and dry.
“I started Sarah’s Custom Design Pan Cases in 1995 knowing nothing about business. But in 2011, I went back to the beginning. I did a business plan, money management and marketing courses. I developed a vision for my business because having raw talent is good but understanding how business works is important. Imagine we used to make things and not brand them,” she told Business Day. Sarah was a name of endearment that her grandfather called her when she was younger.
Moore, 46, learned to sew from very young and worked with an upholsterer from age 17 to 21. There, they made furniture covers and seasonally, steelpan cases.
“When he (her former employer) migrated, I continued doing upholstery work. But I hated it.” Instead, she channelled her creativity into the part she did love – making steelpan cases. She went into business with her partner, Winston Johnson. At a small factory on the Eastern Main Road in Petit Bourg, Moore and Johnson make cases and covers for any type and size of steelpan, including the G pan, as well as other steelband accoutrements, including small drums and iron rings.
“It takes me about three hours to make a case, from start to finish. I love what I do, so that makes it easy.”