Dream Chaser: Cliffton Lorde – The Designer
Gone are the days when school leaving signified pursuit in traditional disciplines such as education, medicine, law, agriculture or farming.
Today, millennials are converting their interests and skills into profitable ventures. They are unafraid of charting unexplored courses, establishing new professions along the way. One such millennial is 25 year old Cliffton Lorde.
Cliffton converted his childhood interest in what is commonly referred to as arts and craft into a successful craft and design studio. Here he tells us about this amazing journey:
What sparked your interest in your current business?
This & That came about as result of my combined interest in design and business management.
What caused the transition from it being a simple interest into an actual business?
I have always loved designing. I realised there was great difficulty in accessing materials and supplies on the island, but there was great demand. I saw a business opportunity that felt right! Grenada is full of immensely creative people who given access to unique and quality materials, can design beautiful work! I wanted to be a part of that bridge.
Has your business developed in the way you imagined?
In many ways yes, our market share has grown significantly, along with our range of merchandise. There is still much more to be done though.
What are you fascinated by at the moment and how does it feed into your work?
Social media and e-commerce. They have become a big part of our operations as we’ve recently tapped into new markets. Platforms like Facebook and Instagram have allowed us to engage with our customers in new ways and get instant feedback on our merchandise. They also aid us in collecting data to make assessments.
What projects are you currently engaged in?
I am currently in process of launching a This & That Studio in Tobago. I’m very excited to see this dream come to fruition.
What has been the most impacting lesson you’ve learnt since you started This & That?
The most important lesson I’ve learnt from my experiences with this business is staying connected to customers. Their feedback is invaluable, and pivotal to the survival and growth of any company.
To date, what has been your most memorable experience since starting your business?
There are a lot of amazing memories I can mention but I would have to say our 5th anniversary was really special and personal for me. I believe it’s every entrepreneur’s dream to see their “baby” grow. And to be able to celebrate five years was wonderful. It has not been easy as we have survived so many obstacles over the course of those years. Seeing the progress we made was heart-warming.
Have you discovered any other hobbies or skills that have been beneficial to your current business ventures?
Graphic design is something in which I’ve always been interested. I’ve been ‘dabbling’ in design with the intention to improve the visual impact and quality of our online content.
Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
Within the next five years, I see This & That well on the way to becoming a competitive regional brand and the preferred retailer for creatives and designers.
What advice would you give to other people who have a dream to become an entrepreneur?
Simply—do what you love and know that it’s something that others will love too!
Dream Chasers is an exciting new series presenting inspiring stories of young entrepreneurs whose tenacity and diligence have resulted in their aspirations transitioning into a reality.