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Introducing: Luxury Grenadian Upcycling Jewellery Brand Tambran by Tamara

by Karen Rollins Apr 1, 2019

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Upcycle: To recycle (a disposable product) into an object of greater value or use.” – Collins English Dictionary.

Tamara Prosper started her luxury line of eco-jewellery and ‘art-cessories’ while studying at the University of the West Indies in Trinidad and Tobago.

Tamara was on a business management course, but she saw an opportunity to combine her training with her love for art when she realised how much waste material the university generated.

She believed the waste could be reused and upcycled to create a high-end range of wooden jewellery.

So, the material, which included discarded banners from seminars and scrap pieces of wood, inspired Tamara to create earrings, necklaces and brooches which literally transform from ‘one man’s trash into another man’s treasure.’

Moving from concept to completion

Tamara utilised social media to start her brand and entered competitions to secure the capital she needed to grow her idea.

After winning a 2014 Eco Challenge Caribbean Award at the UN-funded ‘Talent and Innovation Competition of the Americas’, Tamara had a platform for greater recognition. It also allowed her to innovate further and scale up her business.

Tamara says she “absolutely loves” what she does and because of that she has no problem staying motivated and coming up with new ideas. However, she reveals that her passion for her work sometimes poses a problem in terms of pricing.

“I feel like it’s so easy to do, because I enjoy it so much, that I can sometimes undervalue my product,” she admits.

What’s does the future hold?

Tamara is planning to grow her business by introducing new jewellery collections that will incorporate natural materials found in Grenada and the Caribbean such as seeds and pods from Shak Shak trees.

She’s also working on creating a “storefront” with a difference in the form of a second-hand vehicle that will work as both a mobile and stationary store, allowing the Tambran by Tamara team to go to customers and for customers to find them.

Plans are also currently being developed to branch into the world of fashion. Hand-painted jeans, tops, clutch bags and even Tambran by Tamara couture may be seen on Caribbean runways in the future.

Tamara envisions the Tambran brand becoming a recognisable and established eco-Caribbean brand with a significant presence in Barbados, Grenada, Jamaica and Trinidad within five years.

“I want it to become the Michael Kors of eco-jewellery,” Prosper says.

Advice for budding entrepreneurs

When asked to offer words of wisdom to aspiring entrepreneurs, Tamara says the most valuable piece of advice she can offer is “just get started.”

She adds: “Don’t wait on the right time, because the right time never comes.  You don’t have to know it all in order to get started; you will learn along the way.”

Tamara advises Caribbean entrepreneurs to be inspired by the success of business owners in developed countries while also believing in themselves.

She says: “Believe in your ability and know that you are good enough.  Know and believe in the quality and value of your product, and price it accordingly.

“You must start by believing in yourself, your vision and your product.”

Come and see Tambran by Tamara at the WE-Xport booth at the Barbados Manufacturer’s Exhibition (BMEX) in June 2019. The WE-Xport programme is an initiative of the Caribbean Export Development Agency.

You can also visit Tambran by Tamara on Facebook and Instagram.