“Relish is a company focused on developing products using the inspiration of the Bahamas and sharing them with the world in an artistic and unique way,” says Jarell Hall, founder of the Bahamian sock retailer.
The idea came about in 2015. “I was working at Baha Mar at the time and it was coming down to a really rocky time. I began thinking of ways to utilize what I had learned in my undergraduate degree in international business and economics to try and take the entrepreneurial route. I came up with ideas based on what I liked which at the time was socks. I started to come up with ideas to incorporate elements of the Bahamas on socks. It was something I had not seen done locally before. I started compiling A list of designs, icons and symbols that would represent the Bahamas well,” says Jarrel.
The idea however lay dormant for a while after Jarrel was awarded a scholarship to pursue his Masters Degree in Business Administration in China. “It was not until after I had travelled through China and made connections that I decided to take a crack at it again. I built up the confidence to get it done, did the research, reached out to manufacturers and sourced the products.”
“My student visa was going to expire the day after my scheduled flight back home. The schedule was pretty tight in terms of delivery of the socks and making sure I could package them on time. I got some samples sent to me and tested them. The socks came later than expected, in fact it was on the day before I was scheduled to leave China. I remember going to the local supermarket and meeting the delivery guy at my dorm room door with these five boxes which stood as tall as I am. I had never seen a thousand pairs of socks before. I began thinking how I would get the socks to Nassau, given that I only had a carry-on, one check-in bag and a back pack. I emptied my bag, packed what I could and called up two other Bahamians who were also traveling back home to ask them to carry some of the socks for me. Even then, I still had to leave behind some of my personal effects.”
Still, Jarrel faced another hurdle. “To think that wasn’t enough, I got to the airport and realized that I had a bag which was overweight by about 10 pounds and would have to probably pay excess weight fees. I had maybe $200 bucks in my name and the fees were $300 plus dollars. I though to myself that if they decided to charge me for the bags I would not be able to take them with me. Surprisingly, the lady at the counter just counted the bags and said don’t worry about it.”
“I think that was a moment of validation for me. When things get a bit difficult, when I don’t feel motivated I always think back to that moment, the sort of leap that I took to get it all done. You need to remind yourself of those validation moments.”
Upon returning to Nassau, Jarrel says he immediately began thinking about distribution. One of the first establishment he reached out to was Bonneville Bones where he spent time working as a teenager.
“What I appreciated about that conversation is that they treated me like any normal business person. The conversation was very much like one with any other vendor; no favors, just candid discussion. They asked me all the tough questions about deliverables and we were able to finalise an arrangement. The reception was authentic.” Relish socks can be purchased at Bonneville Bones, Morley for Men, Coles of Nassau, KS Moses, the Craft Cottage and Relish’s website: WWW.RELISHSOCKS.COM
Jarrel, who works as a Business Analyst for Aliv, admits that time management can at times be a challenge. “On the drive home from work I have to switch modes and put in time for my business. I have to separate the employee from the small business owner and entrepreneur.” One piece of advice Jarrel offers to other aspiring entrepreneurs is “Take time to understand your market, trust your gut; It’s your story and you control every line, every paragraph and every chapter.”