Fashion Jeweller Sets The Bar.
FAMOUS American novelist/poet, Erica Jong once said: “Everyone has talent. What’s rare is the courage to follow it to the dark places where it leads.”
Well today’s FITC has definitely gone there and has risen by far above the rest in her craft that many have tried to copy but have failed to be just as good.
Terril Nicholas is a 42 year old creative genius who has become the go to person for local, authentic and one of a kind jewellery pieces in Saint Lucia.
Whilst locally made jewellery has been around for decades, Nicholas has truly set the bar in terms of sales and clientele.
The mother of one who was born and raised in La Pensee and is the last of eight children, is confident, vibrant and imaginative with an out of this world creative flare and eye.
At the same time, she is extremely down to earth and in her own words is “a very God-fearing person” which is most likely one of the biggest reasons why so many feel confident and comfortable when approaching her to work her magic for them.
Nicholas focuses mainly on fashion jewellery and uses materials ranging from spooks precious stones and copper to the weird and wonderful like pop tabs of soda cans as well as nuts and bolts.
She has the knack for transforming items that would most likely get thrown away into beautiful necklaces, bracelets and earrings.
Taking one look at her work, one could only marvel at the level of beauty, professionalism and creativity…and she intends to continue growing. Now if that’s not talent, then I don’t know what is.
The VOICE: Why did you decide to go into the business of making your own jewellery?
Terril: I didn’t see it as a business venture at first. It was something I did as a hobby because I worked in other fields from massaging to carpentry and joinery, but the creativity just grew and grew. Eventually the demands grew so I ended up trying it out. Like taking a leap of faith and nine years later I’m doing just fine and loving my decision to date.
The VOICE: Whilst that was a massive leap, weren’t you scared to make such a move seeing that economically, times are not exactly rosy?
Terril: Well, scared I definitely was, but I never paid attention to the odds at the time. I kept in my head thinking that in order for someone to learn to swim, they can’t think of drowning otherwise that would have been the outcome. I just figured I’d go for it. Against all odds.
The VOICE: What are some of the greatest difficulties that you face in your business today?
Terril: Location, location, location…an avenue to sell as well as to sit and create. I can’t say I need materials because I’ve accumulated so much over the years.
The VOICE: On the other hand, I can imagine that there are many perks…
Terril: My business has become a household name. Mostly everyone knows me or of me. People trust and believe in my craft and my word. They want to have a piece just to have it.
The VOICE: Do you think there is any longevity for your craft and is it something that you think can sustain you or anyone else doing what you do?
Terril: Well, officially it will be 10 years in July. It can sustain me once I’m in proper health but lately I’ve had some challenges. I’m still keeping hope alive though. Honestly, I would like to be able to have someone work with me. But the person must possess the passion because it’s not just about the money.
The VOICE: would you ever advise anyone to leave their normal 9-5 to do what you do?
Terril: Lady, all day every day. It gives me great joy to be able to work for myself. But if they lack discipline I would say don’t leave your job. I recently developed a spinal problem and as a result, was unable to sit and or walk around. I was miserable but I still found a way to lie on my bed and create.
The VOICE: There are many people who remain unemployed yet possess the talent, creativity and imagination to join your line of work, what would it take for them to get off the ground and create a business for themselves?
Terril: Discipline, love for their craft and determination. It’s all well and good to have a gift or talent but you should be ready to put yourself aside, because in this business it is not necessarily about you, it’s about pleasing the customer…all day every day.
The VOICE: If you had a chance to reach out to said unemployed people, namely the young ones, what advice would you give them generally about creating employment for themselves as opposed to sitting around doing nothing?
Terril: Nike’s logo is “Just do it”. Consider it as a gift that they are giving themselves and that it would be a decision that they will not regret. At least try it out and see, but there is a joy in being able to provide for themselves. Also, they need to surround themselves with creative people. It doesn’t have to be in the same area of what they do, but there is something about going around creative people. It causes you to appreciate what you do and gives you motivation to do more of yours. One example is, I can’t make bags but when I see the work of “Meme Bete”, I’m so driven…well, I should say can’t because anything I set my mind to I can achieve.