Wednesday, 10 December 2014

SEH SUP'M: Yaad Caads puts a Jamaican spin on the traditional greeting card

FROM 'YAAD': Sheckleford, with a selection of his cards at Devon House.

Ever wanted to dispatch a greeting card to someone special but couldn't find one that expressed your sentiment with a real Jamaican vibe? Andre Sheckleford feels your pain. "I can remember going through gift shops trying to find cards made in Jamaica and couldn't find a single one," he recalls. "It got to the point where I felt like I had to just create what I wanted." 

So he did, and his creative efforts have spawned Yaad Caads, a vibrant assortment of cool greeting cards that carry witty expressions and are ideal to mark almost any occasion. Whether it's Christmas, a birthday, or just to say thanks or congrats, Yaad Caads has got you covered. "I wanted [to create cards] that invoke emotions, as well as speak to the Jamaican experience, and that's what Yaad Caads brings," the savvy businessman explains. 

Fresh on the market and just in time for the Yuletide season, Sheckleford's cards can be found, for now, at select Kingston locations like Fontana Pharmacy, the UWI Bookshop, York Pharmacy and the Readers Bookstore. "We launched last Saturday, so the cards are practically brand-new," say the 25-year-old entrepreneur perched behind his kiosk at Market on the Lawn at Devon House, the bold colours and sharp designs of the greeting cards stopping patrons in their tracks. "It's been only a week so hopefully we'll get a lot more business as time goes on." 

A bespectacled gentleman sporting stylish dreadlocks and a gap-toothed grin, Sheckleford is not your average 25-year-old. In addition to his entrepreneurial pursuits, he is a lecturer in Physics at UWI Mona, he tutors law students on campus and is himself pursuing a law degree at the Norman Manley Law School. How does he do it? "I don't know how I manage," he admits, grinning mischievously. "Right now, it's only me handling the administrative and sales aspect of the business, but hopefully later on down the line I can hire more people." 

His ultimate long-term plan for Yaad Caads, he reveals, is to make the brand a household name. "I want to make it big," he says. "I want to be in pharmacies, bookstores, and hotels islandwide." 

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