Pelicans in Business - Candice Gordon
The Pelicans In Business feature will highlight entrepreneurship and innovation at The UWI, Mona Campus. This month, UWIMONA Now writer Tashika Taylor interviews three young pelicans in business - Candice Gordon, Kelia Campbell and Peta-Gaye Watson. You may also view their video clips at
Video - Candice Gordon
Young entrepreneur says first degree helped her grow her brand
SHEVIELLE'S WAS LAUNCHED when owner, Candice Gordon, was in the first year of her undergraduate degree in Management Studies (Marketing Major).
Gordon researched the organic-based hair and skincare industry, and found products that worked magic for her. It was then that she discovered that there was a space in the industry she could occupy.
"When I came [to UWI] in first year, my skin was really bumpy and my hair was significantly shorter than it is now," Gordon recalled. "My sister found a 'potion' online that I could use. She suggested that we could start a business, and while the business didn't start with that 'potion', the idea of having a business came from that idea of finding natural remedies," she explained.
The company's name is a fusion of her sister's and her middle name. The Shevielle brand currently carries organic soaps and oils. It also offers skincare tips and techniques to clients. "We want to expand the brand to include things like shampoos and soaps. We also want to incorporate consultancy to include diet, lifestyle changes, stress and time management, as your skin health greatly depends on your overall health," Gordon told UWIMONA Now.
Gordon had high praises for The UWI which she said helped her to create a customer-centric brand. "I have been able to use a lot of things from my degree. For example, marketing strategy – I learned that when you're dealing with customers, you shouldn’t create a product then try to sell it. Rather, you should find out what people want and then provide that product in a way that's better than how competitors would do it.
"Apart from being customer-centric, I also learned how to plan and how to manage my money better," she shared.
Underscoring the importance of networking in her business, the 21-year-old urged other students to use all the opportunities afforded to them while at university. "Networking is very important. I used to walk around on campus and tell people what I do. I would find out who the hall chairs and student service managers were, and what activities were going to take place on hall and on the campus," she said.
"The first event I went to as Shevielle's was [UWI] Orientation 2017, and then Commuters Wellness Day. After that people started recognising the brand and invited me to other events. The UWI is like a little island by itself, you are rubbing shoulders with the leaders of tomorrow, so use the opportunity to build your network and leave with more than just a degree. A good network is invaluable," she advised.
She also had words of wisdom for budding entrepreneurs. "The longer you think about it, the harder it is. Sometimes you want to wait until you have the perfect plan but in reality, when you start, most of the time you are only using half of the plan, so start and learn along the way."
The St Catherine native is now in the first year of her Master of Arts degree in Integrated Marketing Communication. She is supported by a team of volunteers that includes her mother, sister and friends.