UNLIKE many business people, Andrew Aldridge started his Timezone Entertainment to escape his feelings of grief and inspire others.
The year 2013 going into 2014 was a messy time for Aldridge, who lost his mother and his home in the space of three months.
“What really propelled me to do this clothing line was the death of my mom, really, while I was in university. At the time I was 21. At the time I was writing an essay at the Mico (University), in my second year. At the time I was doing six exams, but I had to put some off until the next semester because [the death] took a toll on me. During the time my mom died; shortly after the house where I was staying with my father burned down. It was three months apart. It was like I was starting over from square one,” he said.
He was despondent. However, classmates, lecturers and friends assisted him and encouraged him to finish his studies. After the fire he was offered free accommodation for a little while until things got better. These incidents prompted the young man to create Timezone Entertainment.
“The business came about just over a year ago (late 2016) at the Mico University College when I created a platform in which artistes could express themselves, like members of the college, students, and those who could sing. So I created a Facebook page whereby they engage in friendly musical competition.
“The clothing line now came six months ago, based on the crime in the country at the time and my personal experiences what I had been through in the past and where I am at now. So I decided how I could contribute back to the Jamaican society while, at the same time, practising my entrepreneurial skills. Therefore, I decided to create caps with quotes on them,” he stated.
His quotes are inspired by persons and events happening around him. In addition to the caps, Timezone Entertainment has T-shirts and tops for women like crow necks and tank tops.
“On the shirt I use a tiger, which is a spirit animal, basically meaning to overcome through diversities. A tiger is a solitary animal. The concept behind these shirts actually draw from different cultures like the Chinese and the Japanese. We are out of many, one people, so going forward I plan to use aspects from the different cultures that makes up the Jamaican society,” Aldridge added.
All his shirts bear roman numerals ‘XII-II-MMXIII’, the date of his mother’s death. He did not expect his business to reach this far so quickly. In the time he started, his clientele has grown to include customers from Canada.
Eager to positively impact more lives, Aldridge is working on getting a physical space for his business, which is only based online. He is immensely proud that his products are inspiring Jamaicans, and even wants to reach out some more through an autobiography which he hopes will be finished in time for December 2019 to honour his late mother.
“It’s basically an autobiography of my life and how I overcome stuff. When it’s published, people can see my story and look at their situation and say, ‘If he made it through all of that then why not? It’s possible or anyone’ that’s what I believe,” he said.
By: Falon Folkes