Insecurity Turned Business

Insecurities can be crippling.

For some, insecurity can force them to hide and for others it can be the key to the creation of the next Facebook.

Flipping her own insecurity into an unforeseen business, Grenadian native Sherine Patrick designs high-end glasses you won’t find on just anyone.

“I was actually born with a medical condition that’s basically a lazy eye lid,” Patrick said. “Ever since I was a little girl I’ve always liked to wear sunglasses because it let me be this glamorous person on the outside. I started off doing it as an insecurity thing but then it evolved into something that became a part of my personality.”

A lover of fashion and glamor, Patrick began embellishing frames for her own enjoyment as a way to stand out. As a student at the City College of New York studying public relations and advertising, she found herself being tapped for fashion shows and photo shoots.

“People started pulling my little designs for themselves and I still didn’t think it was a business,” she said.

It wasn’t until she was faced with the harsh economic climate of post-graduate life that she went from hobby to business.

During an internship at Complex Media, then-supervisor noticed her frames and provided the push she needed to start the journey of launching her eyeware collection “Enerjiee”

“She was like ‘Those are great, where’d you get them,’ and I told her I made them,” she said. “Then she was like ‘Okay, where do you sell them.’ I told her I don’t and she said ‘Sherine, you need to start your business.”

Patrick then enveloped herself in 10-month long research journey to learn the foundation of good business practices.

What was most important to Patrick was creating a business was not just another Instagram platform pushing a product.

“I wanted it to be legit,” she said. “I took the time to do that pre-planning.”

Patrick’s shades appeal to those who are fierce lovers of detail. Hand-crafted so that every Swarovski crystal, chain, or piece of leather is in its proper place, the eyewear designer spends at least two hours on each pair of frames.

“Sometimes my friends will be around when I’m designing and they’ll say ‘Sherine it looks fine’ and I’m like ‘No I have to take everything off because this one isn’t sitting properly.’ They say people aren’t going to notice but I notice and I want to make sure I have the best representation of my product out there,” she said of the frames that range in price from $125 to $400.

Constantly creating and evolving, Patrick will check off one of the many items on her list of goals as her eyewear will make a debut during this upcoming New York Fashion Week 2015.

Through a previous relationship with Dallas-based, African designer Ese Azenabor, a connection was created to open a new door of opportunity.

“I actually thought our connection would be more on a campaign level,” she explained. “She’d pull the glasses for like a swimwear collection or for the pictures or something like that but she reached out to me at the beginning of the summer and said ‘I need eyewear for the runway for fashion week and are you available’ so I said yeah.”

At the upcoming presentation, Patrick will design a special capsule collection comprised of four sunglasses and include six other pieces from her current collection.

Down the pipeline, Patrick plans to craft an eyewear collection indicative of her Caribbean roots with a carnival line.

“I’m an island girl and am very much so aware of that and always try to represent my culture,” she said.

Patrick’s Enerjiee eyewear is available on her website www.enerjiee.com.

Reach reporter Alley Olivier at (718) 260–8310 or e-mail her at aoliv[email protected]nglocal.com. Follow Alley on Twitter @All3Y_B.

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