Jamaican brothers create luxury luggage from vegan leather

Damion Fray of Taktikus Energy Healthcare, entrepreneur, New York, left, accepts a purchase of the Rusty Brown Bresheh Executive Backpack, from Jamaican entrepreneur, Randy McLaren, creator of Bresheh. The purchase was made at the Bresheh Enterprise booth, at the marketplace, as part of the recent 8th Biennial Diaspora Conference in Kingston, Jamaica.
Photo by Tangerine Clarke

When young Jamaican entrepreneurs, Randy and Davian McLaren wanted to realize their dream to create durable luggage, they brainstormed, and decided that the collection of vegan leather goods, should be named Bresheh — a rural moniker for breadfruit.

“Why breadfruit? I said, why not Bresheh. We wanted something that represents us culturally, and something that people would connect with to show the essence of us as Jamaican,” said Randy McLaren.

Born in the parish of St. Thomas, Randy, a spoken-word poet, was so enthralled with the history of the breadfruit, so much so, that he performed his poem “Meh Love Me Breadfruit” on stage, that talks about the first Bresheh tree, planted in Bath, Jamaica.

The Roast by Bresheh Executive Backpack is one of the successful brand sellers. It is described as having style, comfort, and versatility, and exquisitely designed. The bag helps to store, organize, and carry personal and professional essentials. “It is here to make your dreams happen,” states the tagline.

The knapsack is a perfect travel partner, great for work, adventure, and weekend getaways. These bags come in colors, Rusty Brown, Charcoal Black, Ash Grey, with a cream internal fabric that represents the color of the inside of breadfruit.

The bags could also be personalized with name, initials, and logo.

During an interview with Caribbean Life in the media center of the recently concluded 8th Biennial Diaspora Conference in Kingston, Jamaica, Randy spoke passionately about building the Bresheh brand that started in 2015. The young men created the much-needed bags using a vintage sewing machine, left by their grandmother on the veranda of their Kingston home.

After a study, they found Jamaica was importing more than one million backpacks annually, a niche market that they quickly tapped into, to create an authentic brand that caught the attention of consumers.

Davian, who honed his design skills, merged ideas, with older brother, Randy, and ventured out to grow their product, that became recognizable from the backs of Jamaican students who proudly wore the Jamaica-made backpack everywhere they went.

Today, Bresheh.com, boosts skillfully designed travel bags, knapsacks, laptop sleeves, tote bags, and duffel bags, all made from artificial /vegan leather.

The young businessmen did not only lay a foundation for them and their family but others, for whom they created job opportunities. Single parents, young people in the deaf community, and up and coming designers are some of the employees who drive the Bresheh Enterprise.

The Portmore, Jamaica factory are meeting the demands of online shoppers from across the United Kingdom and United States.

The company has plans to branch out worldwide, said Randy McLaren, adding that the enterprise plans to invest in outlets in Jamaica, and cities in North America.

“The sky is no limit,” said Randy, who attended the recent Diaspora Conference in Kingston to introduce the brand and to attract buyers to his growing business.

“We thought this was the safest way to introduce ourselves to communities.”

“We decided to go vegan, as opposed to using animal leather. We wanted to keep our brand as clean as possible. We source man-made leather from a supplier,” he said, noting that, the leather, cut and designed are at a low-cost.

“The retail price is also suited to every shopper. And each design is creative,” said the entrepreneur, who gives back to the community, as part of his company’s policy.

“We are dream makers because we are looking to raise the salary level of dressmakers and tailors. Our rate of pay is higher, than most,” said Randy, whose social mission is to inspire youth across Jamaica.

“Bresheh is an enterprise with a social mission. Apart from providing jobs for young people, we provide training for those who are lacking some of the soft skills that would help with ways to succeed in a workspace,” said Randy.

The company is actively involved in digital marketing, online presence, and has big plans to move into diaspora spaces.

@pickbresheh/Facebook/Instagram, @roastbybresheh/IG

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