Unlike in other countries where celebrities leverage their brands to run big business franchises, the situation is different here in Malawi.
Several players from the creative industry have in the past attempted to establish different businesses riding on their artistic exploits, but the ventures have not paid off in earnest and most of them have died naturally.
Bee Jay shows off his designs
Hip-hop artist Bee Jay has become the latest public figure to attempt a similar venture after he unveiled his clothing line Look Sharp Boss.
Under the label, the artist is selling designer T-shirts while other merchandise such as syndicates, socks and tracksuits expected to hit the market soon.
In an interview yesterday, Bee Jay, real name Brian Jonas, said having attempted a similar venture before, he has a good understanding of the market dynamics and he intends to put his past experience to good use.
“When I first came on the market, I was a bit excited with the demand that my products created. It is not surprising that the venture did not last. I want to rectify the mistakes that I made and one of the strategies is to have people running the business on my behalf,” he said.
The artist said as one of the strategies, he will be introducing his merchandise in phases instead of bringing them on the market at once. At the moment, the T-shirts are going at K15 000 and the main outlet of the cloth line is fellow rapper AK On The Board’s shop AK On The Clothes in Area 47, Lilongwe.
Said Bee Jay: “We are also doing deliveries for those who place online orders. The demand has been incredible and I should particularly point out here the support that I have received from my fellow artists who have also bought my product.”
One of the artists to ever tried the market is poet Q Malewezi who introduced a wine brand, Poet Ink several years ago. According to the artist, the venture failed to take off due to other challenges, but he has not ruled out the possibility of making a return.
He said: “Going forward, I am looking at a possible business venture which will not involve manufacturing, but just the marketing aspect. The kind of business which will just be print on demand. Another key aspect is also partnering with someone who will run it as an enterprise.
“As artists, we need to explore the possibility of licensing our brands and focus on the development of ideas as someone is running the show.”
Rapper Gwamba, who also had an experience with his energy drink brand he introduced while in South Africa, said artists need to exercise some patience when introducing such businesses since there are so many factors at play for the ventures to succeed.
“Indeed our disposition as public figures gives us an advantage, but we also have to look at the growth of our brands before we embark on such ventures. We need to ensure we command the right following before jumping into the fray and name our franchise after our names,” he said.
The post Musician Jay Bee attempts to swim where others failed first appeared on The Nation Online.
The post Musician Jay Bee attempts to swim where others failed appeared first on The Nation Online.