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A Turks & Caicos Original

Wellington Williams creates unique jewelry inspired by the sea.

By Zahrya Musgrove ~ Photos By Davidson Louis

It’s not always easy being a young man or woman trying to get a business started in the Turks & Caicos Islands. Besides a good idea and business plan, you need money . . . contacts . . . influence . . . time. That’s why we’re so impressed with 19 year old Wellington Williams. Not only is his handmade jewelry elegant and creative, reflecting the beauty of the country’s seas, but he has a determination that spreads to the horizon!

Wellington Williams in his downtown workshop.

Wellington Williams in his downtown workshop.

Wellington Williams began his journey of becoming an entrepreneur at the very young age of eleven. It all started at Clement Howell High School in Providenciales when he began to sell Rastafarian jewelry to his fellow students. He quickly noticed that this was a very profitable business. From then on, he took it on as a passion.
After graduation, he went to the TCI Community College to study Hotel Management. From there, he began his own business called Exclusive Accessories.co by Wellington Williams. Now he sells his work weekly at the Island Fish Fry and caters to fourteen different hotels and stores, including the Grand Turk cruise ship centre.
Wellington said he picked the name Exclusive Accessories.co by Wellington Williams because his products are exclusive and he wanted a name that was unique. He choose jewelry-making as a business because it is something that he enjoys doing and it makes a profit. When asked about how he makes his jewelry, he was a bit close-mouthed, saying that it is a secret! But he did tell me what he uses: real starfish, sand, and seashells, along with a special construction liquid and thyme!
Amber Hall models a selection of Wellington's original jewelry.

Amber Hall models a selection of Wellington’s original jewelry.

Wellington says the next big project for his company is clothing. He wants to make clothing that showcases pieces and scenarios of the Turks & Caicos, utilizing such objects as the conch shell. In ten years time, Williams sees himself as a store owner with a variety of selections that will range from spa products, Christmas ornaments, clothing, and of course, jewelry.
Although he currently works as a concierge/guest services agent at West Bay Club, Wellington comments, “They say it is always better when you work for yourself.” “It means that you don’t have to follow company rules, wear a uniform, work by a clock, and you are not getting the same salary every two weeks. You are the one cutting the checks, you keep all the profits for yourself, you decide your attire, and work on your own time. You are in control of what you do.”
He told me that one of his biggest challenges was when he asked to join a jewelry-making company in the Young Enterprise program, but he was turned down by the owners. At the time he thought it was a bad thing but now he sees that without that decision, he may never have started his own company. A boost to his confidence came when the company that he did join won “Company of the Year” honors. He now thanks the people who turned him down because it spurred him towards becoming a successful entrepreneur.
Wellington said that he still faced the challenge of getting people to let him sell his product in their stores and boutiques. He explained, “People were not willing to take a chance on me.” He was competing against other jewelry-makers as well as “Made in China” products. He expressed his concern that tourists would rather buy ten $3 bracelets to take home rather than one $30 bracelet.
He overcame this challenge by advertising his product better. He also reassured buyers and store owners that, although his products may be slightly more expensive, they are of a better quality and therefore worth every dollar. Their uniqueness and appeal comes from being handmade in the Turks & Caicos Islands.
After all of his trial and error he now sees that everything happened for a reason and that it has all worked out for the best. He wants to tell young and upcoming entrepreneurs to never give up because in the end there is a reward for all of your hard work.

Zahrya Musgrove is a fourteen year old student of the British West Indies Collegiate. Her dream is to go into a career field, such as journalism, where she can be a brave and confident voice expressing thoughts in the form of the written word on current issues.

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Marta Morton spent an hour filming a “flamboyance” of flamingos last September at aptly-named Flamingo Lake in Providenciales. For more of Marta’s beautiful images of the TCI, visit www.harbourclubvillas.com.

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