“One Love, one Life, one Island” : the birth of a brand.
MORE THAN A BRAND, “ONE LOVE, ONE LIFE, ONE ISLAND” IS A STATE OF MIND. WHICH PERFECTLY REFLECTS THE DISPOSITION OF KARINE DOUMENJOU, ITS FOUNDER, WHO LOVES CLOTHES, LIFE, HER FAMILY AND SAINT-MARTIN.
“One Love, One Life, One Island,” a now famous ternary slogan which Karine Doumenjou had in mind for a long time. ”For me, this phrasing has a personal resonance” she said. “One Love” is of course a reference to Bob Marley’s song. When she came to Saint-Martin at the age of 16, she remembers hearing the hit song non-stop on the radio. The rest came naturally: ”One life, because we’ve only got one life to live and One Island, because we always come back here”.
The story behind the creation of the store? ”There’s nothing special about it”, she replied humbly. After having raised her children and done several jobs, particularly in real estate, she, who had always dreamed of “selling clothes” decided to start her own business at the end of 2014. In order to avoid taking too many risks, she started with thirty t-shirts, that she had printed on the island by a friend screen printer. “Before opening an air-conditioned store, I first wanted to be sure that I had the support of the local population” she explained before saying that she started with a container located behind the Peninsula. In a few months, the T-shirt store was opened on Orient Bay, on the village square, not by a deliberate choice but “because the opportunity arose”. This allowed her to also reach tourists, although most of her customers are locals.
Sports clubs also come to Karine: “People tell me that they appreciate the positive message, that Saint-Martin has not aways had days of glory, so it makes me happy”.
Her success seems to inspire others since a dozen brands have been created since a year and a half, some of which are really similar to hers. This competition doesn’t worry Karine “but sometimes makes some future projects difficult”. Indeed, it’s more complicated to invest in something that is likely to be stolen. Despite the undeniable success, she refuses to talk about a success story because her family has been on the island for a long time, and she, herself, has done different things before.
Like these army tent canvas bags that a friend in the south-east of France makes for her, she increasingly favors unique pieces. She’s also in touch with young local designers who are currently studying in Paris. She’s focusing on something that is both exclusive and local, without being old-fashioned. In the long term, her project is to open a concept store in order to work with local artists and aim for rather high-quality products.
- Source : http://www.soualigapost.com/