An Interview with local designer Krystal Fensom on how UpMarket has helped boost her career.
Please tell us a little about yourself..
Hi! I am Krystal Fensom the self-taught artisan behind the brand K. Fensom Trinidad. I started this company eleven years ago with the deep desire and passion to create clutches and totebags with style and function, combined with the flair and explosive colors of the Caribbean! Bags that spoke to the proud expressive woman!
What do you sell at UpMarket?
I sell handcrafted clutches and totebags. Each piece unique, functional, vibrant. I never duplicate a bag which makes the pieces I create even more special!
How did you get started?
Being a petite woman and a new mom I had a really difficult time finding a bag that would fit both my baby’s items and my own without excessive bulk or being too large. I decided to make one that would be just right for me and later that week I was stopped by a woman on the Western Main Rd. in St. James and she wanted to know where I got my bag. I told her I made it and she was so in awe she asked if she could buy it from me. Right there on the side of the western main road, I emptied the contents of my bag into a plastic bag and sold it to the woman. That was my moment of clarity and right then and there I decided to fulfill my passion and desire to make bags for every woman!
What were some of the challenges?
Challenges came in every form and fashion.. Learning curves, trial and error, countless sleepless nights, sacrifices, disappointment, earning respect for my craft, getting clients (UpMarket was an open door for this).
What has been the biggest benefit for you participating in UpMarket?
Most definitely it would be making a huge step out of my comfort zone and showcasing my talents and products! Reaching such a wide audience of customers in a welcoming homey environment where local artisans and their items are appreciated! In my years at UpMarket I have done several collaborations with other local artisans, launched 6 Collections and my very first runway resort collection earlier this year! So many opportunities have come out of being a part of the UpMarket family! Forever grateful!
Has UpMarket provided any global opportunities for you with customers?
Most definitely! When I first started UpMarket all my clients were tourists or visitors to our country! They purchased my bags and took them back to various parts of the world. These are still my regular clients over the years. My most recent “global opportunity” was this past April at Tobago Fashion Coda.. It allowed for my brand to be seen on a much larger scale than just the Caribbean alongside other recognized designers from all around the world!
Besides your own product, what do you look forward to buying at the market?
Ooh! The food of course! I look forward to the intoxicating aromas that fill the air on market mornings! Quickly followed by uniquely made items!
Who has been your biggest inspiration?
My daughter has always been my biggest inspiration from day one! She motivates me to continue when I feel like its too much, I always remember that I want to be her example for always…never doubt yourself, nothing is impossible to achieve and follow your heart’s desire!
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In 5 years I do hope for my brand to be available regionally and internationally. Filtrating my passion into the hearts and hands of both men and women!
Where is your favorite place to visit in Trinidad?
I have two favorite places in Trinidad I love to visit..
#1. Port of Spain – Each street is filled with history, colors, inspiration and people from every walk of life and every race! Variety..I live for it!
#2. Las Cuevas- serene, beauty, nature, great memories and rejuvenation!
In one sentence, what has been your biggest life lesson this far?
Self doubt can only make me stronger….better….and an achiever!