Visionary Horaine Kelly of Retreat in St Thomas is on a mission to change the narrative of the parish through the provision of holistic businesses, which he believes will give residents access to services in a unique manner.
Though initially from Portland, the 31-year-old entrepreneur, who speaks highly of the parish that has been stereotyped as forgotten, serves as a detective constable at the Morant Bay Police Station.
“I want to develop St Thomas because everywhere I go, I always hear people talking about the parish in a negative light,” Kelly said, noting that the area’s contribution to the overall progress of the country often goes unnoticed.
It is also because of this commitment why the police officer admitted that though now an established businessman, he has never thought of leaving the force as he wants to continue in the fight of making St Thomas a safe place.
Kelly’s first business venture began in 2018 with the establishment of a beauty salon that caters to both males and females. Located in the town of Morant Bay, the space offers cosmetology services including makeup, hair, nails, and skin care.
“I wanted to offer a service where men could get a trim and shave without leaving with hair all over them. I established a salon where they can also wash their hair and steam their face, all in one spot,” he said.
“We also provide free Wi-Fi for all our customers and TV with Netflix and sports channel. Children can relax in a safe and comfortable environment, connect to the Internet, and watch their programmes as they wait on their parents.”
The entrepreneur also established a motorcycle mart and auto parts shop, which offers mechanical services.
Chief among his exploits, too, are his clothing line, called The Ultimate Wavez Jamaica, and the Wavez Sports Bar located in Leith Hall, some ten minutes outside of Morant Bay.
“It’s an interesting stop. We offer games, drinks, and chill, and on special days, we offer food. I’m a lover of nature, so the bar is made from Spanish elm trees to give it a natural look. A live naseberry tree forms the centre of the bar and hangs over the building itself,” he said, adding that the roof is thatched.
His successes, which now support more than 20 households, he admitted, did not come without trial.
Having mounted several hurdles in his earlier years, including dropping out of high school, losing eight family members at once in a fatal crash, losing millions of dollars in farm produce to bad weather, and later, partial paralysis after his vehicle flipped over a cliff in Roselle, the determined young man preaches the importance of focus.
“I started out young. I don’t have a drinking, smoking or gambling habit. I’m not the person who drives flashy cars or goes out regularly. While I see everyone warring government over wages, I try to create mine because you will never find a job that pays you what you truly deserve, so why not create it and invest in yourself?” the detective constable shared.
Kelly praised the power of relationships, noting that his fated acquaintance with businessman Billy Trail guided him in a direction of self-actualisation and entrepreneurial success.
Sharing nuggets he has learnt along the way, he said: “Never be afraid to start or start over and live the life that you dream of. Everything is possible because all is the mind and the mind is the universe. The Bible says so a man thinketh, so is he. Anything the mind conceives can be achieved. It’s all about discipline and hard work. Procrastination is a sin and a dream killer.”