Dave Meikle is a young entrepreneur and the CEO of Guh Places Clothing. A self described “mischief- maker” and “go-getter”, Dave sits down with us to tell us a little about his entrepreneurship journey.
CC: How would you describe yourself?
DM: Self motivated, I love to socialize, I am easy to talk to, I love to make jokes but I am very serious when it comes on to work, I love fashion and music and I think it is a part of my passion to motivate and empower young people like myself.
CC: What subjects did you do in high school?
DM: I did a mostly Business subjects in CXC, Technical Drawing, one science subject and the core subjects, for CAPE I did Physics, Computer Science and Information Technology.
CC: Did you do any art related subjects?
DM: No, Art wasn’t offered at my high school, it was pure talent and practice. I have the designs in my head but I can’t put them on paper that well.
CC: Why did you decide to do a T-shirt line as your business venture?
DM: Well, I dabble in music and did a song mentioning some lyrics about my t shirt line. LOL! At that time those were mere lyrics, but persons kept asking me where they could get the t shirts to buy because they wanted to support me. So I got 6 friends and decided that it was a good idea. We are now down to just 3 of the 6 founding members, but we worked on the idea until it came to fruition.
CC: I must tell you, I really don’t like asking successful persons in business about how they got started. They tend to tell me that they started out with one stick of callaloo in their backyard and got rich from that. Where did you get start up capital and how did the business grow?
DM: Well, now you are going to hear that one callaloo story again. LOL! We started off by saving pocket money and then registered the business. We then got orders for shirts and used the advanced payments to get shirts done. As soon as we made money it went to the bank account then we did a few orders. We took our time from there til we were able to order larger amounts each time.
CC: What would you say is your biggest accomplishment yet?
DM: Getting our merchandise in a store and exporting to Italy, USA, Canada and Germany and throughout the Caribbean. Sponsoring dancers and other talented young persons who are trying to guh places. Chuckles
CC: What’s the toughest feedback you have received and how did you learn from it?
DM: People were saying they didn’t like the quality of the shirts which forced us to source better quality shirts and some complained about the lack of variety in the designs which taught us to keep the designs fresh. We also asked what people would like to see and worked on our designs based on their feedback. We try to make our pieces timeless, not just cater to our core market 18-30. The designs are so timeless, even your granny could wear it.
CC: My granny is too hot, she has a lot doing now. How do you balance work with University?
DM: All the founders and I still go to school so we hire sales reps to do the sales and merchandising for us. We have 44 reps working with us now in the parishes of Kingston, Clarendon and Manchester.
CC: You are hiring! You are the boss
DM: Yes I am. LOL!
CC: If I were to ask 3 employees to describe you, how would they respond?
DM: They would say I am jovial and friendly but professional. I don’t give them the- “I’m the boss vibe”. I make them feel comfortable.
CC: Do you do custom shirts?
DM: Yes and no. We do custom shirts if ordered in large amounts but not single custom shirts
CC: Are you satisfied with where you are now in terms of business?
DM: With a name like “Guh Places”, you can never be satisfied, we are always seeking to go forward. We are not uncomfortable or dissatisfied with our efforts though. We are always going places. We will never reach and become complacent.
CC: So, what’s next for “Guh Places Clothing”?
DM: So far we have t shirts, tank tops, polo shirts and sweat pants in adult sizes. All sizes. We cater for extra petite and the “rolly pollies” too. We are coming out with a junior line for kids which should be out by mid summer
CC: Are there any questions you want to ask me?
DM: Where is your building and what exactly do you do?
CC: The office is 7-9 Trenton Road, beside the examination depot and we empower young people in terms of Education, Entrepreneurship, Employment, Life Skills, Health etc. As long as they are young, we can empower them in almost every area
DM: Sounds awesome. It was nice chatting with you.
CC: Same here. We will keep in touch
DM: Please do and we will be willing to help the youth in whatever way to show them the way forward so they can guh places.