By Feona Morrison and Tiana Cole
Linden-born Parrish Shannon Cadogan, a former basketball player and national athlete, is a talented designer. This 24-year-old has proven that he does not need a degree in fashion to command the industry.
Creatively blending the old with the new and the demure with the striking, Cadogan is the proud owner of Swag Styles, a small business launched in 2015 and specializes in customized t-shirts, sneakers, bed sheets, hats and almost any other item that could endure the heat transfer method for print design.
According to the young entrepeneur, “I can design anything you want from hats, bags, cups, shoes! Anything! You just have to name it.”
From a very tender age, this former Mackenzie High School student knew he wanted to become a designer, and now that his business is successful, he is working on launching his very own clothing brand.
He explained, “I want to start my own clothing brand apart from just doing custom-made designs. I want my company to have outlets throughout the length and breadth of Guyana and also overseas. Right now, I am putting things in place so that I can achieve what I want. I know once I put my mind to something I can achieve it.”
Asked where he gets ideas from for his designs, Cadogan disclosed that he keeps up to date with the latest trends, and works closely with his customers to create a style that suits their personality.
According to the designer, “I never really had a client who disliked my work. Every time I do something, I do it to the best of my ability.
He continued, “I would sometimes suggest better ideas to my clients when I think their preferred design does not suit them. I am committed to amazing my customers. After all, they are paying for a product.”
Although he is very creative with his hands, Cadogan confessed that he is not a well-organized individual, but he always gets the job done on time.
He said that he does most of his work to his own timing since he is his “own boss”. Most of his designing jobs are done late at nights.
“This is when I am more focused. I just put on my music and get creative.”
For example, he recalled that he once designed a bed sheet for a customer who expressed total satisfaction.
He stated, “This was one of my biggest achievements. I did not know how it would have turned out, but I got it perfect on the first try. The happiness of that customer made me appreciate my talent even more.”
Another one of Cadogan’s noteworthy accomplishments was when he held a successful ‘pop up shop’ at Buxton Line Top, East Coast Demerara, for this year’s Mashramani and jouvert celebrations. The event saw him and a small staff designing t-shirts and other garments for villagers. He expressed, “It was an awesome experience. It turned out we had lots of support. Everyone loved their designs.”
With his unique style in doing things, Cadogan revealed that he is always looking for new ways to enhance his talent. He said, too, that he wants to continue satisfying his customers, while pointing to a young lady who told him that he is the best at what he does.
“I want to remain the best. I really and truly love what I do. It is not always about the money. Designing makes me happy. This is priceless. My customers are who keep me motivated.”
Reflecting on the early days in business, Cadogan recalled that he started out in Amelia’s Ward and that things were a bit slow. However, with the quality of work he offers, clients kept recommending him to friends and family.
He is also grateful for social media platforms that he uses to advertise his business. The company’s Facebook page is Swag Styles Company.
Cadogan urges youths that they could be whatever they want to be once they are disciplined and self-motivated. He insists that young people can be like him—be their own boss– and not have to work for anybody. He is encouraging them to follow their dreams and do what makes them happy.
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