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Bradley A. Downer
Twenty-three year-old Kenita Roberts, from Uitvlugt, Region Three, is making waves within the fashion/craft industry via her business called ‘kenthings’ where she creates and sells craft items (such as anklets, beaded and wire earrings, chokers, chains, waistbands, pendants, copper rings, leather pieces, etc.). These items are usually made from a wide range of materials such as wires, beads, leather, and so much more.
She also partnered with a friend (Chelsia Denny) and launched her second business called ‘Ignium’ – where they create backdrops for events, and sell themed party supplies.
Kenita was born on the 19th of September 1999 in Georgetown to parents Aubrey and Simone Roberts.
Ms.Roberts attended the Leonora Primary and was later awarded a spot at Queen’s College after writing the National Grade Six Examination.
After graduating with sixteen(16) subjects at CSEC, she then pursued environmental science at the Caribbean Advanced Proficiency Examination (CAPE) level at Queen’s College.
She currently lives in Georgetown, with her siblings and parents. Kenita was awarded a scholarship from Republic Bank – Guyana Limited to read for a bachelor’s degree in Environmental Science at the University Of Guyana.
Kenita is currently a prospective graduate at the University of Guyana.
Kenita launched Kenthings in March, 2017 and then Ignium in December 2019.
Roberts told this publication, “I did mini-projects for myself, posted them online, and after which people inquired and requested me to create items for them. My parents are also business oriented and as such I was motivated to start Kenthings.”
Currently Kenthings is jewellery based, however being a creative person, Kenita is open to crafty projects.
“Kenthings was birthed because my name is Kenita (hence Ken) and I enjoyed doing crafty items, which is where ‘Things’ helped to coin the name Kenthings,” Kenita said.
She further added, “Currently I am juggling work and business and it is far more difficult than juggling school and business. At the moment, I do Jewellery Making for my business and it is somewhat of a relaxing activity for me as well.”
She noted that she sets aside time in the evenings to complete orders which may take approximately two (2) hours or more depending on the workload.
Further, she added, “I opted for business because my parents always instilled entrepreneurship in us, as well as we can earn money for our skills. I started while I was in Lower six form at QC, at 17 years old. Instead of making big investments, I created crafts with materials available to me.”
Ignium was born out of a partnership between Kenita Roberts and her business partner, Chelsea Denny. They are both crafty persons and we were always involved in decorating their church for events, and/or at personal parties. As such, they decided to collaborate and launched Ignium in 2019.
Kenita faced challenges along the way. Her first issue is sourcing materials at profitable prices, particularly as it relates to jewellery making.
She added, “The high-quality beads and certain materials are not available in Guyana which means that they would need to be imported and it’s pretty expensive to do so. Another challenge would be staying consistent with business as there are so many other tasks and events to keep up with, nevertheless, the goal is to never give up despite the challenges.”
Kenita’s advice to aspiring entrepreneurs is “do not let anxiety hold you back but rather listen to that slight feeling of being ready. After that everything falls into place.”
Passion for Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM) and volunteerism.
The budding environmental scientist aspires to be a role model for youths and wants to guide them to reach their goals and as such, she joined STEMGuyana and works in the capacity of a stem coach.
In this capacity, she teaches foundation robotics, programming, and scratch coding to youths at the National Library in Georgetown and also volunteers at a STEMGuyana learning pod in Region 4.
Kenita also coached one of the teams that participated in the International Youth Robotics Competition (IYRC) in 2021, which took place virtually. Her team won a gold medal for the robot they built that solved a COVID-19 issue.
Roberts also volunteers with the Ecotrust society, UNICEF Guyana, and the IDPADA-G youth committee.
In the future, Roberts would like to expand her businesses and further her education.
For those interested in purchasing jewellery or bead can contact Kenita Roberts via her Facebook Page: Kenthings, Instagram: @kenthings592/ @igniumdesignsgy and Telephone #: +592 662 6341.