Fashion: The Final StrawTuesday, June 22, 2021
Third time's the charm for Kristia Franklin, who has been reaping success since the relaunch of her e-commerce site last year. It was her third attempt after an initial launch in 2014 while she was a university student, and a follow-up attempt in 2018. She concedes the local market was then simply not ready for an online store.
A vacay with her mom Terryon Walsh in 2020 put the wave she's now riding in motion. “I was going on vacation with my mom, and I wanted a straw hat. I said to myself, 'If I take some photos wearing the hat and persons are interested, then I'd start to sell them',” Franklin told Tuesday Style Fashion (TSF) .
So said, so done. Local demand for the oversized toppers soared, and the international market quickly followed suit. This prompted the revamp of Franklin's website with striking images — shot on location at her home — fronting a roll-out of existing styles and fresh designs. The Franklin-designed Hat Bag, a sizeable tote fashioned from her brand's sought-after Extra Large Shade Hat, has been the talk of the town toting around fab beach essentials from Montego Bay to the Maldives.
If you are looking to stand out at your next outdoor soirée, then you might consider grabbing the Shade Me hat. If you have a flair for the dramatic, then you might consider adding the extra-large version to your wardrobe.
Though she's overjoyed with the feedback about her designs, Franklin is especially grateful that her success has re-energised what she describes as a dying art in Jamaica. “It's a very intricate process to make these bags. The straw comes from thatch palm trees. Someone plaits the straw, another person trims it then an artisan makes the hats and bags,” she explained.
Straw accessories have been around for years, but they are set to make a huge impact on #Summer2021Style. Grab yours now.
View the entire collection by visiting the website: tiatheclothesgirl.com. And check Franklin out on Instagram @tiatheclothesgirl.
Photographer: Mali Photography Ja
Model: Emma Watson