Strungé is a 22 year old entrepreneur. Born in the beautiful island of St. Kitts, she then relocated to the British Virgin Islands at a young age. She has always been incredibly talented with her hands among other things. As a child, she would always intentionally destroy items, toys etc. just to create something better. Her hobbies include singing, dancing, modeling, travelling, shopping, trying new foods and designing homes.
She graduated from the Willard Wheatley Primary School in 2012. Few days after her graduation was one of the most devastating moments of her life when she lost one of her biggest supporters, her dad. She then went on to high school. During her senior years of Elmore Stoutt, she chose Visual Arts as her major and was exposed to a lot of different forms and styles of art. She is also a proud alumni of the Lady Rams Cheerleading Squad. After successfully completing 8 CXC and the Exit examinations, she graduated with honors in 2018 and immediately applied for her first trade license as she was convinced even then that she did not want to spend the rest of her life working for other people. That very year, while still in high school she began her college courses. She graduated college in 2021 after majoring in Engineering and Architectural Technology and receiving a certificate of achievement in Construction Management. Although she had a fondness for Architecture, Strunge missed her first love, Art.
House of Art 284 was started in 2020 during the Corona Virus Pandemic. The inspiration for this business spiral from her love for arts and craft and also her love for making people happy. The funds for the business startup came from the savings from my previous job at PG Gas Station in Fish Bay. Forward thinking, Strungé realised with the spread of covid, there was a real possibility of her not returning to work at PG Gas Station as a lot of persons were being laid off. .During a brainstorming session with a couple of friends about unique businesses, they came up with the ideas of doing a belly cast as they predicted that with persons being confined to their homes, there would be another baby boom, so Strungé got to work; she envisioned that years from now the child could be shown the cast and appreciate the effort his/her mom did to memoralise them. This idea proved fruitful. Coming up to Valentine’s Day, other ideas were presented, so after much research she made some products with the epoxy and sent out her flyers. Initially there were some good reviews but also bad reviews were received. But this did not deter her. She practiced for a few more months and even though customers were few and in between she pressed on.
My greatest challenge would be the marketing because I’ve always been a shy individual, so when it comes to introducing persons to the business or even marketing on social media I would be at lost for words. There is also the challenge at times, when persons perceive the products to be too expensive, but they forget there is a service side to the business” Strungé explained. On ordering, there is payment to the Supplier and shipping company for the raw material, then the products have to be made and decorated, still affordable as far as mementos go.
After receiving some training material from friends on the resin letters, Strunge began to branch out. This time she received her biggest order during graduation when she was commissioned by a local school to produce 48 letters for all the graduating students and a few from other schools. When the videos started going viral of the different products, the clientele slowly grew to include clients outside of the BVI such as Germany, Jamaica, Dominica, Anguilla, St. Kitts and in the United States Virgin Islands. Stunge explains “My products are the most creative, waterproof, damage proof, inflammable item that you can use to store any memory. It’s more creative than just going to do a photoshoot and framing the pictures. The products can also be used as keepsakes for valuable memories such as dogs name tags, rings, pregnancy test etc. Not only can they store memories and valuable items, they can also be used as stylish for décor” Strunge expounded. While the business is a sole proprietorship, she has a close working relationship with Devin’s Delivery Services.
Everything is made with the utmost love, from the product to the distribution. However, it’s a 50/50 split between the product itself and the packaging. A lot of customers don’t expect what comes in the packaging.
To anyone that is struggling, Strunge recommends that they first and foremost PRAY and MANIFEST it. It really isn’t easy as a young entrepreneur trying to do something that will benefit them in the long run and keep them out of trouble. I prayed and manifested about what I wanted to accomplish business wise and within weeks my business started to pick up. You would also need to tune out all distractions such as going to a jam every weekend or clubbing and tune into your business. Eat, Breathe and Sleep your business!! In other words, make your business be your main focus. Do research or even think about creative ideas, strategies etc that you can use to get customers interested in doing business with you. Strunge uses her raft as a way to escape from reality and also express herself. “Most of the work I produce, as weird/crazy/funny as it may sound, are actually mistakes gone right. Customers would often give me the freedom and say “just make it look good”. Which can be fun at times but also give me mini panic attacks because I want them to not just like the product and put it to the side, but I want them to not want to put it down and really cherish it or always want to turn the lights on or just admire it. During my panic attacks/ overthink I tend to just accidentally throw things together and it actually comes out so good in the end that I wish I could’ve thought about that specific idea earlier”.
Connect with House of Art 284 on Whatsapp: (284)543-0156; Follow her, Facebook: For House of Art 284 to learn more about her products and keep up with what’s new. Facebook: House of Art 284; Tiktok: houseofart284; Instagram: houseofart284