Would you believe me if I told you that I was supposed to be an accountant?
I was supposed to help run my dad's accounting firm. As apart of the 1st generation born in the United States, my parents were both born in Jamaica. My dad came from the countryside of Jamaica and his parents' career titles were Farmer and Hedge Fund Manager. My maternal grandfather was an entrepreneurial architect and his wife was a seamstress with hopes of having her dress shop when arriving in the states in the 1970's.
After my parents met at Baruch College and got married shortly after, they had me and my dad became a CPA. There were big plans for me to work alongside him at his accounting firm that was founded when I was in middle school. As a child I was trained to calculate in my head how much we would pay at the register if there is a 25% off sale and the bonus was to calculate the sales tax. On the weekend I would help to count and organize the money he collected for his soccer club fundraising efforts and enter it into an excel spreadsheets.
However as a child, my mom also put in me in an after school program that had art classes. I learned how to crochet at the age of 8 by a woman named Ms. Bostic. She then taught me about drawing, painting and number of other art skills. Anytime I mentioned to my paternal grandmother that I had an interest in being an artist, she reminded me of how many starving artists were homeless. I continued to major in math through high school and took art classes as my electives. My senior year of high-school I was introduced to a fashion class and enrolled. By this time I was dressing up my younger cousin and brother in my parents clothes and I was the photographer. When I designed my college career, I informed my parents that I was attending a college that had an accounting program, but I didn't tell him that I was enrolled in a fashion program. The end of my sophomore year, I informed my father that I was not going to take my finely crafted position next to him at his firm and presented the plan of how I was going to plan my career in fashion. (Did I mention that the 2nd career choice was a lawyer because I did well on the debate team?)
It is so amazing how God has orchestrated my life. I was just a young girl who wanted to explore the world of art and fashion while I was being trained to be a financial manager. At the age of 26, I became the youngest merchandiser at a plus size fashion company. During that time I managed a $20 million account and created double digit profitability consistently, over 5 years. I used both of my art and mathematical skills in that position.
As the founder of Amber Poitier, I enjoy the journey of creating new products by mixing art techniques and using leather, wood and resin. After creating it, I also enjoy using math and assortment planing to determine if it is a viable product. It is not often that an artist can excel in math and vice versa, but I enjoy switching gears through the process.
My paternal grandfather who was an architect passed when I was 2 years old. I didn't learn that his wife knew how to make dresses until I read it in her obituary. My only living grandmother still tests my financial skills and logic and my recently passed paternal grandfather taught me to respect nature and people in every process. My parents were the supportive conduit for me to exist. My mother is and always has been right beside me through this journey. I am eternally grateful for it all.
Not a typical or straight path through life, but I am confident with the skills and strength of my ancestors I am capable to make the rest of the journey in my life to wherever God has in store.