Jahna Agard is the founder and creative director of the Mary Agatha Group. This creative entrepreneur was born and raised in Barbados to hard-working, dedicated parents. She is a graduate of The Samuel Jackman Prescod Institute of Technology and The Erdiston Teachers' Training College. She has completed several workshops, gaining knowledge and training in marketing, business start-up, family and peer-to-peer counseling.
Jahna has worked extensively in the community through volunteer and mentorship work with the youth for the last 12 years. An advocate for mental health awareness, she actively pursues this by educating and bringing awareness to the cause. In her continued efforts to serve and help others, Jahna has implemented a food program, aimed towards helping young mothers. This initiative is only the beginning of other programs to come, as she seeks to create a better community.
A mother of triplets, Jahna enjoys spending time with her children and instilling the values and morals that were past unto her. Living and maintaining a healthy lifestyle is a priority, for this health enthusiast. Jahna enjoys writing, drawing and, the occasional binge watching of tv series, where possible. Her ultimate comfort spot is in the kitchen, where she be found whipping up healthy and tasty meals for her family.
SB-C: Tell us more about you and your background. JA: My name is Jahna and, I am 29 years old. I am a mother (of triplets) and an entrepreneur, you can call me a Mompreneur. I was born and raised in Barbados where I currently reside. Growing up in a creative family it was only natural for me to be creative, hence why I choose that path. I became passionate and driven about my creative endeavors after teaching in the secondary school system for a while. Even though I enjoy teaching, I felt a need to do more with my life creatively.
SB-C: What is the story behind Homemade by Jahna? JA: The Homemade by Jahna journey began with a search to find alternative ways to treat my sons' battle with eczema. After thorough research, I realize that diet played a major role in managing the eczema flare-ups, from there we began to adjust our lifestyle to a more healthier one as a family and I decided to share that journey with the world by creating a platform promoting health and wellness for the woman and her family.
SB-C: What is the inspiration behind the Mary Agatha Group? JA: The inspiration to start this venture stemmed from my love to conceptualize and to create things. I wanted to put some structure and purpose to my ideas and upon reflection of my life that became clear. The goal was to create lifestyle products/brands that enhance and empower women and by extension their families, especially of the Caribbean community. The name itself was inspired by two strong women, my mother, and late grandmother. This venture, in summary, was created for women by women.
SB-C: As a mother of triplets, how do you manage being a Mum and building your business? JA: God. He has been good to me every step of the way, even when I thought there was no way. It is a very challenging task raising triplets, but in the midst of the challenges, I discovered my purpose and that fuels me. Some days are better than some but having a daily routine has contributed to my successes. Knowing when to take a break and acknowledging when I need assistance has worked for me. The most important lesson I have learned on this journey is that self-care should always be number one.
SB-C: You are in the process of launching The Mompreneur Guide, what is it exactly and why have you decided to take on this project? JA: The Mompreneur Guide is an educating and empowering platform for mothers. The aim is to set afire the entrepreneurial spirit within and replenish the drive and passion sometimes lost in the motherhood journey. It's not easy being a woman, far less being a mother and we can sometimes lose ourselves in the process. The goal is to change that by bringing our dreams back to the forefront while balancing family life. We as mothers matter, to our families and by extension, our community and so do our dreams and aspirations. We to can contribute to this world in such a beautiful way, and we need to promote and encourage it more.
SB-C: You have worked as a teacher previously and see yourself as someone young people can talk and relate to. Has that experience helped you in any way? If so, how? JA: Oh yes! It has helped and in tremendous ways. It was a first-hand look at some of the issues facing our young generation. It forced me to analyze myself, and most importantly, my parenting approach. It highlighted a breakdown in the family home, and lack of community awareness or willingness to accept there is a crisis in our youth. From that experience, I made a decision, to do my part as a citizen to help where I can.
SB-C: Where would you like your business to be five years from now? JA: Cemented and planted firmly with its values and morals still intact. For me, even with the success that I pray, strategize and plan for, I hope to maintain the integrity and never lose sight of why I started. To have grown throughout the Caribbean as well as reaching its people abroad. Most importantly, to have an established and sustainable business that I can someday pass along to my children.
SB-C: What advice do you have for other women who are Mums and are just starting out in business? JA: My advice would be to have a clear understanding of the needs of the family and the business. To create a plan, strategy or routine that allows you to meet the needs of both family and business. Understanding that reaping long-term success comes with short-term sacrifices. It won't be an easy task, but it will be worth it, once you know your purpose and where you are going.