From fishing to block-making
At a time when the country and the world stand guard against the coronavirus pandemic, 61-year-old Earl Jackson, of Waterhouse in St Andrew, has managed to find peace and joy in making and selling fancy, decorative blocks from his humble abode, to hundreds of Jamaicans.
Twenty-two years ago, Jackson made a bold transition from being an experienced fisherman into a trade he had little knowledge about.
“Mi usually catch fish before, but mi love this job. It mek mi alright and feel comfortable. I start this business with $3,000. Mi used to mek (regular) block, but it did kinda hard. So I thought it out on my own and build my thing,” he said.
He shared that police officers, teachers, nurses and persons from varying professions support his business, because he places emphasis on creating solid and durable products.
“A lot of the people in Havendale, when they were building their house, is here dem come. Even the people in Waterhouse. King Jammys [famed record producer] is one man who supports my business. Everything I have, I get it out a it. I am comfortable. I have done works for a lot of people, more than 300 in Portmore alone, some in Red Hills, Belvedere, Stony Hill, Waterhouse and Tower Hill in Kingston and St Andrew,” he said. “People even buy my things and bring it go to foreign go build dem house. Dem seh di thing dem strong and mi really mek dem strong. Most people nuh mek dem good, because dem a run dung di money, but me prefer di money run me dung. Once you have something good, they will come.”
He expressed an openness towards teaching others his craft, especially the youth, but he said young people nowadays prefer to occupy themselves with other things.
“More time youths come and seh dem waah learn di trade, but in order to learn the trade, you have to come and see what mi doing. Dem prefer deh pon di corner with them likkle friend instead,” he said.
Looking back on his journey, Jackson said he has zero regrets about transforming from a fisherman to a maker of decorative blocks.
Persons have travelled from as far as St James to purchase Jackson’s creations.