‘Collaborate to be great’
Bresheh boss talks teamwork and mental health
Randy Makk, co-founder and chief executive officer of Bresheh, has come a long way from those two sewing machines on his family’s verandah in St Thomas. These days, the dream maker, who was able to literally ‘tun him han an mek fashion’, runs a company that has grown from two to twenty employees.
Now operating out of an industrial complex in Kingston, Bresheh produces genuine leather bags of varying styles that are loved the world over. According to Makk, the company was birthed from a passion for Jamaican culture. And the secret to his success? “Collaborate to be great,” says the self-made businessman.
Supported by his brother and other partners along the way, Makk testified to the value of teamwork at the recent Men-Tell Corporate Wellness Workshop held at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel. “If nothing else, I want you guys to leave here remembering that you should believe in the power of collaboration.”
Having transitioned from performer to entrepreneur and now a cultural ambassador on a mission to impact lives, the Bresheh CEO also shared his belief in the importance of promoting mental health. “Sadly, in our culture, males are told to voice their emotions differently than women. You can’t talk too much as a man, your feelings are off the table. That needs to change, and we need to understand ourselves. We need to find better ways of showing our males that it’s okay – it’s okay to talk, it’s okay to reason, it’s okay to have feelings. You’re not less than a man if you have to share your feelings and be vulnerable,” encouraged Makk.
His message on mental health for men aligned perfectly with the mission of conference organiser, Kiki Thoms, who shared, “As a mother of four boys, a wife and citizen, I see the challenges men face. They are oftentimes trapped or feel forced to conform and adapt to society’s definition, void of any clue about what their purpose really is. Sadly, society links how much a man avoids his emotions to his strength.”
The Men-Tell Corporate Wellness Workshop also sought to inspire men to confidently move towards their goals in a holistic way. Thoms said the conference’s mission to empower and propel men forward found strong support from like-minded partners like the Johnnie Walker brand.
“Our brand is all about progress and that steady march onwards. After all, the Johnnie Walker tagline is ‘Keep Walking’. There are so many barriers to success right now, and so we celebrate initiatives that empower our men and provide spaces to champion the drive to excellence. It’s about prioritising what matters, and giving support so our men can keep striving,” said Ben Sinclair, Johnnie Walker’s junior brand manager.