Kadion Preston is the Jamaican born Founder of Caribshopper, an online marketplace for authentic Caribbean-made goods.
In this episode, Kadion shares many stories including how his business drive almost cost him his high school graduation. Luckily, he was allowed to graduate and through this he learned that discipline is part of success.
Added to this, his mother’s entrepreneurial spirit taught him how to be fearless. It was this fearlessness that led him to speak to the CEO of Yahoo while interning in New York. Their conversation landed him even greater opportunities in the years following. Kadion attributes his continued success to not only being in the right place at the right time, but also taking advantage of the opportunities that presented itself.
Kadion also shares his personal 9/11 story, where he was working on Wall Street as a C-level executive in one of the towers at the time. After safely getting out of the building, he witnessed people jumping out of windows and the buildings crumbling before his eyes. We discussed the traumatic events we both experienced in New York, and how this one changed his relationship with the city.
Years after 9/11, Kadion looked toward his next venture. He searched for problems that not only needed a solution, but would also benefit Jamaica. And so the first version of Caribshopper was created in 2017.
The mission of Caribshopper is to help manufacturers in the Caribbean scale internationally. Kadion adds that 60% of the small and medium businesses are women-owned, and so Caribshopper aims to help women overcome some of the roadblocks in business.
Kadion gives advice to anyone who wants to be an entrepreneur. He believes that you should have mentors in your corner that you can learn from. Challenges will come that you will not know how to deal with, but having a safe space to talk is important. He sees mentorship as a “multiplier effect” that you need in your life.
As we wrap up our discussion, I share my experience shopping with Caribshopper and the joy it brought to my brother and mother. Being able to easily purchase authentic Jamaican goods brought an emotional connection and nostalgia within the family. This is the goal of Caribshopper.
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