22-year-old Wellington Williams has become a ubiquitous young entrepreneur on the island of Providenciales. Greeting you at the airport, not in person but with the handmade jewelry he’s worked to have carried by retailers throughout the country, The Wellington Collection is not just his business but a swift moving vehicle carrying the dreams of an ambitious young man.
Born in Grand Turk and raised in Providenciales; an alumnus of the Enid Capron Primary School, Clement Howell High School, and Turks and Caicos Islands Community College (“TCICC”), Williams’ entrepreneurial trajectory has become a comet of excellence for local public education and youth community projects like the Edward C. Gartland Youth Centre and Junior Achiever’s Program.
Pairing academic over-achievement with a keen knack for business, the rumblings of this wunderkind started at around 14-years-old.
“They used to call me ‘Binghi boy’ for the Rastafarian necklaces I made and sold in the school yard with personalized names and colors woven in. I remember one day making exactly $252.00. That’s when I knew I was onto something,” Williams says.
That talent for spotting gaps in the market and demand for products he enjoyed making by hand helped Williams lead his TCICC mock business team to a resounding victory in the Young Enterprise competition, clinching every single award with their handmade bath salts and scented candles.
Whilst completing his Associate’s degree at TCICC, Williams also interned at a Grace Bay resort where his star continued to rise. Within one year, he attained numerous awards including Most Guest Comments of the Year and Employee of the Year, exemplifying his exceptional people skills in serving as a welcome ambassador to the Turks & Caicos.
With a plan to combine these lovable people skills with his entrepreneurial experience and gift for jewelry making, Williams decided to set up shop at the Island Fish Fry at the Children’s Park on Thursday nights. When Beaches Turks & Caicos offered him the opportunity to carry The Wellington Collection, he jumped.
In December 2015 at just 19-years-old, Williams became self-employed. Fast forward three years and The Wellington Collection can be found throughout the Turks & Caicos at several resort boutiques and of course, Provo’s Fish Fry. It’s not just personality, but the strength of his products which prominently feature Turks & Caicos sand in earrings, bracelets, cufflinks, and necklaces that visitors to the island enthusiastically support.
“Being able to sustain all of the demand from various retailers while personally working Fish Fry comes down to practices of consistency, discipline, assertiveness, and preparation. People were afraid to give me a shot, but every time they did, the products sold right away and I proved myself,” Williams brims.
Now, the young entrepreneur is taking the huge leap of opening his own location at the Saltmills Plaza in Grace Bay. If the success he enjoyed as a teenager is any predictor of the future, it’s safe to say Wellington Williams’ mainstay as a local fixture for friendly smiles and handmade souvenirs is just beginning to rise.
Story: Dominique Rolle/Caya Hico Media Photographs: Lemens Welch/Caya Hico Media