Kelline Theophille is creative at heart. It was through nurturing her creativity that she was able to come up with a simple little idea that she turned into a thriving business. After Theophille’s Promise Jars turned out to be just what her closest friends and family needed, she launched her business in 2017, using her idea of celebrating people in a way that was unique and sentimental.
After Theophille couldn’t decide on the perfect birthday present for her husband, she decided to give him a gift that was sentimental and personal and one that she made herself. The Promise Jar has developed greatly over the past two years as a tool designed to provide quick, effective and lasting encouragement to its users. Each jar contains an essential theme with messages that come in various colours and categories which include red for scripture verses, orange for affirmations, blue for activities and green for quotes.
Promise Jars is operated online through social media platforms with delivery nationwide with pick-up points throughout the country. “My husband was the initial inspiration for the Promise Jar. When we began dating, after some time I got tired of buying him the same gifts over and over; the typical shirt and tie scenario. I wanted to give him a gift that was sentimental, personal and that was actionable; something he could use every day.
This desire led me to cut up different colours of paper and write my favourite memories of him on one colour, on another colour I wrote inspirational quotes written by me and on another colour, I wrote his favourite scripture verses. I took all of it and placed it in a jar, packaged it nicely and gave it to him for Christmas. This was over five years ago. “The Promise Jar became an actual business in 2017 using this foundational idea of celebrating someone in a way that was unique and sentimental. I started giving it to friends who encouraged me to sell to people. They can use the encouragement!”
And so, with the encouragement of my family and friends, a lot of guts and a well thought out plan I took the leap of faith, registered my business and I have never turned back since then,” Theophille said. The entrepreneur said her creativity was nurtured from a young age. “When I was younger, I jumped at any opportunity that provided an outlet for me to express myself. I kept diaries at a young age, writing at every chance I got, I enrolled in dance and singing classes and I even became a spoken word artiste in my teenage years. I come alive when I’m presented with the opportunity to see my ideas come to life. My desire to help others recognise their full potential developed later in life. The more people came home with questions and misgivings about their self-esteem and self-worth, the more I realised that I wanted to empower and encourage people,” she said.
When Theophille, who has a degree in Communications and Psychology from The UWI St Augustine, is not creating her Promise Jars, she is working with her church’s youth committee. She has held many jobs over the years, including as a lecturer and content writer.
“The Promise Jar is a tool designed to provide quick, effective and lasting encouragement to its users. It is a self-help tool focused on reconditioning the mind and emotion. Its action-oriented nature promotes holistic thinking and shapes the mind of its users to think positively. It is self-paced, private and suited for all occasions.
“We offer a wide range of themes from our Standard and Speciality Lines including but not limited to: Pursuing Purpose, Enough with the Fear, Woman of Worth or For Better or Worse: The Marriage Jar. The contents are completely customisable and customers are able to add categories such as favourite memories of a loved one or choose a theme to meet a specific need such as grief or depression,” Theophille said.
“Promise Jars actually are not limited to the jars. We also have our own line of T-shirts and will be relaunching our stationery line. I am also a motivational speaker under the umbrella of Promise Jars by Kell and have had the opportunity to speak and do sessions at several schools. We plan to launch our Promise Jar Programme, where we go to different organisations and teach on topics like Team Building and Mastering your Emotions to name a few. We’ve already started approaching organisations so the ball is already rolling. Our end goal is to soon have our own store front and Promise Jar Foundation.
“On a personal level, being in business has shaped and grown my character like no other experience in my life. I have had to learn to be bold, confident, be willing to take risks, learn to fail fast and get back up. It has taught me to work hard for what I want. There have been tears along the way as I tried to carve out a space where what I do matters and there has been a lot of joy and a sense of fulfilment when I see my dedication and discipline pay off. Being an entrepreneur is not for the faint of heart but it’s absolutely worth it. I am a stronger woman because of it.
“On a business level, over the past year we’ve seen tremendous growth. Like any other business, the beginning is a bit rocky as you find your footing. The first year we spent a great deal of time defining who we were to the public and building a name for ourselves. This year however, we took a great leap of faith and decided to rebrand the business even amidst the pandemic but it paid off greatly as we continue to see a steady upward expansion. Theophille explained why her jars became a hit with her customers.
“One of the greatest appeals to persons who use the jar is the support that it provides. People love that the jar addresses topics and areas that we tend to shy away from but need to be addressed. Users have often commented that they pulled the exact quote or activity that they needed to help keep them pushing. I like to think of it as the perfect Emotional Self-Care tool.
“You have the opportunity to work on yourself at your own pace and with the privacy that you need. The jars are in no way a substitute for counselling of which I am a big advocate. It a great tool that helps you to become aware of your thoughts and provide you with small and meaningful actionable steps to build and boost you in everyday life, ” Theophille said.
“I love what I do. I love seeing people regain their confidence and get their sense of fight back. Promise Jar the product is just one of the ways I get to express what I am passionate about. For me it always comes back to my desire to help people be their best self. I am passionate about helping people realise that they are worthy, they matter and they have amazing things to offer the world. Right now, this passion of mine has manifested through the promise jar but it won’t stop there.”