Every year as the holiday season rolls around, Moses Martin, the man they call Gedian Fyah Moses, feels compelled to tell his story… one of hard work and fighting adversity to find success in business and in life.
Always, his story leads to Swag City, the store he built from nothing and Jah=One, the clothing line that started him on the road to self-reliance.
“It’s a continuing journey,” he told the CONTACT in a recent sit-down.
“A journey that has a lot of ups and downs, but one that I chose to make from as far back as I can remember.”
As far back as he remembers… back to his childhood days in Jamaica, Gedian has been interested in buying and selling, so it was natural that’s the road he chose once he landed in Canada.
Today, his store Swag City can be seen as one of the flagship outlets in the Cote des Neiges Plaza, where it occupies a prime location on the main floor.
It carries an impressive variety of urban and contemporary casual wear for the young, young-at-heart and the fashionable set.
And sprinkled between the wide collection of brand-name shoes and boots, coats, winter jackets, as well as dresses, blouses, shirts and pants are his own line of bags, marketed under the Ranch brand and Swag City waterproof backpacks.
But to Gedian it’s always important to revisit how it all started on the streets of Montreal and at every major community event like Jamaica Day, Trini Day in The Park and The Reggae Festival where he hawked his tee-shirts, polos and hats carrying the JAH=ONE logo, growing his brand.
Because he thinks that his story should be a source of inspiration to younger aspiring entrepreneurial types who will inevitably bounce up on obstacles.
“The reason why it’s important for me to tell my story around this time of the year, is for others in the community to know that they too have (the potential) to make it happen if they believe in themselves and are ready to work hard for what they want.”
And as it is every end of year, Gedian promises a 20% discount to all his customers until the end of the Holiday season.
And he says if you go to the store and he’s not there it’s “all good” still, because his highly capable assistant Tatyanna (La Gal) is always ready to be at your service.
He also has a good word for Montrealers: “I’m wishing a Happy Holiday Season, The Best Of Health, Strength and Great Success to all who supported Swag City this year, and those who were not able to.
Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year.”
Find Swag City at Plaza COTE DES NEIGES Store #202A-B, 6700 Cote-Des- Neiges Rd., Montreal H3S 2B2. 514-735-5782.