Karson ‘Avalon’ McGregor, mentoring Westmoreland entrepreneurs
Business Mentor and Dragon Ambassador, Karson 'Avalon' Mcgregor.
Not many entrepreneurs can say they have benefited from the experience of the more successful business owners in their communities. For the small business owners in Sav-la-mar, however, there is a steady stream of meaningful advice and words of encouragement from businessman Karson ‘Avalon’ McGregor, owner of the popular Embassy nightclub in the parish capital.
In the three years since his return from the United States, Avalon has managed to build a reputation not just as an astute businessman, but a highly respected member of the community who challenges his fellow entrepreneurs to think big and set ambitious goals.
“I try to be a voice. I grew up in what many would consider sub-standard settings but it’s something that I’m appreciative of. It molded me into the man that I am today. I try to be helpful even to smaller business owners by encouraging them and giving them advice. That includes me reaching out to the bigger brands and saying, hey let’s do this,” said Avalon.
Having learned to leverage the power of relationships and engage corporate Jamaica, Avalon says he has used his growing network to connect his community to greater opportunities for growth.
“My goal is to help people to reach a better position. I try to take something I learn from bigger brands and pass it onto others because that person may not have access to these brands but they can have access to me,” said Avalon.
“I used to sell the product at a higher price than what Dragon wanted and so they gave me some good options to help with the adjustment of prices. After working on some Dragon deals my sales volume tripled the first year of starting the programme,” he explained, adding that through the business relationship with Dragon, he has learned other ways to improve his business.
Considered to be a major source of entertainment for the community, The Embassy was born out of Avalon’s desire to stand out and offer a unique product that was more than just a bar.
The club owner has in the past put his event planning skills to full use by organising round-robins within the community, to expose smaller bars to big brands while adding excitement to the community’s nightlife.
“Community events like that were not just good for business. They also gave bar owners an opportunity to meet and develop friendships which is a definite win,” said Avalon.
Like many others, Avalon’s business has experienced recent challenges, but he has managed to create opportunities for business continuity with some success.
“We’ve been offering curbside pick-ups and delivery options. We have also implemented having food going out and also delivering with a bucket of beer,” he said.
Avalon’s consistent contributions to the betterment of the community have earned him the love and respect of his peers and customers alike.
“The first advice Avalon gave me was to think big but begin small,” said Frashon Minto, Owner of Legacy Chill Spot. “By sharing his success story and what it took for him to get there, opened my eyes to endless possibilities. He definitely started from nothing and it took him time to grow but he dreamt big and started small. Avalon helped me believe in myself and pushed me to reach my full potential as a successful business owner abroad,” stated Minto.
Minto has known and looked up to Avalon as a father figure. Growing up in the community of Grange Hill, Westmoreland, his connection with Avalon grew into a business relationship.
Guided by Avalon's advice, Minto opened two local bars within the Grange Hill community and later a bar in Orlando, Florida in the United States. Believing that America has greater opportunities, the young entrepreneur was serious about growing his business to its full potential.
The goal-driven influencer urges business owners to continue to stay relevant. “Believe in yourself and just continue to do different things to stay current because with any business, once you become outdated you become obsolete. Even if you’re running a bar, try new and exciting things, keep it trending,” said Avalon.