In 2021, Rashell Myrie saw the interest her friends were showing in visiting rivers and waterfalls across the island and, in her pursuit of making such an experience available to all, formed ExploringJA a water-based excursion company.
What started out with a river trip she planned for her friends, the company is quickly growing in popularity across the industry.
The company focuses on introducing people to Jamaica’s hidden gems while providing the best customer experience with minimal cost.
Myrie, speaking with Our Today, shared her life story, her experiences as a new woman in business and her future plans for ExploringJA.
“I’ve always been good at planning, but a large part of everything comes from my Mom. My love for rivers comes from the weekly trips the family would take to Portland after church when I was a child. She is one of my biggest supporters and she helps with putting together all the snacks for the trips,” said Myrie.
“My mom is the backbone of everything.”
Myrie, born and raised in Harbour View with her four sisters, attended Camperdown High School and studied marketing at The University of the West Indies (UWI). She spent most of her childhood helping her mom at her canteen at St Theresa Prep on Deanery Rd, where she developed an understanding of the importance of customer service in business.
It was during her time at The UWI that she developed an understanding for marketing and met the people that would make up her team. Her two attendants, Shawano-Blade McLean and Kimberly Henry, her graphic designer Javonie ‘contentbossja’ Samuels and her photographers, members of the UWI Photography Club who each run their separate photograph companies – Qurious Media, Nik_B_Cam, EsquaredPortraits.
“I do everything I can think of to add to the customer experience, we offer complimentary sandwiches, snacks, rum punch and professional photos. I want to make sure I’ve done everything I can for my customers to have a memorable experience,” said the 24-year-old.
“There have definitely been some challenges along the way, early on a lot of people assumed we were a scam because our prices were too low,” she said when asked about her experiences operating the new business.
“I learned a lot of things they don’t teach you in school, like how much people will try to take advantage of you if you let, or if you look like you don’t know what you’re doing, people will treat you that way. I learned how quickly something can take off if you get the right support and a lot of good things can happen if you just ask for it,” she continued.
Her mom told Our Today that her daughter was always pleasant and quiet as a child and, though she thought she would grow up to be a teacher because of her caring personality, she has seen how she has applied it to what she does now.
“Before the pandemic I probably would have been against it, but after seeing her enjoy herself and how well she relates to people, I think it’s very good.”
You can reach out to ExploringJA on Instagram @exploringJa