ST. KITTS: 36 year old Leslie ‘Sugar Bowl’ Morton is the owner of the 2007-established patriotic clothing line called Sugar Klothing.
Inspiration for his business came about after a trip New York City where he bought a white T- shirt with the national flag on it.
“I'm a very patriotic person. I always like to let people know where I'm from,” says Mr. Morton.
Although the shirt looked ‘tacky’ it was his way of letting people know where he was from. He also bought a wrist band in the St. Kitts and Nevis national colours. However, such nationalistic items were “too quiet” in reflecting his patriotic pride.
He saw Jamaicans, Trinidadians, and Bajans showing of their colours in clothes that were “fashionable yet representing.”
An entrepreneurial curiosity questioned: “How come we don't have anything like that?”
Some networking was done with fellow entrepreneurs, who were already in that line of business.
‘Sugar Bowl’ has been a household name on the radio airwaves for many years and a well-known face on television as well. He is known for his comical talk, dance moves and jokes.
He currently works at FreedomFM (106.5). He is also DJ on the club scene.
During a chit chat with SKN Leewards Times, Mr. Morton spoke about his experience as a businessman. He even opened up about the values he cherishes as a father to his two girls Lajaurna and Lajaurnae Morton.
Mr. Morton grew up in Buckley’s and the ‘Village’, St. Kitts.
He is the second of eight siblings; 3 sisters and 5 brothers. He also has 3 brothers on his father’s side. His mom is Bernadette Morton, “But we call her Sonia, so sometimes I say “Sonia child,” on the radio,” said Sugar Bowl about his mommy.
As for his academic background, his preschool days were spent with Teacher Elsie. He attended the Dr. William Connor Primary School (which was formally called Village School). He then left to attend Boys School, then back to the ‘Village School’. He also attended the Basseterre Junior High (now renamed the Washington Archibald High School), then to the Basseterre Senior High.
He describes the work of entrepreneur as being both enjoyable and challenging.
“It’s up and down. Sometimes you are so excited then another time when the challenges hit you, you feel stressed,” Mr. Morton remarked.
His advice to aspiring entrepreneurs goes like this: “It’s not easy and you have to want to do it, have to love it or else when the challenges come you will feel the need to quit. You will need some patience in there as well.”
Speaking about his comedic talent and what influenced that side of him, he shared that: “TV made me. I used to try to imitate characters on TV, act out scenes. Funny thing, we (at home) didn't have our own TV so we used to go by people’s house and peep through the window.”
As for the name Sugar Bowl, the young DJ disclosed that the name came from playing a song by the popular calypsonians out of Antigua, King Obstinate called Sugar Bowl.
“The name came from playing a song by Obstinate called Sugar bowl. At the time on the radio I was known as the kid. But Haynes Youth Club asked me to MC Villageorama and when they did the poster they put Sugar Bowl Kid on it so I was like ok ‘they gave the job to someone else’, Then they told me that it was me,” he stated.
Mr. Morton was about 22 at the time.
“Guys hated it, girls loved it, so yeah I went with it,” added Sugar Bowl.
It’s no secret that Mr. Morton enjoys spending time with his children. However, this dad strikes the balance between being the fun dad and the disciplinarian.
Commenting on what being a father means to him, he told this reporter: “Fatherhood means to be nothing like my father. It’s my reason for living. To give my undying love to my girls. Honesty is one of my strictest rules. I will surely punish them if I find out they are lying to me and I don't spare the rod at all.”
Mr. Morton started on-air radio at the age of 20.
He recalled an interview with then general manager of ZBC (ZIZ Broadcasting Cooperation, Ms. Claudette ‘Polly’ Manchester who asked him which department he wanted to work in.
“At first I was in shock and disbelief that I had this opportunity for during the interview Miss Manchester just asked which department I wanted to work, radio or TV. I was like Radio? Thinking it can't be this easy,” he recollected about that day.