We had the good fortune of connecting with Stacy-Ann Smith and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Stacy-Ann, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
Danrak Productions came out of a desire to use all my gifts, talents and abilities to leave my own distinct mark on the media landscape in Jamaica. I was already supporting on projects here and there and providing expert guidance even when time didn’t allow me to fully take on a production. Starting Danrak provided structure and has allowed for greater strategic partnerships that serve all stakeholders involved. What’s unique about the company is our knack for creative storytelling and the driving philosphy that everyone has a story worth telling.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
At some of the lowest points of my life, the power of a story lifted me up. Storytelling became a balm to soothe the pain of being bullied. Storytelling became the route of expression when I had no voice. Storytelling was the gift I had to offer when I didn’t have the courage to stand up for myself. I’ve always been a writer, but finding the courage to take the step into another level of creative pursuits is what has made the difference.
In May 2021, in the middle of a pandemic, I launched my first book – a message-driven memoir entitled ‘TIME DOES NOT HEAL”, promoting the deliberate pursuit of emotional healing. I am extremely proud of that accomplishment. It compares only to the TV talk show that I created, produced and hosted – ‘It’s A Woman’s World’, which aired in Jamaica and was syndicated across 21 Caribbean countries for two seasons.
Professionally, my life has not been an easy one. But then again, whose is? I’ve hurdled the obstacles, some with less grace, and achieved much for which I am grateful. I believe we are the sum total of our experiences and as my favourite scripture says, ‘All things work together for my good’.
I am indeed excited about the future and what God has in store for me. I’ve written several chapters of my story, but I know that the best is yet to come.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Kingston has a good range of options for dining out. Among my favourite places to eat would be Tamarind Indian Cuisine, Fromage Brassiere and for my friends who love the ambience of the Kingston Harbour at night, then Gloria’s Seafood City is the perfect spot. For us, the options for real excitement are outside the city – either along the island’s north coast or in the cool climes of Portland in the east, depending of course on your appetite for adventure.
However, the best hangout spot when we want to just chill, is right here in my living room, with a bottle of moscato and some Red Stripe flavoured beer, where we can laugh as loudly as we like.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I have been blessed to have an excellent supporting cast of characters who have held me up, invested in and supported me in ways too many to mention. Credit is due to my family (my kids, my parents, my siblings), those handful of friends who are now family, and the guardian angels in my church family who prayerful watch over my life. While I celebrate the heroes and triumphs of my life, I’m also grateful for the hard places (and people) that have helped to shape me and teach me lessons I could not have otherwise learned.