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By Richard Johnson—

 Recording artist and entrepreneur Stevie Face pumps petrol for a customer at his service station. (PHOTOS: MICHAEL GORDON)—

This is the first in a 10-part series looking at entertainers who have moved into business outside their industry.

SINGER Stevie Face has always been aware of the fickle nature of the entertainment industry. For him, there are no guarantees, therefore there must always be a back-up plan.

The artist, who burst on the scene nearly 15 years ago with the lover’s rock track, I’m in Love, is steadily carving out a name for himself as an entrepreneur, while maintaining a foothold in entertainment.

The busy thoroughfare of Albion in St Thomas is home to his growing enterprise — the two-year-old Advanced Alignment and Accessories and Advanced Service Station, which celebrates its first anniversary this weekend.

“In life, you have to strike a balance, you can’t reign forever.. it’s just a reality in life. Look at CD sales, look at the recession and the effect it’s having on the music industry. There are so many stars who were big in their day and when they die they can’t even bury themselves. Well, I don’t want that to be my reality,” he stated.

“I was born in this community and I just wanted to come and give back to the community that nurtured me and provide employment for persons in the area… everybody you see here is from Albion and the surrounding communities,” he told Splash.

Stevie Face

Stevie Face

It was during a stop while on tour in Sweden that Face noticed a shopping mall constructed from shipping containers. On his return to Jamaica, he purchased some containers and constructed a building from where Advanced Alignment and Accessories operates. That was just over two years ago. The facility sells all the products for motor vehicles including tyres and lubricants, offers wheel alignment and balancing as well as a car wash. He also has plans for an eatery and bar on the compound.

The success of the venture made Stevie Face even more determined to take his brand to another level.

“The Texaco station here in Albion was put up for sale and I just went for it without even having any idea of how the petroleum industry operates. So I drew on my childhood friend Carl McDonald as a business partner. His father was a haulage contractor and therefore he grew up in the business and could guide me,” explains the 40-year-old artiste whose given name is Anwar Henchard.

For McDonald, partnering with Face is a blessing as they share the same vision.

“We both want to give the parish of St Thomas something different. We know what a service station should be and we are working towards this vision,” McDonald stated.

There are plans to expand Advanced Service Station. A second outlet was recently acquired in Highgate, St Mary, and is expected to open in two months. Already, Stevie Face is eyeing another station in eastern Jamaica.

“This is the most rewarding thing I have ever done outside music. Advanced is currently the most popular gas station in St Thomas. The lines reach the main road during peak hours in the morning and evening and it’s not because of the price, it’s all about how we deal with our customers. I tell my staff every day we are not selling gas, we are selling a service,” he explained.

Stevie Face's latest album "My Time" clocks it's 20th week on the TFRN TOP 20 ALBUM CHART!

Stevie Face’s latest album “My Time” clocks it’s 20th week on the TFRN TOP 20 ALBUM CHART!

Today, Stevie Face and his staff host a customer appreciation event to commemorate their first anniversary. The event will feature his fellow artiste Assassin aka Agent Sasco.

“We continue to have hiccups in the business… after all, it is a work in progress, but we are committed to giving the people of St Thomas a service which we can be proud of,” he concluded.

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