At Clyde’s, worlds collide. As the only Trinidadian-owned cocktail bar serving a well-crafted rum roster in Williamsburg, it fosters kinship among the curious and the culturally astute.


Project scope

Create a positioning for a Caribbean specialty rum bar

Roll out messaging to connect on social

Simple website presence



Goals + Objectives

NYC is a lonely place. It's easy to feel invisible despite being surrounded by millions of people

Create a space that embraces the warmth of the West Indians

A neighborhood hole in wall with style, that welcomes anyone

For those curious about aged rums, be the first port of call


Team + Roles

Project lead, web, illustrations - Self

Writer - Amanda Choo Quan

Identity Design - Jesse Souza

Client - Jillionaire


Project introduction

Williamsburg is "post gentrification" -- Splashy inauthentic bars and restaurants in neighborhood, people running after new trends (juice, cold brew coffee, thai restaurants...), huge chains moving into neighbourhood; sky rises, rents going up, everything expensive. A place to call your own is hard.


Who are we talking to?

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Who are you talking to?

User Interviews and contextual enquiries

Location analysis 

  • 13 x internal face-to-face interviews across campuses including Trinidad, Jamaica and Barbados

  • 5 x external interviews with key business stakeholders

  • 2 x Focus groups across departments

Empathy mapping and Personas

  • Questionnaire to 4000+ Alumni on newsletter lists

  • Questionnaire promoted via paid social media

  • Analysis of results 

Analysis and summaries

  • The University of the West Indies supplied documentation (strategy plans, student collateral)

  • Institutional Advancement Assessment - Future Funds - 2012

  • College and Universities Advertiser Report - 2014 

It’s not who you know, it’s where you know.

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Greenpoint 11211

Sunset Park 11220 / 11232

Bushwick / W’Burg 11221 / 11206 / 11237

Flatbush 11226

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178 N 8th St Brooklyn       

NY 11211

1. Explored profiles

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Created a multi-sheet template

Goals & Frustrations

User questions and key statements

Business and user requirements

A dump column for pain points out of scope


2. Discovered Income brackets

3. Reviewed Age demographics

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Grouping key statements

Business requirements from the brief

User requirements from goals, frustrations

Added a product requirements to capture technical specifications

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Persona building

Created 7 personas (3 internal and 5 external)

Created a connecting statement

Keywords identified that would resonate with each Personas mindset


About the brand

Quality Craft Cocktails Warm Welcoming Rum Cocktails Caribbean Flavours Authentic Rum Shop Laid Back Speak-Easy Chill Upscale Vintage Trinidadian Brave  Unique Culture 1940S Consistent  Personality West Indians Quality Good Vibes Rum Grown Up Dark Liquor Islands Upscale Higher-End Cooking Elements Different Era Sustainable Clove Sharing Cinnamon Growth Auntie Granny Pops Pappi Nanan Creating Buzz Happy Neighbourhood Inclusive Atmosphere Established Delicious Beautiful Welcome Comfortable Amazing Atmosphere New Cool Seasoned Chill Low Lime Spiritual Key Caribbean Culture Aesthetics People Happy Liquor Old Man Hat Grandfather Observe Universe Integrity Interesting Legend Strange Funny Cat Simple Attractive Tasty Humble Destination Fast Service Affordable Memorable Openness House Made Fresh Taste Profile Created Professional Trust Gatekeepers Showmanship Honesty Patois Classics Passionate Down-To-Earth Genuine Open-Minded

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Identifying Archetypes

"Any time is Trinidad time."

The inventors. The creators. The DIYers. The techies. People who can recognize mastery, genius—who actively seek it. They know the difference between fresh and dried, consider texture and mouthfeel—and trust very few opinions.


Trinidadians are the experts of making something out of nothing—even conversation. Our culture's already a mix of things—so expertly blended that it's hard to tell which cultural enterprise, like soca, or roti, for instance, belongs to whom. Creation's in our veins—and art-making is a near spiritual pursuit. Just like a drink that turns base elements into precious liquids, there's something magical that resulted from the alchemy of our history, our peoples. Our vigor and inventiveness are contagious. Ours is a country where the regular rules don't apply. The alchemist embodies this spirit, marching to a (syncopated) beat he built himself.


This is an idealism that comes from wisdom rather than innocence. The optimism of a Sunday morning spent on a verandah, listening to vintage kaiso, sipping a rum and coke, slowing time. Few people can face trouble as well as Trinidadians, who can look enemies in the face with a smile—who, like chow, can make a joke out of anything. When bad things happen, why make up yuh face? The idealist believes—or seeks to believe—in the world's fundamental goodness; can face most things with a swig of good humour and a dash of nutmeg. The quality of our lives might be affected by the powers that be—but how we live them is not. The idealist revels in contentment, revels in curiosity, and has never lost his sense of wonder. Secretly wonders if conspiracy theories are true. Always hunting for the next tall tale to tell.

"We jamming still."

Leftists, culture-hoppers, frequent flyers. Invest in expensive minimalism, whether clothes or Muji stationery. Handmade matters. Equitability matters. Their privilege troubles them.


"Yuh cah play mas if yuh fraid powder!"

Silent leaders, those breakway friends who just know what to do on a Friday night, take you to a speakeasy in Alphabet City where everyone's dancing bachata, no-one knows English, and you have the best time of your life.


The muse is radiant. Like the grandparent you loved the most, its someone who can say the right thing to you at the right time—and suddenly your world is changed. Like Clyde, whose style was so sharp and unique that it transcended time, the muse magnetizes people. He is the lowkey life of the party, and when he is gone his presence is gaping.

He understands people, and can see straight through to their cores. He's a sharp shooter, doesn't mince words, and says what needs to be said. He's "one of those people"—a word to describe him hasn't been coined in English just yet—who can make you laugh, dance, open up to the possibilities of the world.


Ahead of one's time, and full of piss, vinegar, and unwavering nerve, the Maverick is audacious, and often misunderstood. He's able to lime with just about anyone, and doesn't give a f* what you think about it. Underestimating him is your loss. In Trinidad in the 60s, this may have meant becoming the first black Auditor General and celebrating at the neighbourhood watering hole; rearing and killing a chicken in your backyard while eating the resulting meal with a knife and fork. Mavericks know when to be proper and improper—this is their charm. They reject boxes, labels, and any other ideas, and are on the leading edge of change. They plunge headfirst into the unknown, and love humanity most for its delicious mysteries. They think they know it all.

Brand Personality + Archetypes

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Empathy Mapping and Persona profiles

We created seven internal and external personas. Matched like-minded professionals on LinkedIn and explored their goals, frustrations, and fears to hypothesize why they would not download or participate. Viewing the world through their eyes revealed the solutions that the product needed to resolve. While they felt like individuals, it was more about understanding the mindset of a target group which allowed us to make informed decisions as a group, instead of guessing or making judgement from personal taste


Trendsetters + Young & Restless A

Downtown Melting Pot


Trendsetters + Young & Restless B


What do they have in common?

Kinship Cultural Satiation Refuge Sanctuary Lowkey Exploration Uniqueness  Authenticity Quality Attention Validation (especially cultural ) Ease Genuine insiders experiences money can’t buy

They're all incredibly curious, culturally astute, and are opinionated about where they should be going, what they should be drinking, what tastes good—whether it's the Trini from Flatbush who complains yet comes back, or the American in the Williamsburg or Fort Greene high-rise whose lives (and versions of it on Instagram) are incredibly well-curated. All these people have specific opinions when it comes to taste.

Williamsburg is a sea of curated content. Any bar on Bedford Ave could and probably has been featured everywhere from Time Out to Brooklyn magazine. It’s been labelled a hipster’s paradise so often that even that stereotype’s become old—and it’s so beyond gentrification’s breaking point that Starbucks and Apple and Whole Foods, the Holy Trifecta and Tippers of Scales, have moved in.

Clyde’s needs to be an oasis of chill in a neighborhood constantly embellished by new trends (juice! fermentation! cold brew!). Its menu is singular and unfussy. Its aesthetic choices aren’t selected by some random designer bro in a Chinatown loft—everything from interiors to drinks to music to Clyde’s mythos are tropics-to-table, straight from the homeland, recollected by those who know best. Trinidad creates culture every day—Clyde’s is just an extension of it. This is how we overcome issues of appropriation, which our audience will be hip to. Clyde’s owns its culture. Clyde himself was a powerful, charismatic man—a master of his own mind. He associated with everyone, from government officials to market women. And this is what Clyde’s must become—a place welcome to those who seek it. The final destination of twin signposts in Flatbush or Fort Greene. A place without snark, or irony, where the write-ups in the Times will be good, but the Yelp reviews even better. Clyde's will be a mixing pot the same way Trinidad is—at least, every good bar in Trinidad.

Kindred Spirit


At Clyde’s, worlds collide. As the only Trinidadian-owned cocktail bar serving a well-crafted rum roster in Williamsburg, it fosters kinship among the curious and the culturally astute.


The brand was developed along with tools and kits for internal teams to take it over.