By N. L. Bowen
Curtis Padmore, the creative brain behind Simplified Apps and West Toonz, is on a mission to develop technology that can bring positive changes to its users and by extension the world. His work attitude is simple…‘just get it done’ and he believes that to achieve economic stability, Barbadians have to work their way out of the current economic situation, especially using technology.
It is therefore Curtis’ companies that would assist with his plans to achieve this ambitious goal. Simplified Apps, an app development company boasts the creation of various projects for local and international companies including Sagicor and Blackberry. In May 2016 the company recently engaged in a project to build 50 websites for NGOs. West Toonz an animation company has created animations for entities such as UNICEF and Spider Eye, a UK animation company.
By Leigh- Ann Worrell
Celia Collymore’s unrelentingly Bajan Fusion connects people through adventure in ways often left unexplored by those who call this island home. This fusion also combines two of Celia’s passions: personal development and fitness. The four-year-old fitness lifestyle event management company organizes events throughout the year such as outdoor training sessions, lifestyle workshops, dance fitness and initiatives aimed at reducing the rate of non-communicable diseases.
Even though the 38-year-old lived and loved her work, it has been a winding path of success and setbacks leading to entrepreneurship. The decision to start a business was made in 2011, a few months after returning to Barbados from New York.
Celia moved to the Big Apple on a basketball scholarship to Pace University, pursuing a Bachelor in Business Administration and later, a Master’s in Public Administration with a focus on Non-Profit Management With an increasing interest in human resources, Celia completed the SHRM PHR Certificate course and an internship in recruiting at non-profit agency during summer and was hired a year later as a human resources administrator at the Bank of New York Mellon.
Jeremy Nicholls is an ambitious, multifaceted entrepreneur, who although working full-time in the IT industry, has succeeded in carving a niche in the entertainment arena. He has worked in the entertainment field since 2009 and is the CEO of Roast Entertainment, as well as the band leader of the Kadooment band Xhosa. Additionally, Jeremy has the desire to give back to the community and share his talents. He facilitates workshops for students in the art of costume making and launched Xhosa Cares, the philanthropic arm of Xhosa Barbados.
Xhosa was registered in 2015 and consists of both local and overseas members. It has made tremendous strides in the Crop-Over scene, but this was no smooth road to travel. Accustomed to taking risks, Jeremy’s decision to create Xhosa, saw the loss of partnerships and alliances. This he admits was not an easy experience, but his determination and ability to remain focused, ensured the band’s survival and growth. Continue reading
By Celia Collymore
Mr. Dempstu Simmons Jr (D.J. Simmons) is a Man of Arts and we delved into his mind to connect with a strong and humble man who is passionate about life, people, culture and all things Barbadian! We had so much fun not only interacting and learning about all that he is, but being inspired by his will to do good for those around him and his desire to put all that is Bajan on the world stage.
There is nothing like an artist who can use their creativity and art form in many ways to showcase their true colours, create experiences, add value and beauty to the world. 34 year old DJ Simmons is the CEO of Dojangles Publishing, a Writer, Performer, Spoken Word Artist, Mic Man for Mayhem Soundz, Tutor, Story Teller for children and works on many literary and Crop Over projects.
We asked D.J. to describe himself and here was his very colourful and flavourful response. “D.J. Simmons is a Bajan. I love Barbadian culture and all aspects of art. I love the people that are around me. I love to see people expressing themselves. I love to people-watch. I love language. I love to hear Bajans “cussing”. I am a man of art so I love all different kinds of art. I love to dance.” Continue reading
By N.L. Bowen
Cary Holder is the co-owner of Bassa Bassa gym, located in Lower Estate St. Michael. Established in October 2015, the gym offers a variety of services catering to a mixed clientele, ranging from beginners to athletes. In addition to traditional gym services, other services include training by CrossFit coaches, Martial Arts and even Swimming. Additionally, athletic testing, nutrition advising and meal planning are offered to the public. The gym’s name is inspired by a popular Barbadian term and this local theme is used throughout the box (CrossFit term for ‘gym’).
Cary possesses approximately 20 years of experience and works with a competent and qualified team, which includes his wife who is his business partner. With a passion for fitness and health, he has a great desire to promote this lifestyle nationwide. It is also his goal to create an enriching environment for athletes, and this is coupled with his desire to inspire others. Cary’s belief is to uplift others instead of tearing them down, and motivational sayings on the walls of his gym are testament to this. With the inspirational phrase on his office wall, ‘wish, hope, dream, then make it happen’, Cary practises what he promotes. The ambition and passion he possesses have enabled him to make his dream of gym ownership become a reality, and take fitness and health in Barbados to the next level. Continue reading
By Ryan Wills
A solution artist, lover of learning and dedicated scientist; these are some of the words that fittingly describe Dr Ariana Marshall. Ariana, a former national tennis player who gained an ITF (International Tennis Federation) junior world singles/doubles ranking is now an advocate for sustainability and the environment. She may not be as active on the court as before but her journey has taken her on a bigger mission to preserve Barbados and by extension the Caribbean.
Ariana found her love for lawn tennis at age 3 and it was a natural choice for her given that her mom Alexine Marshall was a tennis coach. She represented Barbados in 15 countries throughout the Caribbean and Central America. She not only enjoyed it but progressed through the ranks towards obtaining an athletic scholarship for Southern University (Louisiana) and then receiving the transfer opportunity to compete further for the University of Louisville (Kentucky). There, she completed her Bachelors in Chemistry in 2004. Her tennis scholarships took her around the U.S. on first time ranked and conference winning teams. Fate would have it that in her final undergraduate years, she tore her anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and had to undergo two surgeries. This injury along with challenges to get sponsorship for tennis set the stage for her transition into the environmental and sustainability field. Continue reading
By Celia Collymore
“And you ask and ask again and eventually there comes a point in your life where you can’t keep asking for things. If you know that you deserve it, then you should be able to stand and take it for yourself.”
The saying “Small in stature but big in heart”, holds true for a humble, wise, energetic and fearless young lady, Firhaana Bulbulia. Dazzle sat down with this 21 year old power house on International Women’s Day to simply understand her true essence and passions. We definitely had a fun time chatting with her and were very impressed and inspired by her drive to live out her purpose with sheer open-mindedness, hard work and tenacity while affecting positive change at the grass roots level for gender disparity not only in Barbados but the Caribbean. Continue reading
by D.J Simmons
So you just saw this really cool shirt on Instagram. How do you get it? Easy! The number to contact on Whatsapp is right there. The initial contact is professional and your excitement builds as you anticipate the delivery of your fresh design on an urban cut T-shirt. It arrives, and all you can say is wow! You marvel at the quality of this stylish addition to your wardrobe from Gome designs, but also when you meet the owner of the business eighteen year old Latisha King. And wow is exactly what Gome is going for. Graphically an original mind explosion. This story behind the driven student of the Springer Memorial must however inspire and intrigue. Continue reading
By N. L. Bowen
Damien Gooding is a young entrepreneur who has reached great heights at a relatively early age. With an incredible career and life journey, he is no ordinary 24 year old. Damien is the CEO of KeDrew Inc., a Barbadian based media, marketing and talent management company. With subsidiaries and representatives in Miami and New York, its clients range from corporate, local, regional and international. The company has propelled the careers of various talented individuals ranging from modelling, creative arts, and entertainment. It has also recently been crowned the ‘youngest’ Barbadian media company to shoot a large scale 3.8 million dollar jet campaign overseas.
However, Damien’s journey has not been all smooth sailing. From birth he faced various health challenges (6 major operations) which embodied a lack of self-confidence and social skills, later resulting in being victim to bullying throughout most of his secondary education. Fortunately, with the support of family and his driving ambition to be self-sufficient, Damien’s life drastically changed for the better over time. Continue reading
By N.L. Bowen
Meet Mark Ramsay and Ariana Green, two young, innovative, gaming enthusiasts and co-founders of Couple Six Inc., a game design studio in Barbados. They officially established the company in June 2015, and won Dazzle magazine’s entrepreneurship challenge. With great passion, ambition and profound knowledge of the gaming industry, these qualities have enabled them to be trailblazers in the local industry.
Mark and Ariana met while in 1st form at Harrison College. They possessed similar gaming interests and became best friends ever since. This pastime was later transformed into a game creation venture, and with Mark’s belief that they are ‘completely unemployable’, becoming entrepreneurs is perhaps their destiny. Throughout their journey, there was tremendous encouragement from family. Ariana’s father is an entrepreneur who operates a CXC and computer school, and he supports her completely. Mark’s parents were relieved that he chose this field, and his father encouraged him to defer graduate studies to focus on the business. Continue reading