As we get going in the new year, I’m sure many of you would have had the time to reflect on 2017. Barbados faces a new set of challenges, and I will admit that it’s not as pretty as it looks on the outside. The country has been bogged down by transparency issues and inefficiencies in the public sector.
Part of the problem lies in what seems to be an inability to accept certain failures as a country. It’s these failures compounded by pride that stop us dead in our tracks. As entrepreneurs, we are part of the problem but also part of the solution, and the roadmap to solving these issues wasn’t as clear as it is now. Our abilities to think outside of the box and create new and progressive ideas is what the country needs right now.
Dazzle Barbados has been part of that solution for the last four years. We gave inspiration to our young entrepreneurs and by extension to you our readers to recognise that solutions and creativity are around us right here on this ‘rock’. Our featured entrepreneurs in this issue show what one can do with an idea and a bit of re-inventing.
Remember that any failure is a learning experience, and to embrace it is a step forward in the right direction. I would like to thank my team and business partners 123 Digital Limited for their support over the years, and I hope you enjoy reading Issue 14.
Make changes happen in 2018!
Growth can either be a result of business done well or it can be a business goal. A well-adjusted entrepreneur sees that his/her business can either be a success or a failure but is ready to pivot if the business needs it. Recognising your talent and using it as a catalyst to grow your business is one of the areas that we will be focusing on in this issue. Talent alone is not enough, persistence is what will ultimately get you to the top.
At Dazzle Barbados we continue to attractively highlight entrepreneurs and help expand the horizons of those who aspire to have their own business. We have embarked on other ventures to help us achieve this. One such partnership is with Vision 2 Reality, to stage an event called Divas that Dazzle. In its 3rd year Divas that Dazzle highlights female entrepreneurs and business leaders who share their journeys to a packed audience. It’s free and we hope you can join us this November.
We highlight four talented individuals in this issue. We profile Nikita, singer and popular radio personality who believes in female empowerment. We also explore the stories of Barry Knight, the founder of Odyssey Entertainment, Beauty by Dee Blackett and Dave Squires of D.A.P.S sound system rentals.
I hope this issue leaves you feeling inspired and ready to start blazing your trail.
Until our next issue.
By Ryan Wills
Based on what I’ve seen so far, I know it’s a tough period for small and medium-sized businesses. I could well imagine that outside of slow sales, there is also the difficulties in collecting outstanding receivables. Given the current forecast, SMEs need to begin revaluating their strategies for growth and survival. I don’t like to hit out at my fellow entrepreneurs burning the candle at both ends, but one of the problems that some of us find ourselves in are due to complacency and waiting to do things at the last minute. Tough times like these call for forward-thinking strategies that will help bolster your business.
By Ryan Wills
2017 is indeed an interesting time for us entrepreneurs as it brings high levels of uncertainty. For me, 2017 ushers in a transitionary period, one marked by the passing of my mother in late November 2016. You never plan for death, and in her passing, I took a break from the magazine to reflect.
By Ryan Wills
One of the things I do is to check in with all the persons who were featured in the magazine. The main reason is get an assessment of how business has progressed since appearing in the magazine. To date, it heartens me to know that all of them are still going strong and have seen an increase in business. The magazine is not to take full credit for this but I believe it shows that once we begin to celebrate entrepreneurs, the encouragement can take them a long way.
Around this same time last year, we would have featured health and entertainment entrepreneurs and this year is no different. A sector that is constantly growing and trending, we are highlighting in this issue four incredible individuals who are on a journey to success.
On the front cover is Jeremy Nicholls, no stranger to the entertainment world, he gives us an exclusive take on managing one of the fastest growing Crop Over bands, Xhosa. We also have D.J. Simmons, a man that wears many hats literally and figuratively. He’s been contributing to shape the cultural sector with the power of spoken word. Dr. Ariana Marshall; a solution artist, lover of learning and dedicated scientist shares her thoughts on a better Barbados and Caribbean. Lastly, Mr Cary Holder talks to us about his creative concept gym called Bassa Bassa which is home to Barbados’ most motivational fitness community.
I hope you enjoy reading our summer edition and many thanks to my team and the contributors for their input.
By Ryan Wills
A popular saying goes gain in your 20s, build in your 30s and chill in your 40s. For this issue I thought that we should look at the “gainers” and highlight entrepreneurs 25 years and younger. Starting a business full time from young has its benefits but also includes some ultimate sacrifices such as not having the pleasure of “work experience” or even completing university. One of the real gems I believe in starting so young is being able to take risks and in the event of failure, bouncing back and going again.
I’m really heartened to have met and interacted with these young entrepreneurs to see the good they are doing in their own spaces. Most of the time the youth are always blamed for being deviant and not actively contributing to society.
So who’s in this issue? We have the winners of our 2015, Dazzle Entrepreneur Toolkit Competition, Mark Ramsay and Ariana Green of Couple Six Inc. They have been making steady strides in game development, an uncharted field here in Barbados. On the cover is Damien Gooding, who despite having major setbacks at a young age has persevered to start KeDrew Inc, a media, marketing and talent management company and can boost of having worked with some big international names. Firhanna Bulbulia is definitely bridging the gap and at the time of this publication will be a proud recipient of the Queen’s Young Leader Award for her work in forming The Barbados Association of Muslim Ladies. Latisha King of GOME Clothing is only eighteen years old and has her sights set on taking her clothing brand regionally and internationally.
Wow is all I can say, we have some home-grown talent set to do big things. Encouraging young people to reach their fullest potential as a nation is the least we can do to secure our future. Happy Reading.
By Ryan Wills
2016 has started and it’s already moving fast. I’m sure most of you would have made your New Year resolutions and somewhere in between all of the chaos called life you’re wondering if you are on track to achieve them all. The beauty with the New Year is it allows us entrepreneurs to give everything another shot. It’s looking back and seeing where you went wrong and how to avoid certain mistakes that added too much drag to your business.
In celebration of International Women’s Day which was on March 8th this edition is all about recognising the achievements of female entrepreneurs that exist in our beautiful island. We title this edition “The Female All Rounder”. She encapsulates the woman who balances everyday tasks both personal and business and still comes out of it looking good. She is the nurturer, wife and BOSS. On the cover is Kim Angoy, owner of Suga Apple Swimwear. She is not only beautiful but has the brains to back it up. Dawn Lisa Callendar-Smith is the ultimate multitasker and always gets the job done right. She is the owner of DL Smith Productions. Last but not least is Ms Heather Barker, no stranger to the Public Relations world, she shares her success story of UpStart Caribbean.
Is the woman BOSS? Yes, she is and we must respect the strives several are making in the field. You are probably one of them who is reading right now and whatever you are doing to improve yourself, continue being the All-Rounder. Enjoy
By Ryan Wills
Achieving the yin-yang balance. How does one find this balance in such a busy world? I’ve found that maintaining a positive support system directs you towards a healthier lifestyle and helps align your realities and goals.
As the year comes to an end I can reflect on some of those goals that I have, especially for the magazine; one of which is to attractively brand Barbadian Entrepreneurship in the next 2-3 years. It’s ever so important to start the process of planning for these goals and don’t procrastinate because time flies.
In this issue we highlight fashion and creativity. Four young entrepreneurs grace this issue with their eye for detail; Mr Himal Reece, no stranger to the photography scene, talks to us about his company Imagination Lit. Ms Allysen Layne, a cake decorator and co-owner of Cake Central opens up about her journey from leaving the world of teaching. Ms Claire Dottin, a business-woman down to her core proudly talks about her company Fabulash, and lastly Ms Latonya Birkett, a familiar face in the fashion world lets us in on how to excel through major setbacks.
My for you this season and 2016 is for good things will come your way. Spend some more time balancing personal time and work life. Have a wonderful Christmas and see you in the New Year!
By Ryan Wills
Knowledge is power and you cannot underestimate how important learning is to one’s personal development. Today many look at our education system as outdated, but can we only get knowledge from this environment? As an entrepreneur we gain our experiences from “walking the walk” and not only talking it. Education is indeed important but having real world experience prepares us for the long journey ahead.
In this issue we look at those entrepreneurs who are doing both. They are part of our focus on educational and social entrepreneurs who are assisting persons with learning opportunities. On the cover Sheena Alleyne, the director of the Student Centre acts as the bridge to providing services for students on the road to higher education. Mr. Corey Lane of Nature’s Fun Ranch is teaching young disadvantaged kids the power of unity and caring. Lana Sealy of Body Mekanix is healing people through the art of movement. Last but not least, Shareka Bentham of EasySpeak Enterprises is helping both kids and adults with communication and feeding/swallowing disorders.
In addition we rewind to the Crop Over season and highlight two major events; Bliss and the 1Love Concert.
Mark your calendars for Global Entrepreneurship Week which is November 16 to 22. It will be a fun and informative week of activities and I hope to see you there.
By Ryan Wills
A few weeks ago I participated in an Incubation Management workshop conducted by InfoDev and hosted by the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries and IMC Worldwide. It was timely and relevant as the modules covered were financing and marketing an incubator. One of the takeaways I got (I am sure not planned) was the discussion of the Golden Circle theory on marketing your business. A concept by Simon Sinek, it looks at connecting with your customers first by expressing the why of your story. It taps into the emotional side of things like your mission statement, or reason for being, letting them know why you do what you do. People relate better to inspiring content and brands. As a start-up it is imperative that you share your story with your customers, this is when you are the most passionate.
The heat is here and that means this issue will be full of energy. We will zoom in on fitness and entertainment entrepreneurs for our summer issue. Not ones to disappoint we present on our cover the duo of Andrea and David, owners of Renaissance Designs Inc., one of the best known event and wedding rental companies. The bubbly team share their story on how a business partnership can be like a marriage. Up next we have Ms. Ingrid Holder, a woman, short in stature but one to be reckoned with. She is renowned for managing leading artistes such as Lead Pipe and Saddis and Krosfyah. Mario Turton better known for his event UV, an all-inclusive sunrise event shares the importance of a strong network. With all the entertainment, we cannot forget that you need to be fit for summer and that’s where Mr Richie Wiggins, the co-owner of Flawless Performance Centre comes in. From humble beginnings his story is one of blood, sweat and tears.
I believe that one must be cognisant of all the aspects that will impact on the success of your business. Therefore, our articles are well balanced highlighting marketing strategies, health tips and professional progress.
Let’s pray for a summer that is a bright but not too hot and hurricane free. Be safe out there as you head out to the various parties.