Page 1


//Feature

Live. Love. Design. pg. 40


Seasons Geetings from the management and staff of Dazzle Magazine & 123 Digital Limited


from the publisher Creating partnerships is such a beautiful thing! Coming off the heels of Global Entrepreneurship week in mid November, Dazzle was not only able to participate in key events but met some very interesting entrepreneurs. With that said, I am pleased to bring you Issue 3 which is filled with some awesome articles from a host of contributors from different professions. I truly appreciate the articles they’ve submitted and I hope that you enjoy reading them. Christmas is on our doorsteps, and how does this translate to the entrepreneurs out there? For one, it is a chance to bulk up on your year- end sales and get out to as many social events as possible to meet future clients. In this issue, we look at individuals operating in the Services Industry. Chef Dane Saddler better known as “Chef Slim”, the owner of Caribbean Villa Chefs, has become somewhat of a household name and will let us in on what he’s cooking up. 23 year old Ms Nikele Davis of Mocha Hair Designs has her head on and is locing her way to success. Neil Alvin is “killing” them with his fashion blog BGKI and is a true example of breaking into a niche market. His online fashion site has grown significantly and, surprisingly, his main market isn’t in Barbados. From Neil, we step into the world of Natasha Simpson, another young and upcoming entrepreneur who graces our cover. Natasha’s business, “Love Design Barbados”, is a company that has grown to include: Interior Decorating services, Social Media services and a blog that has over 15,000 views monthly from across the world attracting advertising from premier brands. She shares with us the balance she creates between family, friends and work. Our spotlight segment is on our youngest feature, Ms Ieashia Browne. At 16 years old, Ieashia is now in her second year in the Honey Jam concert and is as confident as they come, she is well on her way to stardom! As you can see this issue is packed with great features and articles. On behalf of the Dazzle team I am wishing you and yours all the best for the season and a very Prosperous 2015!

Ryan Wills Managing Editor

Dazzle Magazine Barbados is a new fresh Barbadian bi-monthly publication that provides much needed exposure to young professionals, entrepreneurs, and established businesses. It covers an array of topics and categories key to starting and running a business. It also offers practical advice on everyday living, tips for a healthy lifestyle and interviews with popular and up-and-coming personalities. Dazzle Magazine Barbados is designed to appeal to a diverse range of readers but is especially targeted at working professionals and business owners between the ages of 21-50 years. We provide our advertising clients with value for money by offering them a powerful medium to market their products, offer deals and build their brand. Best of all, we give them the opportunity to be a part of a nationwide and online marketplace of actively engaged consumers who are ready to buy, all at an affordable price. To advertise in The Dazzle Barbados Magazine, contact our sales agent via telephone 1(246) 234 8140 or email info@dazzleBarbados.com for more information and terms and conditions.


table of

contents Features

14. Neil Alvin - Killing it with Style 18. Ieashia Browne - She's got Talent 24. Nikele Davis - Locing it Down. 30. Dane Saddler - The Slim Chef 40. Natasha Simpson - Live, Love, Design

The 411

10. What Small Businesses need to know about Cloud Computing 16. GEW Barbados 20. Charging what you're Worth 28. Cutting the cost of Christmas: 5 tips to help keep your bonus in the bank

Professional Progress

12. CSR: The Strategy of Giving 22. Angel Investment: Giving your Business Wings 36. How to Be Above Board

Health & Fitness

09. The Amazing Health Benefits of Pineapple 38. Getting Started on your Fitness Journey

Publisher 123 Digital Limited Managing Editor Ryan Wills Sales & Marketing Orinje Nation Art Director Aldrin Henry Contributors Rankin Morgan D.J Simmons Tracy Highland Lauren E. Whitehall Marcus Thompson Rhonda Thompson Sade N. Jemmott Richard Barrow Niel Harper Photography Neil Springer Ryan Wills Accountants 123 Digital Limited

facebook.com/dazzlebarbados

Issue 3

Eating In

43. Sorrel Glazed Roasted Chicken

Nikele Davis Locing it Down

The Slim Chef Getting Started on your Fitness Journey

Neil Alvin

Gadgets & Gizmos

34. 5 Must have Apps for Entrepreneurs

Dane Saddler

CSR: The Strategy of Giving

Killing it with Style

Ieashia Browne She's got Talent

Natasha Simpson Live, Love, Design

Out and About

44. Out and About

Instagram

46. Sun, Sea and Sand

Try me!

5 Must have Apps for Entrepreneurs dazzlebarbados.com

On the Cover: Natasha Simpson Photo By : Neil Springer Styling By: Rotchelle Parris Makeup By: Tessa Vaughan Location: St James Hotel


contact us

30

For more information visit us at www.dazzlebarbados.com or call us at 1(246) 234 8140

18

24

14 40


//Feature

Neil Alvin

Killing it with style pg. 14

8 DAZZLE

www.dazzlebarbados.com


The Amazing Health Benefits of

Pineapple

W

e may not all agree on the sumptuousness of the pineapple but the health benefits can’t be denied. They are fantastic! Here are seven reasons why you should try a pineapple today.

Strong Bones

Keeps your skin beautiful! Pineapple contains enzymes that increase the skin’s elasticity, improves skin hydration and removes damaged and dead cells. As a result, it helps

Pineapples are well known for their ability to build and maintain strong bones. This is because they contain manganese, which is a trace mineral that your body needs to build strong bones and connective tissues. In fact, if you consume a cup of pineapple juice, you can get 73 percent of your total body requirement for manganese.

Gum Health People are always very concerned about their teeth but they sometimes fail to pay enough attention to the gums. Our gums are equally essential since they hold the teeth in place. If a person has unhealthy gums, his/her teeth would be in bad condition and will eventually fall out. Eating pineapple will strengthen your gums and that will in turn help keep your teeth healthy and strong.

I can see you! Time and again, studies have shown that pineapples protect against age-related eye problems because it is rich in antioxidants.

Helps with irregular bowel movement Pineapples are rich in fibre, making them effective in curing constipation and irregular bowel movement.

you achieve a clear and glowing complexion. The enzymes in pineapples also fight free-radical damage and can reduce age spots and fine lines.

Treats Intestinal Worms Pineapples contain the digestive enzyme bromelain. A diet rich in pineapple helps clear certain intestinal parasites such as tapeworms.

Relieves Nausea A key benefit of pineapple juice is that it averts nausea or morning sickness. This is very useful for pregnant women who usually experience nausea. It also helps people who are looking to travel on an airplane or go on boat trips, which usually cause motion sickness.

www.dazzlebarbados.com

DAZZLE 9


What small businesses need to know about Cloud Computing By Niel Harper

M

ore and more small business are migrating to the cloud and reaping significant benefits like never before. With cloud services, small businesses no longer need to install physical infrastructure like e-mail servers and storage systems, or purchase software applications with exorbitant annual license fees. The “on-demand” availability of cloud solutions means seamless and simple collaboration with customers, business partners, and staff members using nothing more than a web browser. Cloud services also provide entrepreneurs and home-based businesses with access to advanced technology without the requirement to hire a full-time IT specialist.

But what exactly is this “cloud”? Cloud computing is an overarching term which encompasses a number of different categories. 10 DAZZLE

www.dazzlebarbados.com

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is where a particular application or service is provided to a business or individual as a subscription. Google Drive, QuickBooks Online Plus, and BaseCamp are all popular examples of SaaS. Using Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), businesses are provided with a platform on which they can build, install, and maintain customized apps, databases and integrated business unit services. Widely used PaaS include Windows Azure, SharePoint Online, and Google App Engine. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) allows businesses to outsource infrastructure in the form of virtual resources. Components include servers, storage, networking and more. IaaS providers include Rackspace, HP Converged Infrastructure, and Amazon Web Services.


Most small businesses generally don’t need much more than SaaS to meet their operational needs. SaaS provides them with the capabilities to deliver a myriad of IT services that would otherwise be expensive and resource intensive to administer as localized, on-site solutions. It must however be emphasized that cloud services bring with them a number of security, stability, and data control issues. That is why it is critically important that small businesses stay informed and strictly require that cloud providers furnish them with detailed business continuity plans and security controls to remediate outages and protect sensitive data.

What to do when your cloud brings the rain? There are a plethora of reasons why cloud computing is popular. It gives small businesses the technology that enables them to be lean, agile, and competitive. But as is quite evident, trusting your information assets to a single entity whose equipment is stored in a centralized location, means that you’re extremely vulnerable to whatever outages, security compromises, or natural disasters that they are exposed to.

So what are small business owners to do? Here are some recommendations that can allow you to better manage the risks associated with cloud providers.

Fine Tune Your SLA: Service level agreements (SLA) should codify the exact parameters and minimum levels of service required by the business, as well as compensation when those service levels are not met. It should assert the ownership of the business’ data stored on the cloud platform, and outline all rights to retaining ownership. It should include the infrastructure and security standards to be adhered to, along with a right to audit for compliance. It should also specify the cost and rights around continuing/discontinuing use of the cloud service.

Keep Critical Data Local: Decide which business processes require maximum uptime, and keep them on-site. Avoiding the cloud totally for specific mission-critical applications, small businesses can minimize data unavailability as well as security and privacy issues. Of course, for some businesses regulatory compliance is an issue as well, and this should be a key factor in the consideration if it applies to your business.

Two-Factor Authentication: More and more providers are offering two-factor authentication (2FA) as a means of securing access to cloud services. Two-factor authentication adds a second layer of authentication to user logon credentials. When you have to enter only your username and one password, that’s considered as single-factor authentication. 2FA mandates that users have 2 out of 3 types of credentials before access to cloud resources are granted.

Deploy A Hybrid Configuration: Maintaining a hybrid implementation of cloud and local services is a best practice approach for protecting company data. Replication or archiving solutions often deliver a service with both a local appliance at the customer’s premises and cloud storage too. This type of on-premise-to-cloud replication strategy ensures that you have local copies of the data you transmit to the cloud. Actively seek out cloud providers that can configure this kind of scenario. Availability, integrity and confidentiality issues will always exist when using IT systems. And when a business employs cloud-based computing, these challenges are even more pronounced. Be extremely meticulous when searching for cloud providers, and question them about their security controls and disaster recovery options. Even though you outsource the processing of your business data; there’s no reason why you shouldn’t remain in control.

www.dazzlebarbados.com

DAZZLE 11


CSR:

The Strategy of Giving

C

by Richard Barrow

orporate Governance is the system by which companies are directed and controlled, and two of the popular theories on corporate governance are the shareholder theory and the stakeholder theory.

The range of these acts is endless and may vary from the clean up of beaches, donations to charity or adopting and contributing to schools or clubs by acting as a sponsor to assist in furthering developmental programmes.

I have seen, as I’m sure you have also, companies and their employees featured prominently in various forms of media while performing services geared at encouraging socially responsible practices.

Collectively these acts can be described as Corporate Social Responsibility, which has been defined in Business Dictionary as a company’s sense of responsibility towards the community and environment (both ecological and social) in which it operates. Shareholder Theory promotes the view that the sole responsibility of a company is to increase profits, while Stakeholder Theory recognises that a company owes responsibility to a wider body of persons or groups, including employees, customers, suppliers, creditors, the wider community or even competitors, which can affect or be affected by the company’s business.

12 DAZZLE

www.dazzlebarbados.com


An examination of Corporate Social Responsibility against the Stakeholder Theory will therefore serve to highlight the role and importance of companies pursuing outcomes apart from economic outcomes such as legal, ethical or philanthropic pursuits. Corporate Social Responsibility is therefore very important in all businesses. If large corporations with deep pockets and large budgets can more afford to pursue these programmes; small and medium size businesses can ill afford to ignore or neglect the need to exhibit socially responsible behaviour. In fact, there is a convincing train of thought that smaller businesses are more suited to pursue corporate social responsibility missions since their relatively small size makes them more agile in implementing corporate social responsibility mandates and being able to sensitise and sell employees on those missions.

businesses Corporate Social Responsibility is critical as a strategy to enhance brand reputation, highlight brand differentiation and generally gain and increase competitive advantage. With the holiday season fast approaching, there is traditionally a stronger focus and sensitivity toward participating in charitable initiatives. For small businesses while this particular time of the year offers the opportunity to give, indeed there are countless opportunities year round to further your company’s corporate social responsibility mandate. In so doing, the small business can achieve valuable word of mouth promotion and referrals as stakeholders begin to spread the word about the company and its programmes. Companies that are socially responsible also have a higher chance of attracting and retaining quality employees since workers are pleased to be associated with a company with those values. As an example of socially responsible behavior at work, there are several benefits for a small caterer or local restaurant in making it a policy of the company to buy from other small local suppliers. That commitment builds valuable business to business relationships which in some cases may serve to mitigate supply chain risk and can also enhance the company’s reputation among its customers, who can be guaranteed that the raw materials used to prepare their meals are fresh and that with every sale they are contributing to the local economy.

Small businesses typically have closer and more regular contact with their stakeholders and are therefore in a position to get a sense of what is important to each stakeholder segment and will be able to respond to create solutions and add value.

Also, the value of donating your unique products to charitable causes this season, such as for parties, to children’s homes and those less fortunate, cannot be overstated or underestimated since by doing good there will also be the residual benefit of gaining brand recognition to augment other conventional marketing efforts.

While the debate continues on whether expressions of acts of Corporate Social Responsibility are symbolic of a legitimate conscience of the Company or merely an exploitation of public relations strategies and window dressing - as the skeptics believe -, for the smaller

So for this holiday season cast your bread upon the water knowing that corporate social responsibility is not a drain on the company, but may serve as a competitive strategy and after many days you will find it again - perhaps in the new year and beyond.

www.dazzlebarbados.com

DAZZLE 13


Neil Alvin

Killing it with style D.J. Simmons

M

ost persons when they come across one of the main websites dedicated to showcasing black fashion and beauty, are shocked when they learn Blackandkillingit.com is created and managed by a Barbadian. Yes! Some of you are sure to have come across ‘Black Girls Killing It’ via the website, or social media accounts which boasts over hundreds of thousands of loyal followers. Prepare to meet the man behind the brand, Mr. Neil Alvin.

//Feature 14 DAZZLE

www.dazzlebarbados.com

Outfit by Metallic Boutique


I

t is appropriate that the story begins from Neil’s own personal website, where he published blogs. Curiosity in other online bloggers steered him to a site one evening highlighting the top fifty fashion bloggers and Neil found it fascinating that none of them where black. Admitting to not having a background in fashion, Neil was inspired to develop his own blog dedicated to black fashion using his education in literature. Recognising persons weren’t likely to search ‘neilalvin.com’ for fashion, he left it up to public voting to select a name for the site. In 2011 blackandkillingit.com was born. After tedious and dedicated searches Neil discovered a source where he could compile the material and post the photos of black models and celebrities along with photographer credits. The dynamic site evolved even more when Neil opened the avenue for girls to submit their own photos. Starting out slow from just two or three submissions a week, Black Girls Killing It is now so popular that Neil’s inbox is filled with over one hundred entries per day! He will never forget the elation of his first submission however. As the site developed along with photos, persons also submitted questions and queries relating to fashion advice. Neil saw the opportunity to build this section on the site, and brought in carefully selected persons to reply to the queries. While these additional members of his BGKI team would provide most of the answers, Neil has been known to chime with some of his own whimsical comments. Now not only could people admire the models and fashion, they could also receive personal tips on their own clothing styles and options. Through careful analysis Neil was able to decipher that generally women came to his site to learn about fashion. He then launched two new sections on the site dedicated to interviews of the models and tutorials. Over fifty interviews, conducted also by Neil, are logged on the site where the public got to learn more about their favourite models. No section

fun facts Neil has to pay a monthly fee to Google due to the high volume on his Gmail account. One of his dream locations to travel to is Spain. He studied English Literature up to University level

was as popular though as the tutorials. Neil linked his network to many examples of creativity well within an affordable budget. Another popular area on the site was the voting area where persons can choose their favourite outfits based on two options. As Neil observes a demand on the site he fills the need. He doesn’t just have a talent for recognizing beautiful black women though. Neil designed and maintains the website on his own and possesses advanced Photoshop skills. All responses to the pubic questions and every photo post have to meet his critical approval first before being published. When asked about the vision of Black Girls Killing It, Neil shared the potential is limitless. The range includes from branching out to becoming a modelling agency, network hub for designers, to even becoming a clothing line. There also exists the combination of designers creating specific clothing lines working with particular models. There may even be the potential to develop black and killing it to extend its reach to highlighting black prowess in athletics and academics as well. The possibilities really are endless. Most of the traffic coming to the site was predominantly made up of shoppers and therefore stores started to notice. Blackandkillingit.com was then approached to run ads for various shops ad while Neil was eager to accept the business he did not want to compromise the sleek look of his website. He was able to find the balance however developing “Shop BGKI” where users could explore various online shopping options. Although the site is growing the one thing that disappoints Neil is the lack of support he receives from his fellow Barbadians. While he has attempted to reach out to some local designers to be a part of the market place, and many Barbadians follow the brand on social media, he rarely receives any local photo submissions or vendor requests. Here’s hoping some of you readers are inspired to take full advantage of the opportunities Black Girls Killing It provides and we showcase Bajan beauty to the world! Neil strongly believes black models need more exposure to take advantage of opportunities with major agencies and no longer will we hear the excuse “We could not find any black models.” Basically all Neil Alvin desires, is when people visit the site they discover how beautiful black girls are. And they are not just beautiful; they are downright killing it out there. www.dazzlebarbados.com DAZZLE 15


GEW Barbados

E

ach and every November Global Entrepreneurship Week is celebrated, this huge campaign takes place across 140 countries and engages tens of millions of people in activities to support and promote entrepreneurship. The Barbados Youth Business Trust which played host to the week partnered with various organizations to coordinate several key and innovative events which gave entrepreneurs the chance not only to network but to improve their business skills. Here are a few shots from the week, enjoy!!

16 DAZZLE

www.dazzlebarbados.com


www.dazzlebarbados.com

DAZZLE 17


Photo Credits - Jody Forte

Ieashia Browne “She’s got talent” by Ryan Wills

18 DAZZLE

www.dazzlebarbados.com

//Feature


W

alking into the lobby with her circular designer shades she already easily stood out in her punk rock styled attire. I introduced myself and she politely said “my mom is parking the car”. Meet 16 year old Ieashia Browne, an upcoming singer who is beaming with confidence. Ieashia would have taken part in the just concluded Honey Jam Barbados concert which features aspiring young ladies who want to further their singing careers. A student of the Springer Memorial Secondary School she has been making waves on the scene as an Alto within her school choir and has also performed at the Pommarine Hotel. We sat down with this Ieashia who immediately let me know she could sing by teasing me with a song by one of her favorite artists, Ariana Grande.

How did you get into Honey Jam? Honey Jam 2013 was the first time I ever auditioned for singing. One of my mother’s friends told me about it and said I should join. I had major stage fright and the song I sang was “Man Down” by Rihanna which incidentally Shontelle co-wrote and who came on stage and sang it with me. The experience was great, from the workshops to the actual performance. I was actually the youngest person to audition at the time; this year I’m not sadly.

talent and Q&A. I didn’t place in the competition but won the most prizes.

What is your style of singing? I’m into R&B, pop and R&B Soul, so artists like Jhené Aiko appeal to me.

Where are you taking your career from here? I see myself receiving all the BET awards (cracking a big smile). But the process I know is a lot of hard work. Currently I am working with Darren Grant of Underground Studios who is helping me produce some music. I have some people writing for me and I am working on some songs right now. My mom will be there by my side and I would love to make it mainstream in the next 2-3 years. In addition I want to become a Forensic Pathologist. I like biology and learning about the human body, so from here I need to make sure I get all of the relevant CXCs and go to University to further my studies.

How do you prepare before you hit the stage? One thing that happens to me before I go on is that I cry, of course not in a bad way. Once in front of the crowd I am focused. I see myself as a perfectionist and I have a strong personality which I get from my mom.

What else is on the cards for the near future? I will be participating in a pageant called the Miss Eastervall in Union island, St. Vincent next Easter. Outside of that I will doing studio work and continuing my studies.

How do you see entrepreneurship as a driving force? What’s the process like for auditioning? It’s pretty simple, you register by paying a small fee and submitting a song, then fifteen girls are chosen by a panel who then perform in front of a crowd. I have auditioned before just not for singing. I entered the Barbados Talented Teen Pageant where both males and females participate in various elements such as

As a singer I already consider myself an entrepreneur. They are a lot of singers out there trying to do their own thing and I believe that at this stage I would be focusing first on pursuing my career in the forensics field while working on my singing. I want to thank Ebonnie Rowe on behalf of my mom and I for providing a platform such as Honey Jam. I have already seen girls such as Debbie Reifer making strides from the exposure they have gotten from it.

www.dazzlebarbados.com

DAZZLE 19


Charging what you’re Worth By Marcus Thompson

S

o you’ve entered or you are thinking about entering the world of entrepreneurship. Congratulations! Welcome to one of the fastest growing clubs in the world. One of the trickiest things we will have to do as entrepreneurs is to decide what to charge our clients. I grappled with this issue for longer than I care to mention so you don’t have to. Here are some things worth considering when it comes to charging what you’re worth.

Never ever work for free* *(Unless it’s a cause you strongly believe in such as a charity near and dear to your heart. In which case, go for it champ!) DO NOT believe potential clients who tell you it would be great for exposure. They are trying to take advantage of you. A good example of this is “spec” work. 20 DAZZLE

www.dazzlebarbados.com

“Basically, spec work is any kind of creative work rendered and submitted, either partial or completed, by designers to prospective clients before taking steps to secure both their work and equitable fees. Under these conditions, designers will often be asked to submit work under the guise of either a contest or an entry exam on actual, existing jobs as a “test” of their skill. In addition, the designers normally unwittingly lose all rights to their creative work because they failed to protect themselves by means of a contract or agreement. The clients often use this freely-gained work as they see fit without fear of legal repercussion.” - FAQ about spec work (http://www.nospec.com/faq)

How much you charge has a direct correlation to how clients value your work.


Peter pays for Paul When you undervalue your work and end up charging less, you aren’t just hurting your bottom line and overworking yourself. Clients will come to expect cheap labour from ALL persons in your line of work. So be a good ambassador of your trade and set those unrealistic expectations straight so the next man doesn’t have to.

What am I worth? As existential as this sounds, you can arrive at a fairly decent if not accurate idea of your worth by looking at a couple things:

again) things! I don’t know about you, but forever sound expensive. A serious photographer doesn’t show up with a cheap point and shoot camera talking about “Oops, memory card is full, sorry”. They DO show past work they’ve done and show up with multiple SLR’s, maybe an assistant or two, lighting equipment and sometimes props, all based on prior consultation with the couple as to what and who they want expressed in the photographs. Right away you can see the value this serious photographer is bringing to the table and why they cost as much as they do.

Stick to your guns ‘If you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur”. Red Adair When you do decide on what you will charge it is important to get across to the client the value of what is being produced for them. If you can do that effectively already, then you probably don’t need to be reading this.

1. Basic budgeting Calculate your inputs and outputs of your business as a whole. Don’t forget to include meetings, phone calls, vehicle maintenance, light bills etc. when arriving at your estimates.

Always be prepared to walk away if the client balks at the price. Chances are your skills are undervalued or not being valued at all. By all means, go right ahead and let your cousin’s 18 year old son do your accounts for cheaper/free. Being able to say “No” is one of the greatest superpowers in life. Use it liberally.

2. The time & money you spent honing your skills

The Wrap Up

I can design and build a decent website in a week or two, but it took many years for me to study, buy all the equipment, software, and thousands of hours of practise in order to develop that ability. Charge accordingly.

Be confident when telling customers how much your expertise is worth. You’ve put in the time and effort and can deliver what you promised. If you aren’t confident of the value of your work, why should you expect others to?

3. The value being provided If you are a photographer shooting a wedding for example -these are memories the couple will want to cherish (hopefully) forever. Valuable (there’s that word

www.dazzlebarbados.com

DAZZLE 21


ANGEL INVESTMENT:

giving your business wings

by Sade N. Jemmott

A

s Barbados continues to face retrenchment in the public and private sectors, more people are turning to entrepreneurship as an answer to their financial needs. However, traditional sources of funding for these ventures are for various reasons out of the reach of many. As such, interest in alternate funding sources, such as Angel Investors (Angels), is naturally on the rise. In plain terms, an Angel is someone who invests in a business, usually in return for at least part of its ownership. In many cases, this person also adds a special touch to the venture through sharing whatever particular expertise or relevant experience he or she may possess. Angels invest for a variety of reasons ranging anywhere from a genuine belief in the potential of the business to a personal connection with the founder. Whatever the rationale, Angels are often a key source of early investment and being the object of an Angel’s interest can translate into financial blessings. It is for this reason that the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation recently established Trident Angels – this island’s first angel investor network. In doing so, this non-profit organisation created an accessible pool of investors as a key 22 DAZZLE

www.dazzlebarbados.com

element in Barbados’ emerging entrepreneurial ecosystem. This is, without a doubt, an excellent resource for the local entrepreneurial community and will provide a much needed alternate source of financing as opposed to, for example, loans from commercial banks or other lending institutions. However, it should go without saying that there is no such thing as free money. Angels accept the risks of investment with the hope of some reward. They have money at stake so they naturally come with their own expectations and personalities – both of which need to be carefully navigated by the discerning entrepreneur.


Although typically very aware of the failure rates of new businesses, an Angel’s main objective is to reduce that risk in not only the business’ best interest, but also their own. How exactly they go about that can vary widely from Angel to Angel, as does each entrepreneur’s receptiveness to any particular method. Therefore, parties to any proposed angel investment should consider carefully the dynamics of the arrangement and ensure that the value proposition to both sides is sufficiently clear and the inherent risk well understood. Specifically, they should both fully appreciate that as with all relationships, some unions will be a match made in heaven, while others simply will not work. The entrepreneurs who will benefit the most from this financing option will be those who remain open to the significant guidance a good Angel can offer without ceding complete control over his business or his vision. Very practical ways to do this include

conducting a thorough background check on any potential Angel and seeking independent legal counsel BEFORE you sign on the dotted line. Finally, it is important to remember that Angels ‘buy’ equity in your venture, not your soul so you need to know where to draw the line. If there was only one more piece of advice I could give with respect to Angels, it would be to trust your instincts. If it does not feel right, do not do it! You can thank me later Sade N. Jemmott (sade.jemmott@bb.lexcaribbean. com) is an Attorney specializing in Corporate Commercial Law with a focus on International Business and Entrepreneurial Business Ventures at one of the region’s leading law firms - Lex Caribbean. She sits on the Board of Directors of the Barbados Entrepreneurship Foundation where she co-champions its Mentorship and Networking Pillar and is also an entrepreneur in her own right.

www.dazzlebarbados.com

DAZZLE 23


//Feature

DAVIS Locing it Down by D.J.Simmons

A

s you step into her space there is an aura of respect that resonates. Seldom do you encounter the combination of skill, passion and professionalism in such an inspiring youth. Dazzle is therefore proud to introduce you to the determined drive behind Mocha Hair Designs, the beautiful Nikele Davis. From a young age, Nikele possessed the initiative to succeed and build the foundation for her financial future. Having major responsibilities is not new to Miss Davis. Living on her own from age sixteen and managing her life, which she refers to as her First Business, taught her many important lessons and values that inspired her entrepreneurial enterprise. She always had natural hair and developed the talent for palm rolling and creating her own styles. While she was little, she sported short curly hair however, like most little girls she wanted long pretty hair. The broadcasting of straightened Caucasian hair being the image of beauty was not shared by young Nikele, so she embarked on the campaign of showcasing another vision of beauty to share through natural hair and locs. And she was good! This landed her her first job at the tender age of fifteen. While working at Hapi Loc Groomers, often she would be advised to continue her education at the Barbados Community College which at times deflated her spirit. However a strong resolve taught her she did not have to follow in others footsteps, but developed

24 DAZZLE

www.dazzlebarbados.com


the path to her own happiness. Her consistent dedication to the evolution of her brand and business led to the advantageous position while most of her friends where finishing UWI and now looking for jobs, she had already branched out on her own with a strong start to her own business. That business: Mocha Hair Designs; the prime place for natural hair and locs styling, hair health and maintenance for women, children and in Nikele’s words, the “beautiful black man!” Her appreciation for the black man was the motivation behind her establishing the brand “The Grooming Bar”. This focus was dedicated to taking care of the male clientele, who generally would feel uncomfortable coming to have manicures, pedicures and hair styles done based on society’s negative perception of these habits. After the Mocha experience however, men carry themselves with well-groomed confidence. And instilling confidence is all part of the package, especially from the roots. Nikele loves working with little girls hence the reason she introduced ‘Braids, Babies & Beads’ the little ladies section at MHD. She admits while she enjoys making her little ladies hair look gorgeous as always, her true intention is to make them feel good about their hair and in the process teach them to be in love with what they see in the mirror at their tender age. Through MHD, Nikele imparts knowledge with her clients regarding how mothers should care their children’s hair and advising against the use of artificial products and straighteners that are damaging to the hair and scalp. Nikele encourages her clients to consume healthy foods and to drink lots of water because good hair is healthy hair. One of the main challenges most entrepreneurs encounter is having the perfect location, and while Nikele was forced to move from previous locations for her business to grow, she shared that due to her strong and loyal customer base developed over years, they have no problems finding her. She therefore highlights the importance of consistently marketing and using social media for promotion and communication. A perfect way to sum up Nikele Davis and her business is its slogan: “Living It. Loving It. Locing It.” She practices what she preaches in her everyday life, and sacrifices had to be made to maintain a

successful business over many years of being in the industry. But she loves it. And locing it, well simply put, that is what she does! And very well. Many happy customers can attest to that. Although Nikele is a serious young lady her vibrant good nature definitely shines through. She proudly supports other entrepreneurs including Tiyi by Design, Polish Nails by Liz, LUSH the Brow and Lash Studio, IDS Creative Inc, and Art by Akin-yemi. Akin-yemi has also supported Mocha Hair Designs by contributing some beautiful visual art designs which help to even further enhance the calm, comfortable interior of the salon. Nikele is very appreciative of her support team of mentors and social media mangers. All concepts

fun facts Her first passion was food, but she realized she enjoys eating more than she enjoys cooking for others. She loves carrot cake. Nikele is a lover of art especially fashion and design. Her favourite designer is Lady Akiyemi She just obtained her driver’s license. Be careful on the road everybody! behind Mocha Hair Designs however, come from her own creative mind. Including the upcoming Black and White Affair and knowing her, every male should be looking forward to that with excited anticipation. While in her presence it was easy to be inspired by this charismatic professional as she shared her experience as a young entrepreneur. Just because her business has a small staff, (as of the publishing of this article she is the only hair stylist at her salon), that does not mean Mocha Hair Designs is a small business. Nikele believes the perception of envisioning your business as small only limits its potential. You have to think big even if your staff numbers are small. Miss Davis’ strong faith and commitment to her business have taken her from risk to reward helping this lady to interlock between strong networks, building a successful brand that naturally keeps on growing…

www.dazzlebarbados.com

DAZZLE 25


26 DAZZLE

www.dazzlebarbados.com


lim i t ed

We Create and Build Amazing Websites E: info@123digitallimited.com T: 758-452-0123 Int’l: 888-228-3312 W: www.123digitallimited.com Caribbean . UK . Canada . USA

27 www.dazzlebarbados.comterms andDAZZLE conditions apply


Cutting the cost of Christmas: 5 tips to help keep your bonus in the bank! By Rhonda Thompson

I

t’s soon that time again, Christmas is around the corner! Yup, believe it or not it’s that time of year where the kids are wildly excited about prospects of gifts and Santa, and the adults...well, let’s be honest; most of us are groaning about how much money we’ll have to spend, or how much debt we will be in come the New Year. But does it really have to be this way? Do we really need to put so much money into a season that at its core is all about love, sacrifice and being with family and friends? Certainly not. Check out our five fabulous tips that will hopefully open your minds to a new way of thinking of Christmas, as well as offer fresh ideas for gifts that will help keep money in your pockets and the Christmas spirit in your heart!

save you hundreds of dollars! For example, deciding to bare gifts only to the children in the family, i.e. those under the age of twelve, will drastically reduce your spending. A gift exchange is also a fun way to include family members, and ensures that each person only has one present that needs to be bought.

Trim your tree - and your guest list: Do you really need to buy a gift for your boss, the neighbour and the gardener? While it would be nice to bless everyone in our lives with a gift of appreciation, for most of us it’s just not possible. Trimming your gift list down to those who are most significant in your lives can literally 28 DAZZLE

www.dazzlebarbados.com

Get creative with gift giving!: It’s the thought that counts. We all accept this as the truth, yet year after year we continue to give


4. Potluck-it:

the typical types of gifts. Sure, perfumes, clothes and electronics are fun, but these items often come with a heavy price tag and can oftentimes feel a bit impersonal. Freshly baked goodies on the other hand are sure to convey the warmth of your heart and make others feel appreciated. A favourite photograph placed in a frame, and decorated by the grandkids will keep Granny smiling year-round. Or what about a ‘Spa-in-a-Jar’ for the up and coming teeny-booper in the family?! Get creative and you can come up with many inexpensive, yet super thoughtful ways to show you care.

Deck the Halls...with what you already own: Sure, Christmas shopping for home decor is tempting, but why purchase when you can repurpose! Do you have unused candles laying around? Glue cinnamon sticks around the sides, then tie together with a festive bow. How about those clear empty vases that most of us have? These can be filled with left over tree ornaments and other decorations to make for a stunning centre piece. Get the kids in on the action and add fun, handmade decorations to hang on the tree; they will mix beautifully with traditional ornaments, and add an element of interest. There really is no limit as to what you can create!

Why spend the majority of Christmas day in the Kitchen when you can split the responsibility (and the bill) amongst family members! Simply have everyone prepare just one or two dishes, and fill the Christmas table with a variety of delicious food. This allows everyone to enjoy the day spending quality time together, and takes a bit of the bite off the Christmas day grocery expense.

Plan Ahead: It seems so obvious, yet so many of us fall into the trap of waiting until the last minute to prepare for Christmas. If it’s already ‘beginning to look a lot like Christmas’, chances are you’re already too late! Waiting to shop in December for gifts or food items, are exactly what retailers are counting on us to do. We all know prices seem to magically skyrocket once December rolls around, so why not start planning a few months ahead. Both gifts and food items can be bought and stowed away for later use. With these tips in mind, you are sure to save at least a few Sir Grantleys from your usual spending, and will hopefully experience a more enjoyable Christmas filled with the love of family, and the peace of a debt free New Year.

www.dazzlebarbados.com

DAZZLE 29


Dane Saddler The Slim Chef

//Feature

by Tracy Highland

I

t’s not every day that a local chef gets picked to audition for a major Food Network show, but at 32 years old chef Dane Saddler can say he knows what it feels like. He also knows what it feels like to build a successful company from the ground up. His brainchild, Caribbean Villa Chefs, has become a regional go-to for personal chef and catering services. Last year, his face made its way into the homes of Barbadians as a finalist on the TV show Bank on Me and now he is fueling a healthy eating movement with his new initiative to provide nutritious prepackaged meals for busy professionals across the island. Dazzle got the chance to sit down with Dane for a colourful chat about career, family and of course food.

Did you always want to be a chef?

Shot on location at La Maison Michelle 30 DAZZLE

www.dazzlebarbados.com

I never really thought about it as a child. When I was at Queens College I chose to study Home Economics. Truthfully, it was a process of elimination. I was not interested in Accounts, or Science or any of the other stuff and the idea of a desk job never appealed to me. I thought Home Economics was the easy way out, plus, they were a lot of girls in the class.


At what point did you realise it was your passion and could become your career? I went to on to do the Culinary Arts programme at Barbados Community College and after graduation my parents pushed me to go overseas to further my studies. It was at Johnson and Wales University in Miami, Florida that I realised I had a natural talent. I would be in class and others would be struggling with things I could complete with relative ease. I was at the top of the class and it seemed effortless. It was at this point that I began to think it was something I could do long term.

How did you make the transition from the classroom to working in actual restaurant kitchens? I got some experience working in a restaurant in South Beach before my return to Barbados, but after I moved back it was tough. I had earned two degrees from a prestigious university, so I thought coming back home I would be picked up quickly. That didn’t happen. I graduated in March and got a job in October, but as a butcher! It was a struggle. I began to question if I had pursued the right thing. Then I landed a job as a sous chef at Southern Palms, followed closely by a job at Sandy Lane Hotel. The job at Sandy Lane really opened my eyes to opportunity that existed in the field for personal chefs.

Did you start seriously thinking about a business then? Even growing up I used to try to make my own money. When I was 14, I had a job selling newspapers which my father, who passed in 2008, would help me with. I would even sell the lunch my mother made for me to take to school. So I’ve always been business minded. I

fun facts

He was born in Jamaica, to Delroy, a Jamaican lawyer and Barbadian mother, Cheryl. His favorite food is still home cooked Jamaican cuisine. It was during the auditions for Food Network show, Chef Wanted, that he got the nickname The Slim Chef. He didn’t make the final cut, but the name stuck. He likes to play practical jokes, especially on partner Tammy.

knew I would eventually start a business. It took a few years working in the industry and moonlighting as a personal chef before Caribbean Villa Chefs became a fulltime thing in 2011.

Who are some of the most interesting people you have cooked for? When I left Sandy Lane, I went to work in Mustique. There I cooked for the likes of Tommy Hilfiger, Tom Ford and Mick Jagger. I came back to Barbados after that and was running the Grille Restaurant at the Hilton. It was during those years that I became determined to officially launch my business. In my downtime, I got a 10-day personal chef assignment with a visiting businessman and made more in those 10 days that I could make at my day job in a month. It made me hopeful that I could earn enough on my own to make a good living.

What makes Caribbean Villa Chefs unique? When I did my research, I realised there was no company in Barbados you could call to provide private chef services. That’s the core service of Caribbean Villa Chefs but we have expanded to include private cooking classes, chef placement services and catering. The catering aspect has really picked up. We catered for the private boxes at the Top Gear Festival. We’ve done the Reggae festival here and the Food Wine and Rum Festival. We’ve recently joined forces with the Organic Growers and Consumers Association in promoting healthy lifestyles and creating prepackaged meals.

With such a hectic schedule, how does your family fit into the picture? I’m very close to my family. My mum is very supportive. My other half, Tammy and my kids Tyler, 6, and Taiema, 4, are very understanding. It’s tough sometimes, especially around Christmas time. I haven’t been home for Christmas for the past three years. We try to have Christmas early each year so that the kids don’t miss out. I also Skype them every day when I’m away on a job.

What is your advice to other young entrepreneurs who may read your story? Don’t try to copy what you see done, take an idea and try to better it. Do your research. Don’t be afraid to ask for help and stay humble.

www.dazzlebarbados.com

DAZZLE 31


Live. Love. Design. pg. 40

32 DAZZLE

www.dazzlebarbados.com

//Feature


www.dazzlebarbados.com

DAZZLE 33


5 must have apps for

entrepreneurs by Ryan Wills

S

o you’ve set up shop and are ready to blaze the trail. Your “shop” for most is mobile and as an entrepreneur you’re always on the go and need to stay connected with your work. But how do you keep connected to that information that is going to keep you running. Here are 5 useful apps to keep close to your thumbs.

Mailchimp Why don’t you email all of your contacts from your mailbox and let them know about the special you’re running; better yet you should email them every 2 weeks. Sounds like a lot of remembering to do and layout skills. Meet Mailchimp, your handy email campaign tool. Mailchimp is free up to a certain number of email blasts and also list size but if you are now starting out it’s sure any easy way to send out relevant information and get back real-time statistics. It has some nice templates and analytics that will allow you to drill down in detail and keep your clients connected with your regular company updates. 34 DAZZLE

www.dazzlebarbados.com

FullContact Card Reader Attending mixers, cocktail parties and workshops you are sure to meet several new people. The first thing you are likely to do is introduce yourself and give them a business card and vice versa. Now that you have all these cards what is the next best thing to do but to get the information into your database. FullContact Card Reader takes the hassle out of the manual work. Simply take a picture of the card and its built-in OCR(Optical Character Recognition) does the rest. You can sync the information with your Gmail account or on your backend in particular with Salesforce which can definitely help you achieve meeting those sales quotas and engaging new prospects.

TripIt Part of your business expenses involve travelling, whose doesn’t. You do an average amount of it but


you need to make sure your itinerary is all organised. TripIt is a nifty app where you forward your booking confirmation to them and they build out your itinerary and alert you when it’s time to be at the airport so you can never be late. Also rest assured that you can share your travel information with co-workers and friends to keep them in the loop.

cloud with the assurance that when you open the file on a computer it will read as it was meant to be. Hurray, you aced the presentation! Best of all it’s free and comes preloaded on most smartphones. If you don’t have it, go to your app store and grab it.

Wunderlist Docs to Go So you’re on the road, left your laptop in your other bag and have an important sales presentation to do. All you have is your smartphone and well a fully charged battery. First answer is YES it can be done. With Docs to Go you have the freedom of viewing and editing Microsoft® Office and Adobe PDF® files. You can do multiple file saves and even backup to your

Always wanted to know what it’s like to have more than two hands, check out Wunderlist the all in one to do list app. Running a business solo is never easy and you need to be able to delegate and keep track of your priorities. Wunderlist allows you to manage and share your daily to-do lists, create subtasks, assign tasks with other users for better collaboration. Meaning you keep everything and everyone in sync. A beautiful app for the mulitaskers out there.

www.dazzlebarbados.com

DAZZLE 35


How to Be Above Board by Lauren E. Whitehall

O

ne of the biggest challenges a business faces is being compliant with relevant legislature. This is an even bigger challenge for the entrepreneur as there may be cost restraints to employ the adequate team responsible for ensuring compliance. The main areas that the entrepreneur needs to be on top of in order to conduct business above the board relate to tax laws, the relevant legal framework under which the business is bound and financial reporting standards. For the entrepreneur it can be overwhelming to stay abreast of the areas described below and to release the cash flow required in order to be compliant. Here are some useful tips: Bite the bullet and hire a qualified consultant, on a short-term basis who will do an analysis of the business and provide guidance on the areas of 36 DAZZLE

www.dazzlebarbados.com

compliance that your business needs to adhere to. Request that the consultant provide a checklist which covers tax deadlines, reporting deadlines, financial reporting standards and the laws under which the business is expected to adhere to. Each quarter, the business owner should review the checklist; sign off on each area to evidence compliance and check if there are any updates required. This method, when developed and used properly is one of the best ways to stay on top of what is required of your organization, especially as it is tailored to suit the nature of your business. There is no need to include areas that are not relevant. Subscribe to email blasts from entities such as Business Barbados which provide useful information on current business practices and legislative changes which may affect your business.


Read the journals issued by the Government, such as the Gazette to keep abreast of changes in relevant government offices and local legislature. This is especially important in today’s economic environment. Participate in anti-money laundering training. Transparency is especially important in today’s business. Every business can come under the microscope as technology makes it easier to capture those attempting to fly below the radar. Money laundering is a worldwide problem and there is much work being done in this area to reduce the ability of money launderers to engage in legitimate business with illegal funds as the source.

Attend relevant seminars and conferences. Stay on top of your business environment and grow your network at the same time. There is always something to learn from others in any business and attendance at these types of events can be a valuable source of information and allows for discussion with others who may be on the same journey. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and give advice of your own. Watch local and international news. You never know what useful information you will come across and this form of media can be more interesting and demonstrative for the busy entrepreneur. Be aware of the information which affects you, whether directly or indirectly.

Financial reporting is a key component of a business. Where the threshold for audit is not met, it is very possible to become lax in this area as having an audit requires that financial reports and disclosures have to be presented in the prescribed format. Do not wait until it is time for an audit, or time to approach banks and other financial institutions to realize that you need to get your financials in order. Depending on your jurisdiction, there are financial reporting standards for presentation and disclosure that all business owners should be aware of. This area is also essential for business owners to be aware on a timely basis of the financial position of the business. Know your clients and know your employees. What this means is that you should not only have a profile of those who you intend to transact business with or who approach you to do business, but also those who work with or for you. Some business relationships may impact on your future ability to do business because not enough due diligence was carried put prior to accepting the business. The same theory applies to hiring new employees. Employees are privy to your information and being able to assess the integrity and character of your employees is definitely advantageous. There are so many useful resources available and it may seem confusing, especially for the entrepreneur who may have the creative vision required for their business which is at the crux of the success of any company. However, one should always keep in mind that there are so many other links in the chain of owning and operating a successful business. Remember that once you set up the right system for staying above the board for your business, it will be much easier and beneficial to maintain that system, than it will be to have to be financially penalized for lack of adherence to the law.

www.dazzlebarbados.com

DAZZLE 37


Getting started on your fitness journey by Janelle Chase-Mayers

W

elcome to the Wellness Corner by Coach Janelle, It’s an honour to be part of this publication Dazzle, to spread the word and begin having conversations about fitness, wellness and health. In this corner we will cover all aspects of fitness, emotional, physical and psychological and begin to dissect the frame of reference that may limit or advance your health.

Getting Started There is always a first time for individuals who want to get fit or become healthier. This first time may be at an early age, the glory days of the 20’s, 30’s and 40’s or the recovery days of the 60’s and beyond, but I guarantee you there is always a starting point. It is usually characterized by images or experiences that 38 DAZZLE

www.dazzlebarbados.com

may or may not motivate you to move towards a more conscience goal of being healthy. So let’s begin to look at some characteristics that will be necessary to get started. Similar to being an entrepreneur, one must be their own boss in this journey. You must have Tenacity - the quality of being determined to do. When getting started on this life path, one must be simply ready and willing to get involved in enhancing their body and life. Being determined to be fit, gets you moving, visiting gyms, asking for referrals, attempting home work outs, eating differently, determined to change the old ways and being determined to doing something different. Just do…. Passion is another trait that an individual who wants to get started must have. A sense of


enthusiasm and excitement towards the goal of starting fitness. How we see the journey allows it to continue. Some people get stuck due to a wayward spirit, but those who are eager, aroused and even anxious are often successful. What are you enthused about? Is it to move better? To get stronger? To lose or gain weight? To fit in a new size? To spend more time with family? To get healthier? To reduce a health risk? There is always something that drives you.

Self-Belief is important and can add value to the fitness journey, self-doubters hardly last or get involved in events. But most people believe that they are capable of doing something whether it is to show up or participate. Before we get started with we love the trainer/coach and the facility speech, and we profess our confidence in their skills, we must however simply believe that the real person who can make the actual change is…YOU. Believing that you can be consistent in training and successful in accomplishing the tasks at hand is where you need to focus. The way in which you see yourself in being successful determines how well you will train, how well you will recover and how quickly you will progress. Self-Belief is poignant to growth. Flexibility is a tricky matter for many and one may assume that I am referring to completing a split or being able to touch your toes (while as a coach I would encourage this type of flexibility). I want to focus on being flexible, being adaptable to different situations and to different outcomes. In the fitness world things can be pretty

unpredictable; weight loss, strength gains and personal bests. It’s hard for a trainer to say that you will get these results in x amount time, because let’s face it, life happens. People have jobs, families, responsibilities, deaths, marriages, children and other activities that could impact on their well-being, so one must be flexible and recognize that missing training after starting only for 2 weeks is not the end of the world. One must be able to adapt and change the effort needed to keep moving; maybe change time of training or workout at home, train with a friend, change the length of time of workout. Just be pliable and adaptable. So before you decide to get started or if you have already started, start to examine if you have some of these traits, and how well they will or are assisting you in your journey.

Tips for getting started… 1. Write down what your goals are for starting fitness.

2. Ask friends or family about their ideals of fitness. 3. Visit Fitness facilities or groups to explore what type of fitness regimes may be useful to you.

4. Choose a starting date, have a flexible time and days and begin a home workout to encourage- Fitness anywhere anytime. Email: info@crossfit246.com

www.dazzlebarbados.com

DAZZLE 39


Live. Love. Design. By Tracy Highland

40 DAZZLE

//Feature www.dazzlebarbados.com


H

er home, a modest cottage, is simple, peaceful and inviting. A vase of fresh yellow and white flowers sits in the corner. A book of devotions lies open on her dining room table. There is no clutter, just a mix of soothing colours and cheery accents.

“Do you want to see where I work?” she asks. Her eyes light up and the excitement in her voice is palpable. We can’t say no. It’s hard not to get swept up when someone is obviously that passionate about what they do. She ushers us into an extremely organized office and starts to talk. Just like that, we understand how, at the age of 27, Natasha Simpson has managed to make a success of her blog turned business, Love Design Barbados. A bit of an enigma, Natasha is a blend of fluid creativity and regimented business woman. She comes from two elite Barbadian families, the Armstrongs on her mother’s side and the Simpsons on her father’s side, but she fits in comfortably anywhere. Amongst her closest friends are artistes Saddis and Lead Pipe whom she formed a bond with long before their local fame. She loves children, often adopting little ones from local communities, helping them with their homework and providing a loving mentor. In fact, she tells Dazzle that growing up she imagined a career either in social work or interior design. Design won, and though she still makes helping others a huge part of her life, she makes her living fusing three things she loves most: writing, meeting people, and experiencing new things. Her company, Love Design (Barbados), keeps her extremely busy. It has grown to include: interior decorating services, social media services, and a blog that has over 15,000 views monthly from across the world, attracts advertising from premier brands and has strategic alliances with companies like online media giant PopSugar. However it wasn’t always like this. Natasha remembers returning home after completing her studies in Interior Decorating at Rhodec International. She took a job at Natz Home Furnishings and eventually was offered a position running another home furnishing store. It was there, while researching ideas for the store and her own design inspiration, that she discovered design blogs.

“That was about six years ago. I had no idea they were design blogs out there,” she said. “Decor8, The Decorista and Made by Girl, they were the three blogs that made me love it!” She decided to start her own blog. “At first I was horrified that anyone would read it. I didn’t tell anyone about it. I didn’t want anyone to know. It was just like a creative outlet for me,” she explained. Natasha eventually got her courage up and started sharing it with specific people. She blogged consistently for a year. She would write five days a week, not earning anything. It was after that year that she realised she would have to make a decision. She loved blogging but it was consuming so much of her time that she would either have to find a way to make money from it or scale back her efforts. Luckily a break would come that would make option one a possibility. She was chosen out of hundreds of applicants to attend a conference called Blog Fest on Design in New York. It became the catalyst that would set her business going down the path of success. “They chose a hundred design bloggers and there were only two of us from outside the United States,” she said. “At the time I didn’t think they would choose me, especially when looking at other people’s blogs.” “I didn’t have a logo. I didn’t have business cards. I didn’t have a professional profile pic,” she added. But they did choose her and she left for New York determined to make the most of it. The conference was sponsored by Kravet and Hearst Corporation, owners of House Beautiful, Elle, Elle Décor and Veranda amongst other magazines. When she returned from Blog Fest she was armed with a book full of powerful contacts and clearer plan on how to monetize her blog. She revamped the blog and emailed it to all the contacts she had made while at Blog Fest. She also tackled the local market, made a list of people who could advertise with her and approached them. “At first when I approached a lot of people, they were unsure. Website advertising and social media was still a relatively new thing,” she said. Her first advertising client was local home décor and furnishing

www.dazzlebarbados.com

DAZZLE 41


store, Walkers World, and she still maintains a relationship with them.

Zach, an aspiring chef who works nights at a Christ Church restaurant.

Today, she has a core group of clients and she is selective about the companies she works with. It’s one of the things she thinks makes her business and blog successful. “I find sometimes with big agencies people don’t pay enough attention. I’m invested in my clients. I genuinely want them to do well,” she explains. “I try to take on clients that I am interested in. I try to be authentic and speak honestly about things I am writing about.”

“I like to make that time. I cook and we have dinner. We spend those two hours together before he goes to work. Afterwards I will either read, work some more or visit one of my friends to watch TV, engage in deep conversation or at times just enjoy a good laugh,” she explained.

This approach has worked for her and Love Design Barbados continues to thrive and grow. It has opened up opportunities for her to write for other publications, do social media work and to travel. Her biggest challenge is finding balance between work and spending time with family and friends which is also a priority.

fun facts Cappuccinos and magazines are her guilty pleasures. She’s a big foodie and loves to try new restaurants and dishes. She never leaves her bed unmade or else she may be tempted to get back in. She uses structure to find balance. She has a routine and she tries her best to stick to it. A typical day for her starts with devotions and a short yoga session. She cooks breakfast every morning, showers and starts work at 9am. She works until 1pm then breaks for lunch and will either take meetings in the afternoon, or work on until 4 or 5 pm. Evening time is set aside for dinner with boyfriend 42 DAZZLE

www.dazzlebarbados.com

Family is very important to Natasha. She will tell you that for her and younger sister Nikola, a marine biologist, much of their work ethic and determination to succeed comes from watching the example set by their parents, Douglas and Julie, and both sets of grandparents. Her family is very supportive of her business. Her Grandma Simpson encourages her to have faith and her Grandma Armstrong at the age of 77 is on Facebook and makes it a point to like her granddaughters’ posts and support the clients Natasha works with. “My grandfather who owns Alcolado and Armstrong Agencies wants so badly to give me business. I’m still trying to figure out how some of his brands especially Alcolado would fit into a design blog,” she chuckled. She cherishes her family’s support, but she is determined to make her own way on her own terms. She has great plans for her blog. She’s planning a new project for mid 2015, a Caribbean lifestyle blog that will expand her reach, content base and take her far beyond the shores of Barbados. It will be a resource not only for Caribbean people but for people travelling to the Caribbean. What’s her advice to other people thinking about making a career out of blogging? “Choose something that you are passionate about”. “You have to be genuinely interested in what you are writing about. You have to enjoy what you are doing. Blogs are meant to be written from your personal experience and I think there is a place for that internationally,” she explained. “A lot of companies will give bloggers products to review rather than take out traditional forms of advertising. I think more businesses are moving towards this kind of marketing because it’s real.” To find out more about Love Design visit www.lovedesigndbdos.com and find her on twitter and instagram @lovedesignbdos.


ingredients 1 Whole Chicken 3 Tsp No Salt Bajan Seasoning 1/4 Cup Coconut Oil ½ Tsp Pepper 1/4 Cup Sorrel Syrup ½ Cup Red Wine 2 Tbs Lemon Juice ¼ Tsp Ground Allspice

method Tie legs of Chicken together; turn wing tips under back. Place in a roasting pan. Season thoroughly with bajan seasoning; brush coconut oil over it and sprinkle with a pinch of salt and pepper. Bake, uncovered, at 350° F for 1 hour. In a saucepan, combine the remaining ingredients; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes. Spoon Sorrel glaze over chicken.

Recipe compliments of Chef Dane Saddler. Follow him @chefdanetheslimchef

Bake 15 minutes longer or until a meat thermometer reads 180°.

www.dazzlebarbados.com

DAZZLE 43


see more pictures on www.dazzlebarbados.com & facebook.com/dazzlebarbados

44 DAZZLE

www.dazzlebarbados.com


www.dazzlebarbados.com

DAZZLE 45


Dazzlebarbados

republic21, mslsquared, sherenalicia, triggatrent, themastermindkhidd, _shewhoiscrownedking, sassycookies, jessisummer, msangep, alinaking101, crossďŹ t246, miss_simlovely, lilsusanhot, pinkpantherxpress, catspyjamas81, geoffreymccollin, themastermindkhidd, maggiorefederica, mslsquared

Follow US instagram/dazzlebarbados


lim i t ed

Business & Marketing Plans Bid Proposal Writing Financial Projections E: info@123digitallimited.com T: 758-452-0123 Caribbean . UK . Canada . USA

W: www.123digitallimited.com terms and conditions apply


Profile for Dazzle Barbados

Dazzle Magazine Barbados Issue 3  

Dazzle Magazine Barbados is a fresh new Barbadian bi-monthly publication that provides much needed exposure to innovative professionals, ent...

Dazzle Magazine Barbados Issue 3  

Dazzle Magazine Barbados is a fresh new Barbadian bi-monthly publication that provides much needed exposure to innovative professionals, ent...

Advertisement