Category Archives: Featured Articles

Stay Fit with LEE!

SHERRY-ANN LEE is a certified fitness instructor with over two decades of experience coaching and training clients to achieve their fitness goals.

If you are lucky enough to meet her in person, you’ll be surprised that you just read 2+ decades! (Not to sound cliché, but simply because great things come in small packages and still waters run deep.)

Sherry is a tiny ball of FUN energy wrapped in a youthful package brimming with humility, grace and a wealth of wisdom (of course I may be a bit biased, since we’ve been friends since 2005 after having her as my trainer in 2004!).

Sherry (or Lee as she is endeared by her clients) uses a combination of cardio, free weights and fun ‘extras’ like kettle bells, steppers, resistance bands et cetera tailored to each client’s needs to empower a holistic sense of well-being and equilibrium.

Variety makes life fun: Lee incorporates outdoor activities as part of her clients’ routine; not limited to hikes, hills, walks/jogs, at-home 1-2-1 consultations+personal training, improvising with weights found around your home.

Your Goals: Whether your goal is weight loss; strength training, toning or flexibility, you can count on Lee to find the right mix of personalized training to achieve your desired outcome. She’ll monitor your weight ensuring that you keep on track with a healthy lifestyle including: dietary guidelines, proper water intake and more to maintain a healthy body mass index (BMI) that’s right for your height, age and frame.

A softy at the core, Lee can appear at times to be a bit of a drill-sergeant. But only on those days when exercise is the last thing on your mind and you may be in need of that extra push (not literally of course!).

Sherry bringing ENERGY + JOY to clients everyday!

Bonus: She’ll share motivational tailored tips to create a positive body and fitness image required for the balance and energy to carry on with your specific routine and day-to-day life pursuits.

Lee is available to conduct specifically tailored presentations for community groups, NGOs and companies based on request.

A consummate professional, Sherry-Ann Lee remains a humble student of life constantly striving for ways to serve the needs of her clients in a way that brings them joie de vivre, vitality and appreciation for Living their absolute Best Life!

For more, you can reach her at (868)-702-4643/354-5025.

Andrea Mckenzie personifies her ART

“Thank You Yahoo Style & Beauty” ❤️ Memories from Curlfest 2017 NYC

ANDREA MCKENZIE’s ethos behind her artistic expression echoes the sentiments of creatives the world over – possibly since time immemorial. Art for her is a way of life and she can’t picture any other way to live.

Above all, she wants to keep growing as she learns more about new cultures and ways to increase the intrinsic allure so more customers can enjoy her work.

 

“I want my pieces to be a talking point; so when it is hung at a customer’s home or place of business, their family, friends and clients can get lost in the art as a deep-seated sense of peace and wonderment washes over them,” the artist says.

 

 

Her journey to making her ART sustainable

She relates to the fact of life some entrepreneurs have shared, that some days it’s either a case of feast or famine. But a true innovator who is passionate about their craft can never ‘starve’ in the real sense. Simply by the merit of their pure intentions, they consistently attract those who value what they offer the world.

Seasons of Life

FAITH and her decision to JUMP

“In her flaws she found a much deeper Truth and it is from them she Bloomed.”

Andrea shares that she maintains her focus through her spirituality, persistence and confidence in her art which allows her to debunk the myth that art is not a sustainable way of life.

Even in the face of being bypassed for a promotion; laid off from her 8-4 in 2013 and adjusting to a new country, she always had the belief that she would be able to make a living from her art.

The artist affirms her love for her native land of Trinidad & Tobago and says there’s no place like home, but she had to do what was best to progress her art.

 

 

Portrait Title: Faith

 

“I had to make that JUMP to spread my wings – even for a while, so my passion could take flight.

I had to do this while still young; so I would never have to suffer the agony of doing a job just to get by, while stifling my growth as a creative person in the process.”

 

 

 

The artist’s first solo show

Upon the encouragement of her father Ian Mckenzie, Andrea hosted her first solo show while coming to terms with losing her (bread + butter) job in 2013.

She was blown away by the response as the artist shares that she’s mainly self-taught and felt other artists had more experience and training.

 

 

 

“After that show, I woke up to the realization that ART is my reason for being.

It is a God-given gift.

I.am.ART.

I live for ART.

ART is in my DNA.

ART is my past, my present and I can shape and attract my future through my loVe and unique perception and expression of ART.

My grandmother is an artist and my father has been creating Carnival masquerade costumes for decades. I have been painting since the age of 13 and I do have a solid foundation as I studied art as one of my school leaving subjects.

I’m sure there are ways to reach further with my art in Trinidad & Tobago, but from my experience it was gonna take way longer than I had time for, since the market is very small and the competition can be quite fierce and almost abrasive at times.”

Andrea’s dream

“I’ll share my dream out loud which is very close to my heart. That is to have my cherished pieces featured on the set of lauded TV shows and box office movies on the world stage.

I’ll go wherever the Creator and Artist of all Artists takes me: Paris. Brazil…

There’s no limit to what the power of our thoughts can create for us,” she says as her eyes sparkle with an undeniable faith in the unknown.

“Thus far, I’ve commissioned work (sold my art) to customers in various parts of the United States, Sweden, England, Scotland and more.

Nothing in life is ever 100% easy and without hardships.

Pursuing your passion (especially art) full time – the honest way while trying to make a comfortable living, I believe is the road less traveled.

But the freedom I have to create, network, learn, articulate and share my passion for ART is an indescribable feeling beyond words …”

“The mind is everything. You think what you become.”

 

 

 

I still love my island paradise and I do return from time to time, but this is what creating unabashed means to me,” Andrea flashes her winning smile that allows her inner light to shine and radiate through her art that stuns the world.

 

 

For art inquiries, you can contact the artist Andrea McKenzie via annieuniqueart@yahoo.com and follow her journey on Instagram @dredredoll and Facebook at Andrea’s Unique Art.

Beverley Fitzwilliam Harries’ journey through art

As a child, Beverley Fitzwilliam Harries was all about exploring new outlets for her creativity through colouring books and craft kits, while many girls her age were reading storybooks.

Her seventh solo exhibition was inspired by the people and landscapes of Trinidad and Tobago, which she recreated in acrylics. Beverley says she is unable to imagine living life anywhere else, as the Caribbean is home to her and serves as her muse. 

“Art was in my blood, as my extended family were creatives and my parents always supported my decision to pursue art. As a girl, I always found myself colouring on whatever I could find including the wrapping papers of sweets,” Fitzwilliam Harries said.

Winning prizes for her art were a constant part of her elementary and secondary school years and her alma mater Holy Name Convent acted as the main catalyst for the artist you see today.

Beverley received a distinction in Fine Arts at the GCE Ordinary Level Cambridge examinations and with the help of her parents, she went on to pursue a Bachelor of Arts in painting at Fanshawe College of Applied Arts & Technology, Ontario, Canada. 

“I would have loved to study at The University of the West Indies, but unfortunately the Visual Arts department only opened up in 1979 when I returned from Canada,” she shares.

She painted in watercolour upon returning to T&T, being strongly influenced by Jackie Hinkson and John Newel Lewis. While some may not consider art to be the most economically viable career, Fitzwilliam Harries believes that it is possible to an extent.

Art entitled ‘Mayaro Again’ inspired by Trinidadian seaside landscapes

The artist said even back in those days working by commission, you needed a full time job – especially as a single person to live a practical life. Shortly after returning from her studies in Canada, she landed a job as Bishop Anstey High School’s art teacher where she taught for 19 years, also serving as a CXC Examiner between 1993-7. 

“It is indeed difficult to find the time and motivation to pursue your craft after a long day of teaching 275 girls in one week from forms one to upper six … at that time I painted like I taught, since teaching and working experiences can affect your art.”

A view of some of Fitzwilliam Harries paintings at the 101 Art Gallery at her 7th solo exhibit (Oct-17)

In 1997 Beverley made the decision to move to Jamaica with her growing family until they again changed locales in 2000 and resided in St. Lucia until 2007 before returning home to Trinidad.  During those years, she practiced her art along with self-study. 

“I was fascinated by the works of Turner, Derain and Van Gogh. I also loved the Fauves! Hence my use of red. I wanted to paint with more body, so I made the shift to acrylics since I studied this at college.” 

The artist attended a few workshops in Barbados facilitated by Margaret Roseman (of Canada) and Heidi Berger (of Germany) launching her first solo exhibition in 2006 with the encouragement of Rachael Du Boulay – owner of ‘The Inner Gallery’.

“Prior to this, I always participated in group exhibits with other artists. You need workshops – no matter how old or experienced you are. You need to step out of your box and refresh yourself to learn new techniques.” 

 

Fitzwilliam Harries encourages all creatives across various genres to pursue their art for the right reasons and stay committed to learning.

“This is the secret to continued success.” Beverley says as we exchange knowing smiles and she explains the names of the photos hung at her exhibit held at 101 Art Gallery circa October 2017.

That’s ME! @ my 2nd (ever) art exhibit experience!

 

The 411: A&E Musiq Fest (formerly Book Talk & Jazz)

Oct-2016 Written by Carissa Daniel | Business Coach & Consultant

First published on The Caribbean Current

My experience started as soon as I contacted Carolyn about attending the event. Her excitement and heart was very evident as she shared more about the event and her passion to help others realize their purpose. 

I remember thinking that this was definitely an indicator of what the event would be like. 

A few years ago, I purchased Carolyn’s first book Thinking out Loud and was very much moved by her candidness expressed in the book about her journey of finding herself and her passion. This prior experience coupled with my intrigue, secured my spot for my first ever Book Talk & Jazz. Without hesitation; in my usual fashion of sharing with my friends and family, I immediately sent the flyer encouraging them to attend as well. 

As the day finally came; I honestly did not know what to expect, however, I decided to go with an open mind ready to receive. Upon entering the venue; I was extremely impressed by the beautiful ambiance of the backyard garden.

The stimulating music as it played softly in the background, the array of people seated awaiting the beginning of the show and the quiet buzz of excitement all greeted me as I entered. My inward smile then began showing outwardly as I knew it was definitely going to be an amazing evening.

Carolyn was simply awesome, she did an incredible job of bringing her books to life through the accounts she shared about her journey toward self-discovery and realizing her reason for being. It was truly an opportunity for me to take a deep look at my own journey and life to assess whether I was truly pursuing my dreams and passion.

From time to time, I casually looked over to my friends and family who were sitting closeby and witnessed how deeply introspective they were, absorbing Carolyn’s every word and what seemed to be a piercing into their lives as well. The mood of the evening was without a doubt positive, inspirational, motivational and encouraging.

This was further amplified by Patrice Inglesbirth’s jazz performances. In one word, phenomenal. Patrice’s singing was like that of the Greek Mythical Sirens: beautiful, alluring and angelic. Her singing seemed to touch every fibre of my being. Her self-composed rendition aptly captured the essence and theme of the evening and succinctly reinforced Carolyn’s objective.

As the evening came to an end, patrons felt liberated to get up and share their excitement with everyone. One by one, attendees went to the front expressing how much the Talk and Jazz inspired them to go out and pursue their passion and purpose.

Their excitement spilled over to the others, who from their facial expressions all seemed extremely happy and satisfied with the evening’s agenda.

We then had the opportunity to mingle ‘n mix; drink wine, enjoy the beautiful ambiance of the backyard garden, while being entertained by the DJ’s selection of some grown folks music.

Everyone I spoke with all shared the same sentiments of the impact of the evening. Some reported that they felt it was just what they needed at that very moment to help them move forward with their ideas, while others were motivated to continue pursuing their dreams and passion.

Book Talk & Jazz is an event that should be definitely calendared as a ‘must go’ for those of us who are seeking alternative mediums of inspiration, entertainment and socializing.

Without a doubt, I will be attending the next Book Talk & Jazz.

Secure your tickets here for this year’s Music, Arts & Motivation Festival happening on Sunday 29th July, 2018.

Photo credit- IIEYE photography Neville B. Alexander 2016.

 

Leslie-Ann Beckles: Creative enthusiast to sustainability specialist!

LESLIE-ANN BECKLES is a sustainability specialist who is very passionate about the creative sector. She has been part of the performing arts circuit since she was eight (8) years old as a singer, actress, in film, on stage and backstage which gives her a holistic view of how the sector functions.

Upon completion of her Marketing studies at COSTAATT and the Chartered Institute of Marketing, she decided to combine her experience and training so as to develop a sustainable industry.

An advocate for the creative sector, Leslie-Ann continuously promotes her findings and also educates non-creatives of its value. She has worked with clients such as the Trinidad Theatre Workshop, Encore Productions, Sanctuary Productions and Sovereign City Entertainment to name a few. 

She one day hopes that all creatives will be able to enjoy a profitable career by pursuing their craft and passion!

For more contact Leslie-Ann at llbeckles@gmail.com 

Patricia ‘colours’ the world with her brand Colour Riot

Model: P. Grannum. Photo credit: Adrian Best. Makeup: Dena Best

PATRICIA GRANNUM is a creative out-of-the box thinker at heart. She wears many hats: writing, editing, drawing, illustrating, painting (digital & traditional), designing/creating indigenous jewelry!

If she had to choose, she’d say jewelry is her greatest love right now.

“A lot of people don’t really think of fiction writing as ‘art’, but to me it is. I enjoy that too.”

 

When asked what is her favorite piece of writing, jewelry, editing or illustration this was her response:

“Ahhh! I can never choose and will never choose. That’s like asking a mother to pick a favourite child!” she laughs.

The discovery of her love for art and creating

Patricia first realized she loved creating as a primary school pupil. Having been born into an uber creative family, it was only natural for her to pursue a creative career since she was always surrounded by creativity and people who are passionate about creating.

In her younger years, Patricia watched in admiration as her grandmother created clothing, silk flowers, bookshelves, cabinets, baking etc. Now 80+ (years young), she is always in the midst of some creative project like gardening and home improvement, but naturally her overdrive comes in smaller doses.

She shares that her mother also enjoys making things. Growing up Patricia witnessed her mom making items like paper crafts and photo frames. She now expresses her artistic side via baking and sewing most of her clothes.

Patricia says she admires her granny and mom the most for their strength. “I’m trying to get to their level of emotional resilience!’

Colour Riot collaboration w/ Bene Caribe Photo credit for top two photos: Marlon James.

Her influences

The artist is influenced by a lot of female ‘artrepreneurs’, especially those who have been running their businesses for a long time.

“It gives me hope that I can do the same. She is also influenced the most by her customers and potential customers …

For me, coming up with product ideas is a dance between my ideas and what my instincts/research tell me they’ll like… Sometimes I get it right; sometimes I don’t, but there’s always something new to learn.”

 

Her thoughts on the entrepreneurship journey thus far

Patricia admits that growing a business has its ups and downs, but she has no regrets about leaving full-time employment.

“I always felt like something was missing from my life when I couldn’t work on my art and now I have the ability to do so every day!”

Model wearing Colour Riot Jewelry Behind the scenes US shoot photographer: Mikara Reid

Each day, I learn something new about myself through what I create. I feel like I’m always defying the limitations previously placed on myself. So the journey has benefitted me tremendously in terms of personal growth. 

I started Colour Riot Jewelry in 2013, yet I still don’t consider myself a full-fledged entrepreneur since I’m still learning the ropes of being self-employed. I still hold a part-time job as I’ve learnt that owning a business can be tumultuous.

Personally, I need some security of a steady paycheck to ensure that I can pay my bills independently. It allows me to feel more confident (and less anxious) about making creative decisions with regard to my business ventures, knowing that I’m not depending on them for all of my income.

I do look forward to the day when I can live solely from my business income (and spend all my days on a beach with a laptop lol) but I’m not quite there yet.”

 

Biggest joys/rewards/downside (requires full quotes!)

Adornami Caribbean photographer: Tewelde Medhin (Tmax Photography) Stylist: Tameika Fletcher Birmingham. Model: Jonnelle

“With my jewelry, I LOVE to see people wearing what I’ve made. I love when they say how much they enjoy the pieces …

It’s the same thing with art and writing. When someone says I wrote or painted something that moved them emotionally, I get giddy lol. It makes it worth it …

Prizes are nice, but I do this because I want to share the joy of my unique brand of creativity with others. My work being featured in a US fashion editorial was nice I have to admit!

The downside is the income security challenges mentioned earlier, but I’ve learnt to deal with the anxiety that comes with that.”

Her most exciting project to date

Working on expanding her brand of Colour Riot Jewelry has been the project which she says pushed her the most out of her comfort zone.

“I’ve had to organize multiple photo-shoots, collaborate with fashion designers, reach out to boutiques to get them to carry the pieces, reach out to press for coverage, sell at markets and other events throughout Trinidad, the Caribbean and more. All the while, creating. every. piece!

It’s a lot of work, but it has helped me to gain invaluable insights and skills. Currently, for my art business I’m working on a coloring book and I’m learning A LOT about self-publishing. That’s been very exciting!”

Her professional background

In ‘another life’ while employed at her full time job, Patrica worked at Caribbean Ideas Ltd as a Content Manager and later Product Manager. The positions were centered around social media marketing, online publishing and some of the business aspects of app development.

Photo credit: Adrian Best. Make-up: Dena Best

The most exciting people she has met, or would like to meet (living or dead … hypothetically)

The most exciting people the artist has met to-date are designers Meiling and Robert Young of The Cloth.

“They are both people I look up to; not only for their longevity in the business, but for the clarity of their artistic expression through clothing.”

If she had the option of meeting a legend (that is no longer with us), she said it would be Frida Kahlo.

“She went through a lot of personal suffering but poured it all into her art. She created masterpieces out of the things that were supposed to break her and I find that really inspiring. She also had a pretty wild life, from what I’ve read. Imagine the stories she’d tell! The conversation would be amazing!”

Daily ‘rituals’/practices

“When I’m sitting in front of a blank page, I always draw a large scribble before I start an illustration…

That helps me get rid of the intimidation you can feel when you’re getting ready to make something anew. And it’s a good warm up for my hand!”

Patricia follows a lot of artists on social media and she says seeing others creating, provides the motivation and impetus to continue to create. 

Her inspiration

She says her biggest supporters and the reason for following her passion is attributed to the people who raised her: her mother, grandmother and grandfather.

C.R. jewelry in Lucy’s Magazine Model: Dash Hernandez of Front Mgt Creative Director + Stylist: Mikara Reid Photographer: Anna Turayeva Hair and Makeup: Awaka Ciera

Milestones

  • A Naparima Girls’ High School alum, CXC art was among the subjects Patricia pursued. She later studied Journalism at Carleton University, Canada where she received a university scholarship to help fund her studies.
  • A self-taught jewelry maker and mostly self-taught illustrator, she learnt much of her drawing skills from the 3-hour fashion illustration classes she took at the Caribbean Academy of Fashion and Design.
  • Her brand Colour Riot was featured in Florida based magazine Boca  and an online editorial for another US based fashion magazine Lucy’s.
  • Patricia was one of the 2015 winners of a short story competition held by the Bocas Lit Fest, where she won a coaching session w/ Clare Alexander, UK based literary agent & former editor at Macmillan Publishers.
  • She is currently working on a colouring book featuring her work inspired by Caribbean folklore; mythologies from other parts of the world, fairytales and surrealism and whatever pops into her brain!
  • Patricia also happens to be the designer & editor of my 2nd book (a memoir of my professional journey towards my dreams): How To Find Yourself & Claim What’s Yours and who I like to refer to as my book coach! 😉

    Behind the Scenes Lucy’s magazine photographer: Mikara Reid

Recommendations to assist the creative/SME sector

  • More support/training for the management of online businesses,
  • Online payment logistics can be a nightmare sometimes, especially if you have to liaise between a payment processor like PayPal and your local bank.

“A couple of years ago, I went to the bank to sort out payments I hadn’t received and one of the tellers did not know that you could be paid through PayPal. So I believe more education and investment into that would be a great help.” 

Further thoughts from Pat

Patricia holds a BA in Journalism which she admits may seem weird to some, given all the talk about loving to make things and the fact that she’s not working in a newsroom today. However, the artist says that the degree helped to hone her writing and editing skills which she continues to use.

Her creative designs can be viewed on IG @ artbypg 

Her jewelry can be viewed on Facebook and Instagram (returning from hiatus later 2018)

Her writing can be viewed via her blog: Patricia Writes Her Stuff

Shop for Patricia’s Stuff

Creative Patricia Grannum shares the ONE thing she’d like to accomplish before leaving this earth:

“I just want to continue to make art that resonates with people. It’s what I love.” 

 

Patricia Grannum will be reading her creative fiction pieces at the newly re-branded 4th installment of Music, Arts & Motivation Festival 2018 now in its 3rd year, carded for Sunday 29th July.  Her jewelry and art pieces will also be on sale. To reserve your seats and come listen to and network with Patricia and other amazing talents, please visit this link.

HIC OMEGA CONSULTING Copyright 2018. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Kindly note the above information should in no way be copied, modified or disseminated for use for another entity. The legal rights remain with the creators of this content and the persons for which it was created. Any violation of such, will be treated accordingly.

If you’d like to read more stories like this, you can click subscribe to receive email updates straight to your inbox. To have your story/business featured and told in this format, please read the instructions below and send us your best elevator pitch to info@hicomegaconsulting.com. Our team will be sure to contact you within 48 hours with feedback and details.

Please keep it tight, with enough information that explains the nature of your business, along with links to your social media pages, samples of your work and at least five (5) customer testimonials. This is to ensure the highest quality service providers/SMEs/artists are shared with our mailing list and subscribers.

One of Tobago’s Finest Chefs! Curlyn John

Me & Curly at the Buccoo Goat & Crab Races Easter Tuesday Circa 2013

Entrepreneurship can be considered a risky road few traverse or stay the distance. Like certain professions, you must be born for it and adapt if you want to be sustainable and maintain your responsibility to serve in the best manner.

 It may seem glamorous and even lucrative to some who are looking on from the outside, but the road is certainly not one to be coveted, if that is your sole purpose.

You will be in for a rude awakening when you realize that the road is not paved in gold. In fact, you may find it filled with many sleepless nights, doubts, fears, failures and personal sacrifices in terms of time, resources and former luxuries.

 For many of us, we see no other option to share our innate talent/passion for maximum effect, with as many as possible who appreciate and value our ‘craft’. One such person is Curlyn John, who I was lucky to meet when I lived on the sister-isle in 2013 and travel to Grenada with circa 2014 for the wedding of mutual friends.

 Similar to business; friendship and anything you deem worthwhile are about compromise, communication and appreciation of character for what the person brings/brought to your life. Without this, you become dust in the wind scratching the surface on the meaning and joy in life.

Curlyn’s personality is warm and embracing. It makes for good business. She shares that her recipe for attracting [repeat] customers is her commitment to outstanding service, packaging and creating the mood for her customers’ eclectic and mouth watering meals of choice to be enjoyed.

Her culinary journey began at the School Feeding Programme in Mason Hall (Tobago) where she worked as a cook for a year before pursuing a Diploma in Chef Training at the Trinidad & Tobago Hospitality and Tourism Institute (Trinidad Hotel School).

Soon after graduating John along with a few classmates were offered the opportunity to showcase their culinary skills aboard a cruise ship that was dry-docked in Chaguaramas (Trinidad).

There were no passengers, so we cooked for the crew and were soon hired to work on different ships going to all of the Caribbean islands, with the exception of Barbados, Jamaica and Cuba. We got as far as the Bahamas and Cayman Islands, but Palm island took my breath away. It’s a private island off the coast of St. Vincent and the Grenadines,” John recalls.

The ship was based in Antigua and John eventually settled making this island her new home. The warm welcome made it an easy transition. She worked at the Trade Winds Hotel as a Chef de Partie; the Grand Royal Antigua, Jolly Beach Resort and Jimmy’s Beach Grill and Bar to name a few of the well-known establishments in Antigua.

However, for Chef John this was not enough to showcase her gifts in the best light, so she took a calculated risk and quit her 8-4 after 11 years to open her own restaurant. It was called ‘Trini Delights’ and it was a gamble that paid off since it soon became a hit with the locals.

She served take-away lunches and breakfast, opening her doors at 6 a.m. Monday to Saturday. Many times her neighbours and other customers would come a-knocking any time of day or night saying to her: 

“You must have some kind of food or a cup with ice and a cold drink in your freezer!”

She says that was the only drawback of working from home, but loved cooking for her customers offering a new special each day, while maintaining her regular menu. Her top sellers included specials such as roti, made from scratch and her Tuesday pepperpot – an Antiguan soup made of spinach, okras, dumplings and various peas.

 

Chef Curlyn mastered all the local dishes and on Thursdays served up saltfish with ducuna (similar to what we call paime in Trinidad and Tobago, but made with sweet potato). Fungi was also popular (similar to coo coo, but made of a softer consistency and served piping hot). She accompanied this dish with stewed fish and chop chop (callaloo made with spinach).

Listening to her describe these mouth-watering delights, made me realize that her business really lived up to its name, as I remembered visiting her one Sunday for the Tobago Jazz Festival and asking for seconds!

She served a plethora of dishes for breakfast and most times the same customers returned for lunch. Business was so good that she was able to fund her eldest daughter’s undergraduate and postgraduate studies in Applied & Forensic Sciences at The University of the West Indies, Mona Jamaica without taking a loan.

Then the recession hit and Curlyn decided to move back home to Tobago at the end of 2012. She had to start all over again but admits that ‘home will always be home.’ 

She maintained old friendships and will never forget the tremendous support she received during the transition. Chef John says re-adjusting to Tobago life was hard and chuckles as she remembers mentally converting the currency whenever she visited the supermarket.

To get back on her feet she accepted a job as Chef/Lecturer at the Tobago Hospitality & Tourism Institute and was grateful for the memorable experiences mentoring the students and helping them host their Student Dinners. John later received her Caribbean Vocational Qualification (CVQ) and toyed with the idea of teaching, but her dream was to open her own Fine Dining Restaurant.

 “I want to serve tasty food with superb service that wouldn’t cost a pound and a crown.”

To achieve this goal and with little rest for the weary, Curlyn did private catering and sold lunches on the weekends. She received repeat business from private and corporate clients, along with referrals from friends and colleagues.

In 2016 through her continuous efforts and prayers, Curlyn was granted a 2-year lease at the Crown Point Beach hotel to prepare breakfast, lunch and dinner. Though her lease has recently come to an end, she continues to give thanks for the opportunity to put a smile on the faces of her guests by doing what she loves and was created to do.  

Barbados Surprise

With so many experiences under her belt; the mother of 3 beautiful daughters beams as she shares in the most humble way, as it if happened yesterday:

“While working in Antigua: two different groups (foreign and local) asked to see the chef after their meal.

The first was so impressed, they paid double their bill. The second group of about 100 people who filled the restaurant, all stood on their feet and applauded when I entered the room!

 I will never forget that for as long as I live; I think I floated a few feet off the ground! No one can ever break my stride because of my faith in God, everything I do is for Him and my children; they are my world and continue to make me so proud.” John says.

 

For more, you can contact Chef Curlyn John at (868)-764-0989, curlynjohn@gmail.com.

HIC OMEGA CONSULTING Copyright 2015. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Kindly note the above information should in no way be copied, modified or disseminated for use for another entity. The legal rights remain with the creators of this content and the persons for which it was created. Any violation of such, will be treated accordingly.

If you’d like to read more stories like this, you can click subscribe to receive email updates straight to your inbox. To have your story/business featured and told in this format, please read the instructions below and send us your best elevator pitch to info@hicomegaconsulting.com. Our team will be sure to contact you within 48 hours with feedback and details.

Please keep it tight, with enough information that explains the nature of your business, along with links to your social media pages, samples of your work and at least five (5) customer testimonials. This is to ensure the highest quality service providers/SMEs/artists are shared with our mailing list and subscribers.

Hacienda Jacana – Home Away From Home

Nestled in the sublime forests of Talparo Trinidad, lies a dreamy escape from reality known as Hacienda Jacana. Only an hour’s drive from Port-of-Spain; you can find the most perfect combination of comfortable lodging, scrumptious food, breathtaking nature at its best, hospitable people and the rest is left up to your imagination.

Somewhat off the beaten path is a secluded utopia that few know about. It’s an adventure worth exploring since once you leave your comfort zone, you’d experience a (local) paradise that parallels those seen on The Travel Channel.

Forget the wildly popular phone app – ‘Waze’ and GPS; because once you’ve booked your trip, you are provided with flawless directions. Buckle up and grab an old fashioned map as part of the adventure and learning!

“Once you’ve reached San Raphael RC Church, you can’t get lost” the directions read. A few more roads and corners later, I was led to a little trace and ‘went brave’ just as instructed and drove until there were no more houses.

The little white arrow that pointed to Hacienda Jacanda was akin to following a treasure hunt and my excitement grew as I entered the gates and was granted access inside for the next couple days. We were directed to our cabin and the real adventure began as we got a tour of the estate.

Sitting on 22 acres of land, Hacienda Jacana consists of four wooden cottages outfitted with Greenheart wood imported from Guyana. The cabins are each named after birds: Gallinule, Lapwing, Nightjar and Wood Rail. The name was derived from the Spanish influence and a Caribbean feel reflecting the tastes of the owners. The name Hacienda translates to ‘a large estate or plantation with a dwelling house’ and Jacana is the name of a bird found on the estate.

After considering several sketches and designs for years, the owner finally decided on a rustic appeal that is both charming and homely complementing the outdoor environment.  Keeping it local, the décor is adorned with fresh flowers from the garden and mounted colour photography by Gregory Scott which were carefully selected by the owner.

Each cottage is equipped with a fully functional kitchen, two air conditioned bedrooms, bathroom, dining and living rooms and a porch overlooking the most magnificent view of the lake that seems to stretch as far as the eye could see! As you take in the view from the porch, it is easy to get mesmerized as you watch the reflection of light on the water and the various species of birds that hop to and fro on the lily pads way down below.

The most spectacular sight of nature to witness, were the various coloured hummingbirds that came up to the feeders that hung right above my head. I was amused by the fight that ensued with this one particular green hummingbird that marked his territory chasing all the other hummingbirds away!

Constructed in 2010, the cottages are available for vacations, church, staff or writer’s retreats, plant, bird and even bat conservationists or anyone in need of quiet time to relax and unwind from the stresses of daily life. They can safely accommodate 25 persons for a one-day event.

During the day; guests can enjoy a stroll around the grounds, canoeing in the lake or fishing where you can catch big guabins, tilapia and pacu. For the less adventurous, the pool is available for you to relax. There are also tours available for foreign visitors who are so inclined to visit. These include the Asa Wright Nature Centre, Wild Fowl Trust, Nariva or Caroni swamps, Tamana caves or Waterloo mudflats.

I got a welcome geography, agricultural and history lesson all rolled into one as we walked around the estate. There were some fruits that I did not know except what I was told about by my father as a child such as shaddock and Tamarind des Indies (Chinese tamarind). More familiar ones include caimite, pomerac, tangerine, sapodilla, five finger, chataigne, breadfruit, hog plum, barbadine, citrus and more.

Many animals can be seen on the estate including: chickens, agouti, caiman, manicou, mongoose, morocoy, iguanas, squirrels, fish, birds like the famous Jacana and several species of hawks. There are two donkeys, one of which was made famous since making its way onto the cover of a book sold on Amazon. Other occasional visitors guests seldom get to see are deer, ocelot, otter and tattoo. Interesting to behold are a wide and unique variety of butterflies.

At night, guests can relax on the porch, watch Direct TV or fall asleep to the sounds of nature. If you’re lucky to visit when there is a full moon, you are in for a special treat as you get a front row seat to the magnificent view.

For those interested in booking a romantic getaway, family get-together, or just a quiet escape to study, write or complete business projects, the quietest periods are from August to October, while the peak season is January to the end of May.

There were so many favourites during this wonderful escape from reality to a utopia that seemed almost like a fantasy. But if I had to choose only one; the food brought to our door was like a dream I didn’t want to wake up from. I feasted my palate on mashed yams, veggies, baked lamb, salad, soup, pineapple chicken, scalloped potatoes, sweet corn and THE most delicious dessert I’ve tasted in a long time! 

 

Hacienda’s refreshingly humble and down to earth owner says that his legacy for the estate is to be a hallmark of excellence:  

“Excellence in beauty, maintenance, food and customer service…that’s all I want.”

For more (868)-498-7597, haciendajacana@gmail.com or website: www.haciendajacana.com

All photo credit attributed to Carolyn K. Correia (c) 2015

 

HIC OMEGA CONSULTING Copyright 2015.

ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Kindly note the above information should in no way be copied, modified or disseminated for use for another entity. The legal rights remain with the creators of this content and the persons for which it was created. Any violation of such, will be treated accordingly.

If you’d like to read more stories like this, you can click subscribe to receive email updates straight to your inbox. To have your story/business featured and told in this format, please read the instructions below and send us your best elevator pitch to info@hicomegaconsulting.com. Our team will be sure to contact you within 48 hours with feedback and details.

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PresNY Management Services: ‘Where precision equals perfection’

NICOLA YOUNG has always been passionate about fitness and creative endeavors. Her credits include dance, music, modelling and certified Events Coordinator with the George Washington University School of Business. Always seeking ways to add value for her customers, you can now add aqua aerobics instructor to that list.

Her love for creativity began as a child, where she danced with the Jean Coggins Dance Company and later Malick Folk Performers. In her formative years, she studied music theory with the Royal Schools of Music and played pan with Success Stars Pan Sounds and Neal and Massy Trinidad All Stars.

Nicola modeled with Mannequins Caribbean; the genesis of her inspiration elicited by her mother Londa Young, where she learnt all things style and fashion from the best. She continues to enjoy personal styling in her spare time at her [mother’s] boutique, Lon’s Fashions.

Professionally certified with a Diploma in Information Systems from the School of Business and Computer Science (SBCS); Nicola has amassed over 20 years combined experience in IT, customer service and administration. She has worked in the fields of Corporate Communications, Public Relations, Customer Service and Event Management in the microfinance, construction, architecture, insurance and shipping industries.

Nicola leading by example through consistent gym workouts.

Nicola served as the secretary and treasurer on the Board of Directors of Physical Leisure (PLA) Services from 2002 – 2012 which led to the formation of her own event company in 2010, PresNY Management Services.

Her greatest milestone to date is working as the Event Manager for UWI SPEC International half marathon circa 2014 and 2015 where she managed 1100 – 1200 athletes. 

Above all, it is Nicola’s passion for entertaining, planning events and seeing people happy that fuels her success. Her joy and fulfillment comes from putting together the components of an event and witnessing the transformed finished product as she unveils it before her clients’ eyes.

Come what may; it is her strength, resilience, faith and willingness to serve, that allows Nicola Young to continuously attract abundance to her life.

 

PresNY Management Services: ‘Where precision equals perfection.’

PresNY Management Services is a full events management company specializing in Sports and Family Days, weddings, bridal showers, team building, hikes, theme and birthday parties to name a few.

Formed in 2010, the company’s reputation speaks for itself as the business has survived solely through referrals for the past 8 years serving clients in the civil service, oil and gas, banking, religious, wholesale and retail sectors and spheres of interest.

Their mission and vision is to manage any company or social event from concept to completion; providing a complete range of planning, organization and coordination servicesThis includes; but is not limited to catering, decor, invitations, rentals and entertainment required for the successful and memorable execution of your event.

The overall objective of PresNY Management Services is to alleviate the hassle and ‘leg work’ from the client. This is achieved by making their event as seamless as possible, allowing the client time to take a spectator’s view to relax, bond and enjoy their event with family, friends, colleagues and/or clients.

A new level of fitness

Nicola’s aqua classes are an excellent way to improve muscle strength and cardiovascular fitness levels. The buoyancy of the water is particularly easy on the joints, while providing natural resistance. Buoys and noodles can be incorporated into the routine for that extra burn.

These sessions are perfect for all genders and ages, with options for customized individual or group (non-competitive) classes including: Water running, Aqua Zumba, Aqua Yoga. Her classes are taught at 28 Fourth Street, Barataria, Trinidad. For more info/to book your sessions: (868) 758-4181, presny.services@gmail.com. Check her out on Facebook!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HIC OMEGA CONSULTING Copyright 2016. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

Kindly note the above information should in no way be copied, modified or disseminated for use for another entity. The legal rights remain with the creators of this content and the persons for which it was created. Any violation of such, will be treated accordingly.

If you’d like to read more stories like this, you can click subscribe to receive email updates straight to your inbox. To have your story/business featured and told in this format, please read the instructions below and send us your best elevator pitch to info@hicomegaconsulting.com. Our team will be sure to contact you within 48 hours with feedback and details.

Please keep it tight, with enough information that explains the nature of your business, along with links to your social media pages, samples of your work and at least five (5) customer testimonials. This is to ensure the highest quality service providers/SMEs/artists are shared with our mailing list and subscribers.

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