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How did you get started in marketing, and what exactly do you do?
“It dates back a couple years. I used to be a journalist at the Jamaica Observer. I started working with them via their Teenage Observer paper when I was 16 and got a ton of exposure. After a few years, they started sending me on assignments where I’d get to review resorts and stuff, event coverage, and so on. It was a great and rich experience and I owe them so much. It wasn’t until I started doing work with my father in the entertainment industry that I started getting a real taste of what it’s like to do business in Jamaica with local business people and that’s how I got to ‘”cut my teeth” as people would say. That’s where that happened, working with my own father and helping him with his projects. It was the year that my mother passed (2016) that I decided I was gonna go and register my own business and do my own thing and see what happens.
Before then, I was always experimenting with ways to sell things online; whether it was having a Shopify store or doing things on Facebook with Facebook ads, or any little thing that could generate some kind of response. I was just always fascinated by it, and people and their behaviours. I got my taste for marketing at that point, and I’ve just been taking baby steps ever since. I’ve been doing a lot of mentorship with people online where I’ve learned the different techniques and whatnot. It’s been an on and off experience in terms of training where, I learn something and then I look for somewhere else to go and apply it and see how I can really contextualize foreign principles in a Jamaican space. That’s where the whole “me being in marketing” thing came from. It’s been almost four years now. I’ve never really had like, a typical job so I never really felt the pressures of certain fears when it came to leaving a 9-to-5 to go and be an entrepreneur full-time; but I think sometimes you have to just trust your intuition and trust in whoever it is you pray to (I pray to God). I find that a lot of people, once they believe in something, they have a bit more courage in a way. Knowing that there is something greater than you is very helpful at times, especially when the going gets tough.
As a marketer, I work with small and medium sized businesses typically. I help people to execute their marketing plans, help businesses to make more money…and that’s just what my job is. I have a marketing agency where we do websites, social media management, graphic design, photos, videos, arrange outdoor advertising and more. ”
What excites you about the culinary arts?
“Well, I’m no chef (laughs at the idea). I just love to eat; I’m a girl who learned how to cook. My mom taught me how to cook in the later part of my teens. She didn’t really force me to do that stuff when I was younger because she wanted me to know the difference between willingly cooking and sharing with people that you love as opposed to just growing up believing that this is just your role and you’re supposed to be a slave, or whatever.
I learned how to cook because I want to feed my family, and I love to eat. I love Asian food; in my family, there’s Chinese on my mom’s side. She told me her grandmother was full Chinese, so you know, I grew up eating a lot of stir fry…I think probably 40% of the food I had as younger girl was a lot of Chinese food. I had so many stir fry dishes, like I’m almost sick of it but it’s so easy! It doesn’t take a lot of time so of course, when I come home, that’s like one of the first things that I gravitate towards…something simple. I just love to eat, yow! There’s no deep answer for this – I cook, I eat, I love to share in that experience with my friends and family. When I travel, I love to go different restaurants. I love to eat out, I love to eat in, so yeah – simple girl! ”
Do you have any advice for people who may want to start building an investment portfolio?
“Well – I am no Bill Gates, I am no Mark Cuban, I am not Oprah Winfrey, so – this is not me coming at you, giving you sage investment advice because I am so rich. No. I’m just a girl trying a few things and I’ve done a few things properly so, in that light (chuckles), if you want to build an investment portfolio…
First of all, I trade, so it’s not so much that I have a whole ton of investments and securities, but I wouldn’t tell anybody to do any kind of investment-based anything until they have like six months’ worth of savings put down somewhere. I trade for myself. I don’t do this as a business, in and of itself. I used to trade more actively but not so much nowadays because my marketing business has grown and it requires a lot more of my effort and time, so that’s just where my priorities have been. There are so many reliable investment managers all over Kingston, from reputable companies like a JMMB and a Barita and all of them, so you can always check with one of their advisors and have them educate you exactly on what it is that you want based on what your goals are.”
Are there any persons or groups that inspire you?
“Of course! Gary Vaynerchuk, Ed Mylett, Andy Frisella, Brad Lea, David Goggins, Grant Cardone, Brené Brown, Oprah Winfrey…the people who tend to inspire me are business people, and not like random “run-of-the-mill” business people, but people who have results and you can see what it is that they’re doing and they’ve been around for a number of years. I love and admire people I feel I can learn from, and I can do my best to try to apply the things that they advise us to do to my situation.
One thing that has really been transformative in my career is that I did business consultation; so I spoke with a consultant, got my hour, and had them explain to me what it is that would be expected of me as a freelancer going into business. I would definitely recommend this to anyone that wants to start their own business or become any kind of entrepreneur, that they should have their plans checked out by a professional business consultant.”
What would you change about Jamaica?
“There’s so many things. But, I think my main concern would just be that I want more people to believe that there are a ton of opportunities in this world that we live in (especially with the internet), and I think that’s perhaps one of the one few good things that’s come out of this whole pandemic. People realize that for a lot of the things that they thought they had to hire in-house staff for, people can work from home.
I want more people to believe that there are more opportunities; you can build your career around something that matters to you, and there is somebody somewhere that’s willing to pay you for it as long as you set up yourself in such a way where they feel comfortable to do business with you. Then you can deliver on what it is that you promised, and you can give them results. You can build a life off of that. I want more people to feel more comfortable with that reality.”
Please feel free to contact Gabrielle at:
E-mail: [email protected]
Blessings in abundance!