Kellyann Allicott was one of the six finalists of the GFAR and YPARD’s Youth Agripreneur Project, who returned to Barbados in April to carry out a project related to developing a line of natural skin care products using raw materials from naturally derived sources, such as organic produce (herbs, spices and fruit) purchase from local and regional farmers. As one of the YAPpers, she received an intensive training helping her strengthen the business plan proposal presented with measurable milestones. Kellyann was also able to better engage in social media campaigning activities to ensure her project gained support. In addition, she has now has a mentor to help guide her during this upcoming period and make sure her project does succeed.
And now, it is 5 months later and she continues to relate her experience thus far…
I know I promised you guys that my next blog was going to be fully packed with the whole process of extracting hydrosols and essentials oils. It should have also included me experimenting with my new distillations and showcased the new skin care product line. Unfortunately in this career choice, the path is never a straight one 99.9% of the time. So, I have decided to share with you the unforeseen challenges to give you a true snippet of my life as an entrepreneur and to let others know that I too understand their struggles.
The wait for my beautifully crafted still, which would allow me to accurately extract the unique essence of the locally-sourced plants, went from a couple days to weeks to a month and then, some. Yes, the worst thing that could possibly happen did occur.The key component needed to commence my journey as a budding distiller got misplaced in transit and I was in complete panic mode. This placed a halt on everything. I couldn’t start collecting the plant materials from the farmers as the best hydrosols are produced from fresh materials. And therefore, I couldn’t start experimenting.
At the same time, I was given a rude awakening that sharing your ideas with others because you are excited about the whole process is sometimes not a good idea. Not everyone truly understands the meaning of “sharing the wealth. “As entrepreneurs, we interact with many different characters on a daily basis.There will be people who will add and share positively to your experience through this process. Then, there are those that are just there to see what they can gain. It is a harsh reality but a true one.
So what’s a girl to do?
Well to locate my precious equipment, I started to communicate vigoriously with the supplier and asked for their assistance to help with the process.Through the confusion of time diffference and the lost tracking number, I was finally able to locate the missing parcel. So by the time this blog is posted, I should be graced with the presence of my beautiful distill unit. Yippie!
As it relates to the second issue. My advice is always try to legally protect your ideas through methods such as patents, trademark and/or copyright. Follow your intuition (gut feeling) as it usually is not wrong. Also remember that there is only one of you even if you are a twin. No one can express an idea like you can no matter how hard they try. So keep pressing on as the world needs your positive innovation. Another piece of advice: take mockery as the utmost sign of flattery that you have to be doing something right.
The Formal Introduction
I would take this time to fully introduce you to two people I briefly mentioned in my previous blog that I will definitely be working with in the coming months. I will also be introducing others as they come on board.
Dr. Ariana Marshall
One of the most down to earth people you would ever meet, this 20 something year-old is one of the driving forces behind the green economy movement in the Caribbean (Yes, I am suppose to be her friend and I don’t know her age. So sue me!) With a PhD in Environmental Science, Dr. Ariana Marshall is the Director of the Caribbean Sustainability Collective as well as an instructor for the American Public University System in Environment Science and Green Technology. Apart from all the accolades, the reason I really enjoy working with Dr. Marshall is that she has a true passion for making the world a better place for every living organism. She has real respect for nature and believes strongly that all living beings can co-exist peacefully and mutually on this planet. Her role in this project is to assist with identifying farmers with a keen interest in sustainable agriculture and who have started to practice such methods already. The aim is to create a network where these types of farmers have more visibility and can attract more trade.
To find out more about the work Dr. Marshall is doing with Caribbean Sustainability Collective, you can visit the Better Caribbean Program website.
It was privilege to meet this enthusiatic, young man while completing a course on sustainable agriculture under the Youth Agripreneurship Program. A true lover of plants and an avid believer that organic is the way to go; Randy believes strongly that technology can greatly assist with moving in this direction. He will be one of the farmers providing me with peppermint and other herbs to produce the hydrosols and essential oils. Randy was also one of the contestants who entered in the YAP competition and is his entry can be found here.
In the upcoming blog I will share with you the new direction I would like to take the project in. This great idea surfaced while I was awaiting the arrival of my new distillation unit. So I hope you stay tuned for this exciting and new development.