Get Fit For Life!
Celia Collymore is the owner of Bajan Fusion a Fitness Lifestyle Service which is celebrating their 10th year as an established business on December 31st, 2022.
The former student of Pace University, New York, studied a Bachelor’s Degree in Accounting with a focus in Business Administration and a Master’s Degree in Public Administration with a concentration in Non-Profit Management said her journey to become a business owner arose out of her coming back to Barbados after studying and working in the United States.
“I left Barbados in 1998 on a basketball scholarship to Pace University. My school and work experience after the Barbados Community College was in the United States. When I returned to Barbados October 26th, 2011, it was really tough as it felt like a crucifixion by fire where you have never worked in Barbados, and you are taking all that you have learnt and trying to do it here, that was a rude awakening. I had to take a few steps back to immerse myself back into the Bajan culture whilst still being efficient and effective with my activities. Bajan Fusion has come a long way because when we initially started, it was just about dance fitness and music, where we would bring persons from overseas to Barbados and get them to connect with other Barbadians, have fun, do fitness and explore the outdoors but as the brand evolved, we got into soft adventure, sporting activities, lifestyle workshops and team building,” she said.
Not only did Bajan Fusion offer soft adventure in their initial stages, Collymore realized that she also wanted to showcase some of the non-traditional activities that Barbados had to offer.
“As an athlete I wanted to recognize non-traditional sports that persons may not always think about. So, yes persons know basketball, football and cricket, but what about archery, golfing, kayaking and those sorts of activities that persons don’t normally do? So, it really is about exposing persons to new and different things. Most likely as Barbadians these types of activities may seem challenging and what we say to persons is that, how you grow, is by embracing challenges,” she said.
Collymore said that Bajan Fusion is a fusion of all of her passions- fitness, wellness, sports, human resources and projects.
“I am pleased with what Bajan Fusion has become, where I am able to use all of my passions and skillsets to not only add credibility to the brand but also make a difference in the lives of many, one person, one opportunity at a time,” she said.
Reflecting on her journey during the past ten years, she said initially she had many stumbling blocks which she overcame with her perseverance.
“I think one of my first stumbling blocks was that no-one knew who I was when I returned to Barbados after 13 years. The only persons who knew me were my friends and the basketball community, however, the business community did not know me. It felt like persons were trying to figure out who I was without saying so outright, which is normal. I knew the power of networking and told my friends that I needed them to refer me to persons in their networks. What I did to mitigate these experiences was a lot of networking to increase my visibility, participated in different community initiatives and worked with companies on a part time basis. The second challenge would have been encountering professionals who would make a lot of empty promises to you as a new business owner whilst seeking support for your business idea. That was a tough experience but one I needed to go through in order to make decisions about building good business relationships and enhancing my personal growth,” she said.
Collymore who is in the process of writing her debut book which will be a guide for new and established businesses detailing her journey to becoming a successful entrepreneur.
“It is an opportunity to share and for persons to learn from my journey, my mistakes, my challenges and my successes. This book would inspire them to realize that if Celia can do it, they can do it too,” she said.
But what advice does she have for any young aspiring business owners to have a successful business?
Collymore said that the first thing any young person getting into business should do is to have a mentor.
“I would say to definitely get started, find that support system and that starts with getting a mentor. I want to remind persons that although they have a mentor (s) you have to believe in yourself that you are able and capable of doing great work. To do great work you must consistently work on yourself and maintain good health and wellness in order to enhance your overall life and business,” she said.
The owner of Bajan Fusion said to celebrate her company’s ten-year anniversary she is hosting a number of activities now through December staring with a Fitness Party under the theme: ‘Celebrating You and What Your Body Can Do’. This event is scheduled for Saturday, November 5th, 2022, at Hunterspring, White Hart Lane, Ebenezer, St. Philip from 2-6pm.
“The Fitness Party is inspired by international (functional) movements, and we use Bajanisms and Bajan music to teach persons fitness. So, when you come to our fitness party on Saturday, November 5th from 2pm to 6pm in Hunterspring, St Philip you get to experience and learn new routines that are definitely Bajan inspired such as Dabble, Ovadayso, Tatabootee, Bruggadung, Bruggadung, Bruggalax words that we as Bajans use, so we decided to innovate and create movements to make Bajans feel ‘fussy’ about old time sayings. For some patrons they may not know what Tatabootee is so we can also educate them in some of the things they may not be aware of. The fitness party is going to be an amazing event and something we would like to continue in 2023 and beyond,” she said.
The Human Resources professional and business woman said that not only would the fitness party focus on exercise it would have exhibitors in the health and wellness industry as well as Fun-fit competitions where patrons could have the chance to receive prizes from participating in the activities.
Following Bajan Fusion’s fitness party, they will also be hosting Hikers Paradise- Entrepreneur Edition on Sunday, November 13th, 2022, from 3pm-6pm starting and ending at Three Houses, St Philip.
To register for any of the above events email email@example.com .
Finally, the Bajan Fusion Fitness (BFFs) community will culminate their ten-year anniversary with a private cruise and breakfast celebration. (Write Right PR Services)