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Vonda relentlessly pursuing her dreams

Updated: Aug 11, 2021

Empowered, strong-willed, independent, and outspoken are just a few words that can describe Vonda Lowe.

In 2020 she made a bold decision that she was going to begin not one but two small businesses. Thus, she has embarked on Empowerment Life Coaching Services and Hidden Valley Bar, which is located in Friendship, St Andrew.

Lowe said that she wanted to live her life on the premise of no turning back.

“In 2020 I made a very concrete decision to take the necessary steps towards starting two businesses. One in life coaching and the other in food and beverage. The experience has been quite interesting, exciting, and insightful what a year. During the COVID 19 season, I was looking to launch two businesses. All of my life I have been working for someone else but always wanted to be self-employed to have my own business and I wanted to do so before the age of 50. This remained in my mind for years and I recognized that if I wanted to follow through, I would have to do it soon as my 50th birthday would be fast approaching in 2022,” she said.

Armed with her mission of becoming an entrepreneur before 50 she started her journey and embraced becoming an entrepreneur.

“I finally stepped out of my uncomfortable work zone at a time which more people would probably ask the question- Why now? Despite COVID-19, I felt it was the perfect time because I saw it as a season of motivation and strength, and it could not have been a better time to test the market and my own strength. I finally made the decision that I was going to transition too self-employed, and it was scary. I had to overcome self-limiting beliefs, fear, and self-doubt, as well as the thoughts of if I was ready if anyone would buy my products if I had the space and accommodation, what if I did not have the finances, what if this doesn’t work and I fail and am I doing the right thing. All of the what if’s entered my mind. I finally recognized that I needed the change, and I embraced those thoughts and acted, I could create and manage my own business, but I had to understand that it is a work in progress, and I did not have to have all the bells and whistles in place to start but I wanted to be registered and have all of the legalities in place,” she said.

The former student of St James Secondary School who holds a Master of Science in Labour and Employment Relations from the University of The West Indies said she started her business Empowerment Life Coaching Services because there was a need for persons to have someone to assist them through whatever situations they found themselves in.

“I was accustomed to talking to persons and helping them through whatever situations they were in with success. I was constantly told that I am good at this, so I thought to myself that I would pursue this area for small business and be paid for it. I have realized that we are at a time in our lives when we all need each other whether persons may see it that way or not. Small businesses need to support each other especially at a time when most persons are going through their struggle. The struggle may be different for each person and may fall into the categories of financial, mental, social, physical, or health but whatever it is at this time we should lend support to each other. What has made my journey so interesting is that I can feed the body and the mind at the same time with both businesses, and this is a wholesome effort,” she said.

But what made her decide to start a food business in St Andrew despite the structural challenges in the area?

Lowe said the decision to open a food business in Friendship, St Andrew was due to her realizing that she could feed both the body and the mind as well as have a business at her home whilst maintaining the traditional country spirit.

“I have always believed that if you work from where you live there is much to be saved in terms of your finances. There is the likelihood that you can be more productive and honestly, St Andrew is a very gorgeous parish, and I would not have it any other way. Many persons would see opening a food and beverage facility in St Andrew as a challenge because right now the Bridge in Bruce Vale, St Andrew is closed but you can still get to the Hidden Valley Bar although you would see the ‘access to locals only sign’. However, we are located before the closed bridge on your way down from Sturges in St. Thomas, through Spring Vale, Trio Path, and into Friendship that is where we are. For me I saw this challenge as an opportunity as it gives me time to test my products and services on a small scale, allowing me to make any amendments wherever necessary so that when these structural changes have been completed, I will be able to meet my demand,” she said.

The business owner of Empowerment Life Coaching Services and Hidden Valley Bar invited persons to come to Friendship St Andrew and have a taste of her cuisine as well as St Andrew's warm hospitality. (Write Right PR Services)

Lowe was also featured on Mornin' Barbados this morning. To watch her inspiring interview click the link below:

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