Who is Bernadette Chikowore?
Most people will describe me as a passionate and multifaceted individual but I'd describe myself as a fun-loving, quirky and extremely ambitious person.
Tell us a bit about your Entrepreneurship journey.
I started out professionally in the media field at the leading newspaper company where I worked in the marketing department during the summer when I was 16. The ties and connections that I made allowed me the opportunity to come back for another summer when I was 17. Along this time I started my journey at the University of the West Indies where I embarked on a new professional career (nannying/babysitting). This actually was the best fit for me as it allowed me to focus on school during the day and set my calendar according to the needs of my clientele. I grew my clientele and continued in that profession for 8 years (I worked primarily with tourists and ex-pats). I later decided to make the shift back towards media where I worked at a prominent radio station as an advertising executive. Now I'm a digital media consultant at the largest Print and Digital Marketing Company in the Caribbean. I can't say that I ever wanted to be in media but I define myself as a "people's person" so anything which involved engaging and interacting with people is where I saw myself thriving. After all, I studied Psychology for my bachelor's and even pursued a Masters in the same field. Aside from my professional 9-5 gig, I own an online afro-centric boutique called "Afro Disiak" which I started not only because I realized that there was a need to educate my customers on Africa as a whole, rather than monetizing solely from the fashionable aspects. I also have a blog - "Bottled Sunshine" which I operate with my husband to highlight the fact that Barbados is more than sun, sand, and sea. Needless to say, I'm a busy individual but I wouldn't have it any other way!
How important are branding and digital strategy when operating a business?
Branding and digital strategy is the essence of operating a business. I use education as a platform in which my branding stems from because it's not only about making a dollar but educating my clients and customers. Digital Strategy is just as important as it allows you to clearly define your goals as well as to get a better sense of not only your target audience but your competition. Together, creating an amazing brand and digital strategy will create amazing opportunities for you as an entrepreneur.
Tell us your most memorable achievement to date.
Starting Afro Disiak was by far the most memorable due to the fact that it wasn't something that I was comfortable doing. Blogging and advertising/marketing fell into my lap but I consciously made the effort to create a brand that's near and dear to me and my culture after the passing of my grandfather who was a strong father figure for me.
What does success mean to you?
Success means happiness. Getting up every day and doing the things that I love the most. I'm able to travel the world and share my experiences with my husband through our blog - Bottled Sunshine. I'm able to flex my creative muscles as a designer of my brand - Afro Disiak and I'm also able to push myself professionally as a Digital Media Consultant.
Anything else you'd like to share?
You don't have to have it all figured out to move forward!
How can our readers connect with you online?