Today we’d like to introduce you to Sherry Bernard.
Sherry, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I Love Being Caribbean was co-founded in 2017 by my then fiance, Stephan, and me. The concept was actually formed in 2012 when Stephan created a Facebook page dedicated to sharing the positive aspects of the Caribbean. I followed the Facebook page and had no idea that the guy I was dating was behind the page until 2015 when I wanted to share a business idea with him! I can’t share our I Love Being Caribbean (iLBC) story without talking about my husband because it was his vision that brought us here.
Stephan was born and raised in St. Ann, Jamaica in an era where Jamaica’s national language was reggae music. At the age of 19, Stephan emigrated to the United States to complete his tertiary education and brought his love of the Caribbean culture with him. Besides his love for music, An experienced DJ, Stephan lives for music, specifically Jamaican sound systems. Stephan enjoys not only eating but cooking Caribbean cuisine. On weekend mornings, you can find Stephan glued to football, he’s a committed fan of the Arsenal Gunners in London, England.
I was born in Houston to two hardworking Jamaican parents and raised in Tomball, Texas by my mom. As a Jamaican-American, my love for the Caribbean is deeply rooted in my family’s story, but also in the music (conscious reggae and 90’s dancehall are my favorites), seafood, rum and, of course, the sun. I have always considered traveling my therapy, but the beach is where my soul permanently resides. I thrive in meaningful human connections (preferably over a good meal and drinks). My goal is to create a life where I don’t have to wait for retirement or vacation to live. I want to live my best life here and now.
Stephan and I created I Love Being Caribbean to not only celebrate Caribbean culture and community but also to create unique experiences, one-of-a-kind Caribbean getaways, Caribbean inspired apparel and merchandise and meaningful ways for people of all backgrounds to connect, unite and be inspired.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Just like anything in life, our journey has not been without its challenges. I don’t have background or formal education in business, my life has actually been dedicated (and will continue to be dedicated) to youth work and community development through the nonprofit sector. I’ve had to self-teach myself at night and in the early mornings in between working my 9-5. I think that is the fun challenge for me…I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit and now I can take my innate motivation of serving people and mixing it with my love for the Caribbean. There is plenty I still don’t know, but I do know there are thousands out there like me…people who crave connection with the Caribbean culture/community, but need an avenue to connect. Addressing this need is the primary driving force of iLBC so as long as I can keep that as my moonshot I’m willing to continue learning along the way.
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the I Love Being Caribbean story. Tell us more about the business.
While I Love Being Caribbean is a business, we pride ourselves in being a movement. We exist to help connect people all over the world with the Caribbean culture. Our goal is to inspire a community to create meaningful connections that last a lifetime. We do this through our events, our uniquely designed Caribbean inspired apparel, and global getaway experiences. A few of the things I’m most proud of are:
1. Our Story – our foundation is rooted in the spirit, positive vibes, and passionate love for the Culture
2. We’re for Everyone, You don’t have to be Caribbean to be involved. Most of the members of our team are not of Caribbean heritage, they simply love the Culture. We want every experience to be a positive and professional one. We believe in professional fun…for everyone!
3. I’m super proud of our apparel – not only are they Caribbean inspired and uniquely designed by our graphic artist team (representing Jamaica, Trinidad, and the United States), but they are high quality. We pride ourselves in not selling anything we wouldn’t wear ourselves. The messages are a mix of conscious/positive messages (Black is Beautiful/It Is Well With My Soul), fun sayings (Rum Now, Wine Later/Soca Saves Thighs)
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I am a HUGE believer in alignment. If you just look at how we started (who follows a Facebook page, decides it’ll be a great business idea and it turns out the person they’re dating is behind the page?) we know that God and the Universe want us to win. That’s how we lead our lives. We pay attention to the natural alignment and opportunities that exist and do our part to follow through. The world is huge, but it’s also so small. We are in the business of people and the connections that we’ve made through our immediate networks has led to amazing opportunities. For me that’s what luck is. I’m a true believer that whatever is meant to be shall be. When we make mistakes, when we fail, when we win, it’s all meant to be. Living and doing business that way allows for peace and grace despite the challenges we face.
- Website: www.ilovebeingcaribbean.com
- Phone: 936.931.7050
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @ilovebeingcaribbean
- Facebook: www.facebook.com/ilovebeingcaribbean
- Twitter: @ilovebeingcaribbean
Cissa Madero Photography