Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : September 29th 2013 Contents September 29, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
MAKING HER MARK WITH
If you cannot stand for something, then you will
fall for anything. Stand up for what you believe in!
'The Outlet Market'
Andrea is indeed a confident woman who
has proven that hard work, determination
and a sense of humour will get you very far in
this life. The mother of one is the proud
owner of Eventuality Limited -- a marketing
consultancy specializing in Marketing Devel-
opment, Strategic Event Management and
Digital Marketing, and as part of this busi-
ness, in April of this year, the determined
woman launched 'The Outlet Market'.
How exactly did Andrea get involved in this
field and what inspired her to start her own busi-
ness? Posed with these questions the entrepre-
neur related, "It started with the launch of First
Batch Gourmet Cookies, homemade from scratch
cookies that I realized that there were limited av-
enues for promoting my product. And as a quali-
fied Special Events Planner, I felt I had the tools to
introduce a new concept of "market" to independ-
ent vendors". Andrea has been in the Marketing
and Communications industry since 1998 and has
successfully executed Marketing campaigns with
top multinational and local organizations.
"Over the years, I worked in all facets of Mar-
keting, Advertising and Special Events from organ-
izing marketing strategies for Guardian Media
Group -- CNC3, to working with the Marketing
Committee at CONCACAF in taking our Soca War-
riors to the 2006 World Cup in Germany, increas-
ing sales and product usage with Western Union,
and increasing brand equity with Electrolux Home
Products and the Frigidaire Brand." Andrea noted.
Andrea then continued, "One of my personal fa-
vorites was being Liaison Officer on behalf of CON-
CACAF and the various Government bodies for the
visit of Former President of South Africa, Nelson
Mandela, to Trinidad and Tobago. I enjoyed assist-
ing with the protocol and multiple event require-
ments. Another career experience as support for
the Marketing and Event Committee, on behalf of
the Chinese Bicentennial Celebrations was fulfill-
ing beyond the professional realm. It was a pro-
found learning experience on understanding my
culture and heritage as a Trinidadian of Chinese
Described as an 'All-Rounder' in the Marketing
industry, Andrea ventured out of her job into her
own business in 2006 when she launched Eventu-
ality Limited. This is what inspired her to start The
Outlet Market -- a business with the aim to be a
distribution point and proactive promotional op-
portunity for independent vendors, micro-business
owners or SME's.
Andrea remarked, "It's not just about the sale
today, it's about the relationship you build with
your customers tomorrow. That's our vision for
The Outlet Market."
The Outlet Market has become a haven for
those who are entrepreneurs -- those who have
taken the risk of going into business. What The
Outlet Market does, is provide the opportunity for
vendors to display their products on the last Sat-
urday of each month. It aims to work with others
to help their businesses grow. As a result, The
Outlet Market's motto is "To be more than a table."
While Andrea is focused on her success and
helping others to succeed, she has not forgotten
to give back. Thus, 'The OM Pledge' was taken.
The Outlet Market has pledged to support and
promote a registered Charity every month. The
Charity is given a table, free of charge, to promote
itself. On the day that the 'The Outlet Market' is
opened, a five-dollar contribution is given by
everyone at the door and the entire collection is
given to Charity.
Following on its success as a sponsor of the re-
cent 'Wedding Convention 2013', The Outlet Mar-
ket will have many specials and events during the
months of October to December. Saturday 26th
October - Beautiful Home... Beautiful You and the
"Serious Curry Mouth Competition", Saturday
30th November - Get Ready for Christmas and
Best Pastelle contest! Saturday 14th December
and Sunday 15th December The Outlet Market
Christmas Festival and Best Ponch de Creme con-
How does one woman cope with being a
mother, wife and entrepreneur? "It is important to
have great family support and schedule every-
thing" Andrea insisted. "My daughter keeps me
grounded and I am happily married for the past
four years. We will be celebrating our 5th Anniver-
sary with a Renewal of the Vows Celebration next
year. I believe that marriage should be celebrated
every chance you get. Too many people get di-
vorced so quickly these days when faced with life's
challenges," added Andrea.
So what does Andrea Coutain have to say to
others who want to venture into their own busi-
ness? "In business everything has its ups and
downs. Having a business is like having a relation-
ship with a person, the personality of the business
changes with your environment. For example,
when the recession hit in 2008-2009 this caused
us to change our focus as the first thing to be cut
from any corporate budget is marketing and pro-
motions, so Eventuality Limited decided to host
its own events. Then in 2011, when the country
was in a 6 month State of Emergency, our Event
business was badly affected.
The next question was "where do we go from
here"? Do we go back to working for someone
else? Then in 2012 is when First Batch Gourmet
Cookies was launched and in October 2012 - the
Ultimate Epicurean and Boutique Market were
also launched. Arising from that market and with
the support of key vendors, The Outlet Market
was launched April 2013.
These series of events is what kick-started
Eventuality Limited in the direction of Small Busi-
ness Marketing support with The Outlet Market.
It is in this rejuvenation that our new goal through
The Outlet Market is to change the perception
that not all "small businesses" are "mom and pop."
Andrea also mentioned "The transition from
being an employee to entrepreneur is one that you
have to be ready for -- leaving a secure job with a
monthly salary to venture into your own business
is something that takes guts." She then strongly
recommended "If you are currently employed and
working towards your own business, start saving
your money right now! If you are doing your busi-
ness without investors or loans, have at least 6-12
months of sustainable savings to keep your per-
sonal life going. You will be required to cut back on
personal spending, so your social life will change.
If you have kids, always remember they come first,
that is one area that is important to keep in mind.
Having your own business takes gumption, confi-
dence and an absolute belief in yourself that you
can meet your vision."
Her advice to new business owners, "1) Find
something you are absolutely passionate about,
find your niche. 2) You will fail at some point!
Failure does not mean "finished" it just means that
the sooner you are aware of this reality the
quicker you will learn resilience; you will learn to
move forward. 3) This one I had to learn recently,
you are in the business to make money! Embrace
it, be comfortable with the thought otherwise you
will be forever broke. 4) Give to charity! It is im-
portant to support the causes you feel impas-
sioned about and never be embarrassed by that
Andrea is appreciative of her husband and busi-
ness partner Brent, ("who keeps her in check most
of the times" she says with a chuckle), Muiznieks
Architects for working on our floor plans and lay-
outs of all our events, the creative team of Saga
Studios, the vendors who continuously supports
The Outlet Market and the Eventuality Limited
" These were the words of Andrea Coutain when interviewed by Womanwise.
For more information on The
Outlet Market visit: www.the-
outletmarket-tt.com or check
them on Facbook
The-Outlet-Market-TT or call
727-8896 for more information.
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