BY: ALYSSA MAHADEO
Smart, beautiful, strong, and powerful are only some of the attributes used to describe the women filled the room on Saturday, May 19th to attend the first ever Caribbean Women’s Power Lunch, an all women’s networking event bringing together Caribbean women from across the GTA to empower, connect and recognize each other for their contributions to the community.
Powered by Kerra Denel of KD Entertainment, the event boasts to be the first of its kind in Toronto inviting the Caribbean women of Toronto to come together and speak to their many experiences.
“When I first thought of the idea months ago, I really wanted to do something for Caribbean women as I have been working for years organizing and promoting so many events around Carnival,” Kerra explains. “Initially I thought I would get maybe 25-30 people interested in an event like this but coming down to the wire I had about 80-85 people who came out.”
Kerra’s passion for the community stems from her Trinidadian roots and her love for Caribbean culture. She is a multifaceted, and dynamic entrepreneur as well as the founder of non-profit organization Kerra Loves Kids. With projects in Toronto, New York, Miami and many islands in the Caribbean she is always looking for new ways to parlay her business management education into a thriving business, all the while leveraging her innate ability to connect individuals.
The purpose of the event was to create a positive platform where the contributions of Caribbean women in Toronto could be recognized and allow them the opportunity to network and strengthen business connections with other Caribbean women in the GTA.
With so many women taking the entrepreneurial route in their careers, the challenges and obstacles it takes to reach success is a journey many women can relate too, and an experience they hope others can learn from.
The theme of the day was an inspiration, and patrons to the Caribbean Women’s Power Lunch were able to hear from empowering women like Stachen Frederick, Hazel Smith, Ayanna Sealey, Nneka Elliott, Kamshuka, Auntie Jillian, and Stephanie Lowe. All of these women walking various career paths, navigating the workforce trying to figure out what impact they would like to make in society while helping others and making strong connections with other powerful women along the way.
Guests said this event was the something missing in the world of entrepreneurial womenand delighted in spending an inspiring afternoon enjoying an exquisite buffet lunch, with Caribbean style sweet treats while strengthening the bonds of sisterhood.
With many messages of positivity shared throughout the afternoon, women left feeling empowered.
“They left feeling like they could go out into the world and do so much more,” Kerra shared. “These women were ready to take on any challenge, looking to pursue new business ventures and get excited about what the future had in store.”
The room was filled with brilliant minds and couldn’t have been possible without the help of all their amazing sponsors including Bermuda Heroes Weekend, 365 carnival, Team Soca, UberSoca Cruise, Julians Promo, Oxygen Mas, My World Entertainment, Carnival Luxe, Vincy Mas, Kafi Gonsalves Makeup, Integrity Mortgages, Regal Plumbing Group, Lw Consults, The Avenue Restaurant, Pops Punch, Boozy Goodies, Xaymaca, Carnival Make Up Kits, Curls and Confidence, Amanda Narain Art, Kujah, Style Prolix, Nikki D Makeup, Up North Naturals, Chic Signs, Sunny Rae, Tampa Bay Carnival, Carnivalista, Island Style Restaurant, Honey Fig, London Ivy, Red Mango Food, The Real Jerk Restaurant, and Hourglass Workouts.
“When you walked into the room all of the women were there, well dressed and all smiles,” Kerra said. “You could feel a positiveenergy as soon as you entered the room.”
As the evening came to a close, the ladies ended on a high note with a guided meditation to really open their minds and retain all of the information they received throughout the day, repeating positive affirmations like “I am powerful, I am beautiful,” to let the words sink in and allow them to carry those positive vibes for the remainder of the day.
“This is the first of a series of events like this,” Kerra shares. “The next one will be hosted in August. The women were so thankful for something like this they wanted to get together once a month.
Moving betweenToronto, New York, Miami and the Islands, Kerra hope to host more events like these taking them to an international stage.
“It’s a positive platform for women to come together and support one another, to build, to empower and to learn, people feel welcomed, people come with an open mind, it’s an event to better individuals to empower Caribbeanwomen to be the best that they can be,” Kerra says.
Kerra would like to give a special shout-outtoJinelle Mitchell, On Elle’s Plate, Events by Whim, Deviant Media Zxandriaas well as a thank you to photographer Captured by Shani and photographer and videographer Teesha Mercedes.
The Caribbean Women’s Lunch event will return in August, date TBA, until then be sure to connect with them online at www.kerradenel.com.