Marcia’s making it
By Sherie Holder-Olutayo | Mon, April 30, 2012 - 12:00 AM
Marcia Blades isn’t your typical poster child for retirement. According to her, while she welcomed the break from her years in the teaching service, she hadn’t planned to go quietly into that good night.
In fact, she is using this time for herself, to launch her business Memorable Moments by Marcia B. But her foray into entrepreneurship came with careful thought and planning.
In this new phase of her life, Marcia has reinvented herself, and she couldn’t be happier in her newest role. In many ways it is a perfect fit. As a mother of two adult children – her daughter is 32 and her son is 22 – she now has the time to completely focus on herself.
“My husband is Assistant Superintendent Leon Blades, and he’s attached to the Oistins station,” she said.
“I retired as the head of Home Economics at the Lester Vaughan School,” she said. “Because of home economics I decided that I would use my skills to open my business. While I was teaching I did a whole lot of courses that would prepare me for that time. I did hat-making, cake decorating and some skills I even passed on to the students.”
For Marcia the thought of being idle, coming home to sit down and having leisurely days, while appealing, didn’t sit well with her.
“I thought, why don’t I use my skills to bring in some extra income?” she said.
She didn’t have any special training in making edible arrangements.
“I taught myself how to do edible arrangements,” Marcia said. “The amazing thing is that no two of them ever look the same.”
What she is doing now is in many ways an extension of the teaching she passed on to her students. As a budding entrepreneur, she is utilizing the courses in management that she took, and the budgeting that was a part of the home economics course she taught.
“Basically the wreaths and edible arrangements have taken off quite a bit,” she said. “I also do diaper cakes, which isn’t an actual cake, it’s in the form of a cake but it’s made completely out of diapers. You’d put in things that a baby would need and it’s popular for showers.”
Between her business, which she is nurturing, and her commitment to church and her love of ballroom dancing, Marcia has a very packed schedule.
“To me I’m doing more now that I’ve retired,” she says laughing. “I’m volunteer coordinator at my church where I coordinate the various groups within the church. I also belong to the church choir and the flower arranging guild at church as well. We have a senior citizen day care centre at my church, and I also give them a day of my time teaching them crafts. And I believe in ballroom dancing.”
“I did exams in dancing, and I even got a bronze medal,” she said.
Marcia who will be turning 60 soon also has a passion for gardening.
“I did my whole lawn and landscaped outside,” she said proudly. “I have a little backyard garden as well, which is where I get my fresh herbs. I have onions, bananas, a whole set of plants and flowers.
“Having this business was something I planned about five or so years prior to retiring,” she said. “I got an insurance policy that would give me a little nest egg when the time was right. I did a lot of courses, not only to benefit the children, but I knew what I wanted to do. I wanted to use my skills. I’m a person who likes doing things with my hands and I knew because of my background in home economics and food and nutrition that I could put it to use.”
She is also putting to use her strong organizational skills and disciplined nature, which have been essential to her thus far.
But perhaps the greatest part of this business is that it has become a family affair.
“The business, too, is just not me alone. Although I am the guiding force behind it, my mum, who is 80, helps out. She does the cake and doesn’t use a mixer – she uses her hands and people just love those. They love that old-time pudding,” Marcia says.
“My sister Merle she does the fishcakes. My daughter does the cheesecake. My son, who wants to be a chef, his speciality is bread pudding, and my husband he would do the coconut bread and he would assist in anything else. But I just enjoy doing it
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