WEDNESDAY WOMAN: The fruits of her labour
NICOLE MAYNARD did not let adversity get the better of her when she lost her job a few years ago. Almost immediately, she pitched a tent to sell fruits, vegetables and bread.
The mother of four has spent the last three years vending from the corner of Lightfoot Lane and Baxters Road in the City. She has even made sure her children play their part in helping out as they all benefit from the fruits of her labour.
“I was working at the Transport Board as a general worker and I heard that people were about to get laid off, and before I was laid off I decided that I had to find something to do in the event that I was a part of the cuts,” Maynard said.
She believed that selling fruits and vegetables was preferable to clothing, an area she considered to be saturated.
She said she was never one to be idle or to depend on anyone for her existence so she was up and running when she was let go from her job.
She said she did not know anything at all about setting up a business and knew she was taking a risk when she used some of her savings to invest in her first batch of fruits and vegetables. She said the bold move had paid off so far and she had not regretted it.
Maynard said she was always determined not to allow anyone or anything to prevent her from providing for her family.
The lot she from which operates was overrun with bush and she cleared it, and went to the Ministry of Agriculture and got her licence to sell.
“So far everything is good, I will never complain,” she said. “Every day is not the same, but I am glad and grateful for every sale that I make. I give God thanks no matter how big or small it is.”
Even though her stall is small now Nicole Maynard has plans of one day running her own minimart.
She admits that she misses the stability that comes with having a guaranteed job and pay cheque but with business looking up, she hopes that one day she will have her own shop.
“I did not have an idea of what to expect when I came out here, but I made sure I have a wide variety of things so that when people come I have what they need,” she said.
Now she is sure that she has fully established in her mind what it takes to run a sustainable business.
She was full of praise for the Ministry of Agriculture for making the process of applying for and getting a permit easy for her. Now she wants to get capital to expand her business.
She said her daughter Ashaki Wiltshire was also learning the ropes and dealing with customers.
She advises her daughter and all young people who may get retrenched or simply cannot find a job to avoid sitting at home and complaining. Rather, she said they should get up and find something to do, no matter how small the income may be, once it was earned honestly.
“Nothing comes easy; you have to get up, go out there and do something. Nobody do not give you things just like that,” she said. “God like he just tell me to do this and I know my plans for a little minimart will come to pass. I will work towards it.” (LK)