Avena Alia Prince, age 33, from Grand fond, is the owner of Royal Globe Inc., which is a garment manufacturing and education company founded in April 2015. The company manufactures women’s garments under the brand ‘Vee’s Couture’ and at present has a garment accessory line compromising ponchos, boleros and scarves.
Avena’s journey to start her business was in 2009, while still employed at Sagicor. She registered her business under the name Royal Globe Inc., even without knowing what exactly she wanted to specialise in, but knew at the time that she always wanted to have her own business.
She said her motivation really came from school where there was a career opportunities session with people of different professions made presentations on their various careers.
“A man’s word stuck with me. I can never forget what he said; I remember him saying, ‘everybody goes to study with the question who am I going to work for when I come back’,” She recounted.
In 2014, Prince took a loan in order to buy a vehicle to facilitate her work but when it was approved, she realized that it didn’t make sense.
“I was building someone else’s business so why not mine,” she reasoned.
She began developing ideas for her business during that year. Because she was doing sewing at home while working at Sagicor, she decided to pursue it on a wider scale with the name Vee’s Couture.
Prince said she encountered difficulties in trying to set up her business; she barely had any cash to start and that’s how the loan at the financial institution came in handy and she continued to build on it.
She told DNO that starting her business was an act of faith. She said the scripture passage “cattle on a thousand hills are mine” gave her hope that if God says that, then he had something in store for her. So, the financial difficulties in the start were the situations that built her faith.
“It gets better. I read two books before opening the business, ‘Today’s the Day’ by James Stovall and ‘Dream Giver’ by Bruce Wilkinson,” Prince revealed. “The books gave stories of people who encountered difficulties and failures before they could be successful, for example the man who made the ice cream cone and built the electric bulb. This goes to show that people in businesses will go through hard times but you have to hold on.”
She continued, “According to the Caribbean Development Bank in a survey done in 2017, Dominica is one of the Caribbean countries with the highest unemployment rate. So, as a Dominican, I think it’s my prerogative to help.”
Prince said with this in mind, Royal Globe Inc. also provides training programs to help people develop skills in order to provide employment for themselves.
“Our vocational programs are a solution to unemployment and low incomes, and classes are structured to help persons to grasp skills and be able to provide quality products months after registering for a program. They can either go on their own then or maybe use that skill just to save money or use it in the future if they were to get fired for example, they’ll have something to fall back on,” She told DNO.
These entrepreneurial programs, she said, is a way of giving back to community. Seventy-five entrepreneurs benefitted from the first such Royal Globe Inc-organized activity which was held last year, under the theme ‘Going Global with My Business – A Changed Mindset. Prince said the DYBT and DAIC, among others, partnered with Royal Global Inc in that venture. Another such activity is scheduled for this year under the theme, “The Entrepreneurs’ Forum.” The date has not yet been set.
The Royal Global Inc. also participated in the 2015 Courts Fashion Show and won although, according to her, it was brought to her attention late but with the encouragement of a friend, she managed to make it and won.
Her words of encouragement to young entrepreneurs out there are, “always persevere because whenever you think of giving up now, you never know your big break could be your next customer. Start small; don’t think you have to start big to make it. Persevere and you will succeed.”
Royal Globe Inc. is located at at 21 Hanover Street, Roseau, Dominica and its business hours are from 8am to 5 pm.
Persons who wish to contact Royal Globe Inc. or Vee’s Couture can call 448 4955/6148445 or email at email@example.com.