For some, a setback may feel like a massive roadblock, but for Darryl Gabriel, it’s always been an opportunity to try a different approach.
The 28-year-old is the proud owner of Urban Vision, which recently opened a storefront upstairs JD Supercentre in Penal.
But, the road to success wasn’t always this easy.
Gabriel shared his story with Loop News.
After receiving disappointing Caribbean Secondary Education Certificate (CSEC) results, a then teenage Gabriel decided to pursue trade programmes through the National Energy Skills Centre (NESC) like pipefitting. He found that he excelled.
Unfortunately, it was difficult to find work and he found himself back at square one.
He chose another trade programme through the NESC Drilling Academy which was a lot more challenging.
While pursuing the course, he was at a point where he was almost out of funds to continue until he had an idea to sell pies to help him finish and gain certification.
“I didn’t have an income and doing this was a full-time thing. So, I took the last bit of money I had in my pocket and decided to buy these pies and see how much I could make selling them,” Gabriel said.
In the first day of selling pies, sales amounted to more than $400. Soon enough, he had the money he needed to complete the course.
This success motivated him to pursue another programme, the Tropical Basic Offshore Safety Induction and Emergency Training (T-BOSIET), which would allow him to gain offshore employment.
From there, things started falling into place.
“I was able to get work with JSL International and then a friend told me Massy Wood had vacancies. It wasn’t the field I thought I would go into but I applied and within a week, they provided me with PPE and I was doing the courses to get certified.”
He’s still employed with Massy Wood where he conducts maintenance on offshore platforms.
Getting into the business of selling glasses was a somewhat different journey.
Gabriel found himself in need of glasses, and a friend at the time introduced him to online ordering. Then, he began ordering glasses for relatives who also needed corrective lenses.
“I realised this was something that a lot of people needed and ordering the glasses online was easy and not expensive at all,” he said.
From there, he decided that he would turn it into a business. And, Urban Vision was born. During the pandemic, many Penal residents were in need of glasses, and through referrals, people as far as Tobago began calling.
Urban Vision is unlike traditional eyecare stores as it only fills prescriptions. While no optometrist is on staff, customers in need of updated prescriptions are referred to Bright Optical.
The store operates by appointment only and has a selection of frames to choose from with affordable prices and attractive deals. Once customers are satisfied with their frames, the order is placed with international stores, then shipped here within three to four weeks.
While he doesn’t necessarily see opening another physical store as the next step, the young entrepreneur is getting a delivery van. This way, he’ll be able to get glasses to people all over the country, who may not be in a position to make the journey to Penal.
Gabriel urged young people to never limit themselves, because “success is within always in reach”.
To learn more about Urban Vision, find them on Facebook and Instagram.
Credit: Source link