My Island Muse: Andrée Nicole

I first met Andrée Nicole a little over a year ago at a networking event where she was the keynote speaker. As she shared her journey towards entrepreneurship, I was immediately touched by her caring nature and passion for issues that impact women.

Apart from her intelligence and commitment to excellence, it is her genuine and fun-loving personality that I believe are the ultimate secrets to her success. I just love the rarity of her honest and welcoming spirit and the fact that she’s a perfect mix of beauty and brains. As an entrepreneur, author, mother, wife and daughter, Andrée’s thirst for knowledge and commitment to the empowerment of women will undoubtedly continue to propel her to success in 2016 and beyond!

If you had to describe yourself in a few words what would they be?
Rich chick, purpose driven, victorious.

Tell me about yourself and the journey that led to your current career as an entrepreneur, author, life coach, and motivational speaker.
I have a passion for learning and women’s issues. My knowledge of women’s issues comes from my own personal experiences and the journey that led me to open my own empowerment practice.  I’m also an educator, I’ve taught for more than 16 years within the Toronto and York Regional District School Boards. I obtained my BA & BEd from York University and then went on to complete my Masters in Education at the University of Toronto. It was only after a traumatic motor vehicle accident in 2010, that I decided to venture into entrepreneurship consolidating all of my passions, talents and expertise into the formation of Andree Nicole Inc. Andrée, which means strength is my middle name and Nicole-my first name means victory of the people. The company is premised on excellence, built to empower and created to inspire.  I’m also the author of two self-help books; My Eyes Can See and A Year of Reflection and Insight, which earned me a nomination at the 2015 Black Canadian Awards under the category of Best Literary Work & Author. My third book will be released some time in November 2016 and I felt it would be fitting to create book that not only allows readers to enjoy inspirational and motivational quotes, but also allows readers to partake in writing exercises and daily affirmations. These exercises will ultimately further their self-awareness, strengthening them to become rich in spirit.

What type of services does your company offer to women who are looking to make a change in their lives?
Andrée Nicole Inc is focused on empowerment, development and execution. We assist our clientele through educational programs, workshops and life coaching sessions.  I believe every woman should be equipped with the necessary tools required to take control of their lives; within the context of self-awareness and the development of a winning attitude for success.

Biggest lesson you’ve learned on your journey towards entrepreneurship.
My biggest lessons can be summed up through a few of my personal quotes:
“Dancing with your obstacles allows you to match the speed and rhythm of life with clarity”
“In the midst of your chaos continue to stand”
“Inspiration begins to bubble when you have seen the bottom”
“The impossible has made all things possible”

How has your Jamaican heritage impacted your outlook on life, success and business?
My parents were awesome teachers not only to their children, but to the people within their circle. I give full credit to my parents for the woman that I am today. From very early on, my parents exposed me to both Jamaican and African culture. My father also taught my siblings and I about the richness and diversity of our lineage. Through these teachings I learned that my great, great, great grandparents immigrated to Jamaica from France. After culture, history has always been very important to our family. Whether it was lessons about our Jamaican heritage, first black lawyers and doctors, Marcus Garvey, Malcom X, Paul Bogle, Sam Sharpe…the list goes on. My father’s teachings have remained with me and continue to influence many areas of my life. The success I’ve experienced, the life I lead and the business I launched were all possible because I was taught that I was premised on excellence, built to empower and created to inspire. It was instilled in me to aim higher because I am the descendant of Kings and Queens.  My curiosity, my drive, my persistence and my thirst for more, has become the fabric of my identity.  I thank my parents for teaching me to be proud of who I am, that black is beautiful and that I can achieve anything I put my mind to.

Your words of wisdom for Caribbean women…
I want my Caribbean sisters to be rich chicks. Rich not in material or monetary wealth, but rich in terms of wholeness in mind, body and spirit.  I’d also like to remind my rich chicks that they are the epitome of strength!  My wish is for your once ‘silenced dialogue’ to be transformed into a powerful voice that can be used to inform and inspire the world.  You are not only rich chicks but you are  true gems and I will continue to applaud you for never giving up.  Be rich with each step of your journey.

Favourite Jamaican proverb and its meaning…
Today fi meh, tomorrow fi yuh. Do not rejoice in someone else’s downfall, for the insecurities, failures and storms we experience today are really our treasures for tomorrow. So as difficult as it may seem, take note of the detours…for what you are experiencing is only a season, which ultimately refines your character, allowing you to step into your rightful calling.

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Favourite place to visit when in Jamaica and why
Jamaica…period.  However, if I had to choose just one I would choose the Great River tourist attraction of rafting and ziplining. I believe it’s the best place to enjoy the abundance and splendor of Jamaica’s natural beauty. The bamboo raft is relaxing and the turquoise water and sky scraping trees are to die for.  Also, the Great River is one of Jamaica’s major waterways and it forms the boundaries of St. James with Westmoreland and Hanover where my parents are from.

What’s next for Andrée Nicole?
To continue growing my business and building the empire that is Andrée Nicole Inc. I’m working to leave a legacy for my son Que’Shaun and my grand-children.  Andree Nicole Inc will continue to offer its signature services, which includes workshops, life coaching sessions and motivational event speaking opportunities within the women’s shelter system here in Toronto. I also plan to continue my ongoing partnership with the local school boards and I will be taking my brand international as well. Also, I’m so excited to begin my paralegal studies this coming May. Once I’m accredited, this will be another service available to my clients.  Finally, stay tuned for the birth of my third book, along with a few Signature Surprises.

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 Photos Courtesy of Edwin Chi Kit Wong