My Island Muse: Simone Sant-Ghuran

Tell me about yourself and the journey that led to the creation of Trinidad Weddings.
I believe in quiet confidence, kindness, having your own personal style and being productive. I love travelling, yoga, books, fashion, food and art. I’m also a bit of a house decorating and home organizing nerd! Lately, I’ve been learning to play guitar but I’ve been quite delinquent at practicing.

So, that’s my spare time but my day job is being the Editor of the Trinidad Weddings’ Wed-Zine magazine and I’m also a wedding columnist for the Trinidad Guardian newspaper and Lecturer in Wedding Planning at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business in Trinidad.

I started after being in the corporate world for 7 years. I leveraged the experience of planning my own wedding, as well as my background in human resources, event management, marketing and sales to get started. That was ten years ago. Since then, we’ve grown from just a website. We now publish a wedding magazine, have a consulting service called The Wedding Coach, host an event called The Wedding Convention and recently launched our free wedding planning App.

It takes a special kind of person to believe in themselves enough to set an idea in motion, even with the prospect of failure looming over the horizon. Some call this “entrepreneurial spirit”. Launched in 2004,  Trinidad was the first wedding website launched on the island. What fuels your entrepreneurial spirit?
To defy convention and break away from the corporate world after being there for 7 years was a huge risk. I’ve always taken any thoughts of failure and spun them in a positive way. Thoughts of failure are there to keep me “on my toes,” I don’t view them as self-defeating.

To be a successful entrepreneur, I think you need to be a bit of a rebel. You’ve got to be prepared not to “follow the pack.” You also have to have razor-sharp focus.

People talk about finding or following your passion but I think entrepreneurial spirit is more about solving a customer’s problem or filling a need/want that they have. You can have all the passion in the world for something but it won’t necessarily translate into being good at managing a business or being profitable.

For me, it’s not just about churning out another magazine issue; it’s about the drive to keep on doing something notable.  If you look up the meaning of notable you’ll see that it means: “worthy of attention or notice; remarkable and unforgettable.”  Notable…it’s one of my favourite words!

What was your most challenging moment on this journey and how did you overcome it?
I can’t single out a particular moment, but I can say that the most challenging aspect is continuing to raise the standards of T&T’s wedding industry. My job is not just about advertising, it goes deeper than that. I care about raising the bar of professionalism in the industry, not only for the benefit of our own brides and vendors but especially if we want to attract destination brides, who expect global standards when they come here. How I’ve tried to help is by hosting wedding industry networking events and an annual Wedding Convention, which features seminars for wedding professionals.

Your message to women on career, relationships and wellness with other women:
My work-life balance has been a work-in-progress. There are times when I feel on top of the game and there are times when variables conspire to swing the pendulum one way or the other!  But you have to keep some things sacred and non-negotiable.

I’m a strong believer in supporting other women, not only with friendship or moral support but in business. It’s often a hot topic for women to discuss how men treat them but we often don’t look inward at how we, as women, treat each other. If we treat each other like sisters, we would all be better for it.

Favourite Trinidadian saying:
“Do so, doh like so” – it’s basically the Trini interpretation of The Golden Rule.

Favourite place to visit in Trinidad and why?
I went to Chickland (located in Central Trinidad) a few times for a pottery class. I still remember how sweet and clean the air was, the greenery, friendly people, simple houses and animals grazing. To me, it’s one of the most untouched places in Trinidad.  It’s also a special place since it’s where my paternal Grandmother was born.

Link Love
Facebook: Trinidad Weddings
Twitter:: Simone_TW
Pinterest: Trinidad Wedding