Carolyn Mohammed – South Trinidad's Famed Hairstylist

She’s been cutting and styling my hair since my toddler years until now. I have watched her grow from strength to strength just as she has looked on at my life. She had been schooled in hairdressing and styling from as early as I can remember. In those days this art was very much in high demand as it is now. However, she was a salon professional understanding the foundations of the retail of product, the dynamics of hair care, the styles to better frame one’s face and quality customer service. She was not only trained in hair but aesthetics too. She did facials, pedicures, manicures, waxing and makeup too. She built her brand very strongly from then until this week. The advent of social media and new trends in hair and beauty regimens did not leave her behind. She was an exceptional professional who believed in her brand. She always stood ahead of the hair  game by educating herself on the latest techniques, tools, products and styles. Despite her stellar looks and dreamy service she remained humble, her prices were unbelievably affordable and the quality of her work ensured her clients remained loyal. Undeniably, the attention their hair received brought her even more clients.

cm3(Photo Credit: Carolyn Mohammed Facebook Page)

Truly, she grew into a hair icon that believed in her brand, worked hard for what she wanted in life and enjoyed her passion. She loved to challenge herself to be one of the best in delivering extraordinary hair colouring techniques to her clients. Her gift to the world was using her passion to make others happy. She took her role as a hair professional very seriously. She would often talk about the regularization of standards in the local hair and cosmetology industry. During her earlier years in this profession persons in this industry were trained and qualified in their field. They also served a considerable amount of time working with senior professionals and learning from local and international brand ambassadors.

As times changed and the digital era sprung into effect more hair and beauty professionals popped up over Trinidad and Tobago. Some were untrained in proper hygiene practices and others were millennial youtube hair and makeup stylists.  The beauty industry catapulted into one of the most lucrative and at times tax free income earners ( for the increasing number of freelancers who are unregistered business owners) in Trinidad and Tobago. She adapted yet she was still an avid attendee to hair and beauty shows for salon professionals. However she too would notice the lack of regularization, policy, guidelines and standards in the industry. It became as though aspiring beauty professionals were starting to take advantage of clients. They were cutting corners, burning out their clients hair with low quality hair care, diluting products with their own mix ins and selling mediocre products and services at exorbitant prices. She never failed to mention her concern for  professionals’ apathy and her fear for what the booming hair and beauty industry could soon become.

cm(Photo Credit: Carolyn Mohammed Facebook Page)

Albeit there are still quality beauty and hair care professionals in the country  there will be none like this one. She used high quality products. She did house calls to clients as she was saving up for investment into a salon.  She never cheated her clients and always sold at affordable prices. She even had an option where the client who brings her another client gets their next haircut or hairstyle free of charge. Also, since she was a salon professional she had access to salon products (these products are not readily available for the public) for her clients at reasonable rates.  Her hands were so gifted that I trusted them to dye my hair for the first time in my entire life this year. We had that type of relationship where I would say to her,  “I have no idea what colour I want  or what I want to do but I trust you so do whatever you want with it. ” She decided and she went in for the cutting, styling and colouring and I loved it! Despite not having her own salon yet her home was outfitted with salon chairs, sinks and the latest hair products and tools. She gave the most amazing hair wash and head massages.

cm2(Photo Credit: Carolyn Mohammed Facebook Page)

Salon professionals double as clients’ therapists. The experience is a personable one where the client inevitably develops a friendship with their salon professional. She was no exception as her clients offloaded their lives on her while she renewed them with beauty therapy.  She held her own too as she had her own family. She was the “dopest” mom to two of the coolest boys I know. You see even though she had the opportunity to live her passion and use her gift to help others she had other roles to play. She was a doting wife and mother. She did all her domestic duties to her best and took care of her family. She was a soul in a body fulfilling her role here on earth as a mother and as a wife. She never faltered in any area.  She listened to her boys. She disciplined them and she always made sure she spent time with them. They even learnt a thing or two from her styling skills by just being around her. The kids even slayed the latest undercuts during their vacation time.

cm5(Photo Credit: Carolyn Mohammed Facebook Page)

She had an insatiable appetite for life and for striving to be at her best in life. Unfortunately, things took a turn for the worst yesterday afternoon. I learnt from phone calls and a television broadcast the terrible news that she was on her way to pick up her eldest son from school with her younger son in the vehicle when a truck skidded off the road and slammed into her car. She died on impact, her son was injured and taken to the hospital. Many wailed and bawled and many remain shocked by the sudden death (including myself). We have lost a valuable soul because that is what she was a beautiful soul in a body here to fulfill her role as a mother, as a wife, a sister,  a cousin, a friend and a salon professional to share her gift with others. Whether it was or was not her time to die is something I cannot say nor you or anybody else. No one will ever hear her side of the story as to what happened that fateful day that she passed.  We can only pray for her soul and hope that she finds peace and that she crosses over to the other side (for those of you who believe in that stuff). I believe we will meet again if not in this lifetime perhaps in another lifetime. Until then I will keep her soul in my prayers and the fondest memories of her closest to my heart.

cm4(Photo Credit: Carolyn Mohammed Facebook Page)











Are we the creative nexus for the Caribbean?


The developing world is becoming vigilant of its tourism destination competitors. Countries are starting to develop incubators, policies and support framework to sculpt a creative city in their destination. They are developing a city that boasts of creativity in software, theater, art, music, fashion, craft, animation to name a few. Further amplifying this is the recognition of the need to support the institutions of creative industries by incentive and political initiatives that aid in the creatives’ advancement and development. Johannesburg in South Africa is one common example of a creative tourism destination. Artists are allotted discounted rental spaces and theater productions  are allowed to showcase on the national scene as well. Similarly, the small developing island state of Trinidad and Tobago is not far behind.


Click the link below to see Creative South Africa (Video Credit: South Africa Tourism)

Trinidad and Tobago offers its individual aesthetic of cosmopolitan status and ingenuity to the world. There has been an upsurge in fashion events, graduate designers, local designer boutiques, art , craft markets and the bubbling of a passion for talent, skill and culture. It is a subconscious attempt by the people to generate our very own creative space and make a claim to stand out on that global creative domain. Several fraternities have added support for this creative revolution at the core of this nexus over the last decade in Trinidad and Tobago; Fashion Associations, Start Up competition events, Ted Ex Talks, business expos and forums like The Human Imagination at Work: Driving Competitiveness and Powering Innovation with  distinguished panels from all walks of creativity. The establishment of the Creative Industries Company and projects like ICT’s innovation in mas which fosters healthy competition in the local masquerade sector also boost creative awakening of the nations’ creative industries. Nedco is also an avenue for helping start ups make their ‘dreams come true’. Trinidad and Tobago even hosted a plethora of international delegates to the VIII Americas Competitiveness Forum.


This is Creative Trinidad–> click the link below for the video ( Video Credit: Racked TT)

We are Crayons —> Click below for Video ( Video Credit: A Big Box of Crayons)


Yet, Trinidad and Tobago has yet to see that this vision of marrying tourism with creative industries is more than a blissful happily ever after. More often than not this development will be propelled for advanced forward movement as a destination since the creative sector has little to zero correlation to sameness and commodification of a destination’s resources. This means Trinidad and Tobago can have a promising future as the premier Caribbean destination or as a nexus for the Caribbean on the global creative map. A destination’s creative product on the global map means that this destination will not only be ‘fresh’  it will be in high demand by new tourists who will soon quench their thirst for more that just sun, sea and sand!


Destination Success

Success that prized virtue  held by so many in society. It’s true meaning waiting to be irrevocably traced and stamped in the palms of our hands, clasped so tightly that we never let it go.

From tender ages, parents, the community, education, media, religious institutions have placed such emphasis on this thing called success that it is now ingrained in the hearts and minds of adult individuals today. They have cultivated the desire to achieve, to accomplish fascinating objectives with the least respect for timid attempts and a shadowy fear of failure. Innately, people vicariously learn from their teachers in life and so they learn to become competitive and some if not most extremists become individualistic. They are taught to believe in a meritocratic society where effort equals reward so the more effort equates the more reward.

By all means look around you , think of the names that come to mind when you say the word success; businessmen, lawyers, politicians, celebrities, entrepreneurs and professionals. Now let’s look at this carefully of course they have accomplished some task, goal, achievement. Obviously, they have the worldly possessions that compliment their fitted lifestyle. Some may even have the luck of being fortunate enough to have the blessing of family steeped in happiness. However, are they truly successful? Have they truly maximized their potential to achieve? Is this what has been taught by society and now it has been realized and soon it will be reciprocated?

Some food for thought people success is really defined by you not by the comparison of the possessions and accomplishments of others. This is how you describe and write the literary devices that tell the story of  your life. Of course there are going to be obstacles and you will most likely be stumped by many. But it’s not about how many obstacles show up uninvited but it’s how you get through them. Ever heard of that proverb; “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” Well that’s exactly what you need to do. Stop what you are doing. Sit back and analyze what’s going on and decide the steps you need to take to your path, destination success. You see the most challenging not difficult but challenging part here is to take that single step and soon  you will take more steps and before you know it you have arrived at destination success and it’s time to enjoy the fruition of your journey.

It is important that you remember the journey to your success will most likely be an arduous trek. You see if it were easy you would not learn and your experience would be least memorable. Also, you would not have been able to grow from it and share it with others. So decide your destiny, make a decision, make a step, accept the reality that this trail is going to be different and embrace everything that is about to amaze you with an open mind and open heart. Promise yourself that in the weak moments this is a once in a lifetime opportunity for you to have a second chance at life. So for those weak moments take your time and power up because you will soon be baffled by destination success as it quaintly awaits your arrival. All the best!! Enjoy ;)

This thing called LIFE!



Has life hit you upstyle, downstyle? Has it hit you so hard that you are tired of falling down and you figure, “hey let me just stay down I am going to get knocked down again let me save the powers that be some energy and stress?” Fed up and tired of comparing yourself to others who are enjoying more success and treasures of life that you think you should enjoy too. After all you work just as hard so why not?!

Well, ever heard the saying “what is for for you..” Well it seems like there is some truth to some of these sayings. Wake up! Open those eyes so I can enlighten you on why not?!The thrills and shrills of life that come with hard work suggest that gratification is not an immediate reward. Of course there are many of us who toil laboriously, burn that midnight oil, make personal sacrifices all with the aim of success and the near goal that will bear fruition as soon as the work is done. Some of us do receive the bounties and blessings associated with such hard work but that is within their realm.

Simply put this is the plan that the Creator and the powers that be have mapped out carefully for those individuals. So do not mope and sigh and compare yourself because this just means your time is soon approaching but you need a little more preparation and a few more tests of faith to make sure you are equipped and ready to handle your role. Your role may be more spectacular, very significant and particular so care is taken so that you learn and grow and get back on your feet after you fell down. Oh yes your map has been planned out so keep those eyes, ears, brain and heart open so you can pick up all the hidden clues and gleaming lessons that you have been taking for granted.

You may find it odd that although you planned a particular direction for your life  disregarding your trials and tribulations to get there stuff keeps happening and leading you in a total different direction. Take heed this is the time when you need to stop, reflect, observe and listen to what is going on. This is your life, your story that’s waiting to be told. It’s begging you to see the light, the path that you need to be on en route to destination success, life fulfillment and purpose.

So get up! Recognize what’s going on around you, embrace it, have some patience and get ready to water and nurture that seed of your new life. Honey, what you do in this time between you falling on the ground and deciding whether to get back up and what you are going to do when you get back up is crucial to dictating the pace and status of your life. Again what is for you will always be for you so quit comparing yourself! Quit moaning about it! Stand up and take back your life! Do something about it! Remember The Almighty created everyone in His image. You are beautiful! You are brilliant! The best is yet to come so get out of “Calle Glum” and move over to “Avenida  Bliss” and please people look out for the signs!