Izza Trini and Trini love their Carnival….
I absolutely love Carnival, I love fetes, I love the Music, soca and calypso ( now that I’m older I appreciate KAISO KAISO). I love the naked mas, cuz why not….
I’m so excited and energized about these forthcoming interviews! We are going to look at the other side of Carnival, not the wine and the jam but at the CREATIVES who are working tirelessly at their craft all hours of the night, the TRUE artistes , the ones making CARNIVAL great for US! Fun, Fun times….
RAY TAY TAY!!!!!!!! NEVA!! (Trini’s will understand)
First up I talked to the creator of the band Indulgence Mas, she is A CARNIVALIST over fifteen years in di business! Passionate about the craft, love her style and everything that she has to say here….
Let’s get it!
- Can you please introduce yourself and tell us what you do?
My name is Sommer Seebrath and I am the proud owner of INDULGENCE Carnival. INDULGENCE Carnival is a mas band that has been in existence for three years bringing presentations under the small band category. In our debut year our presentation was entitled “Indulgence”, in our 2nd Year we had “All Gold Everything” and this year we are presenting “A Sailor’s Fantasy”. Apart from owning my own business I am also a Terminal Vessel Planner with the Port Authority of Trinidad and Tobago.
- Why did you decide to get into the Carnival Industry?
I have a passion for all things Carnival: Mas, [Makeup, Monday Wear, decorated boots, costuming, wire bras, backpacks], parties, soca. I have been playing mas since 2004 having been on, and chairperson of the Legacy Youth Committee, learning all things mas under Big Mike and Juliet … the ins and outs of Carnival from registration, constructing a headpiece to community charity work. I resigned from the committee to focus on completing my MSc.
I had completed traditional studies: BSc Environmental Management and MSc Operational Maritime Management all before the age of 30 years and I was wondering what to do with my life. Not a mid life crisis but more like a ‘what next stage’. I always loved planning events and have a Certificate in Events Management from Arthur Lok Jack. So as I said before I love Carnival … and the idea was born. A mas band similar to an event in terms of advance planning. So I used my event planning skills and INDULGENCE was born from the midst of my mind.
- How do you see your market developing in the future?
Trinidad is Carnival and Carnival is Trinidad. Carnival is our culture and we must ensure that our culture never dies. The market for carnival would always be there but we as bandleaders have to ensure that the public is satisfied for i.e. if its customer service, costuming, and experience, whatever we have decided that our target market yearns for.
- What is one secret of the trade that you are in that you will like to share with our readers?
Never give up, never accept the word NO. Once your mind can dream it you can achieve it. [I’ve always loved that phrase].
Don’t be afraid to ask for HELP
- What is the best advice you would give to a young entrepreneur, who wants to get into the Carnival Industry?
Start small [intern/section/small band], develop yourself and your niche market, do it for the right reasons, once that fire of passion burns don’t allow the naysayers to get into your head. Even if your support system cannot see the dream, once you have the vision push forward [you could be a trend setter], people and things fall into place.
Dream Big, Love Big, Do Big
(WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOIIIIIIIIIII ! READ THAT AGAIN EH, I MYSELF NEED TO READ IT AGAIN)
And the church said Amen!!
- How do you balance your entrepreneur life and social life?
Entrepreneur Life, Work Life, Social Life: it’s not easy … I make lists and try to prioritize, I work shifts so that helps alot. I’m always on the go. I try my utmost best to get things done on a specific day forgetting that there’s always tomorrow. Sometimes I’m working while most of the world is sleeping and vice versa.
- How has it been navigating business as a young woman?
The first year was the most difficult, trying to establish my brand, trying to distinguish who really wanted to help from who wanted to help solely for their own gains, knowing who to trust, determining the target market and demographic.
- Where do you see yourself in five years? Re : Business
Being a Household Name ( I have similiar goals, so you know what to do, share like and commmmmennnnttt)
Moving to the Medium Band Category in Trinidad,
Taking INDULGENCE to at least one Caribbean Country
Taking INDULGENCE to New York for Labor Day
- Name three things that your business has taught you.
Love what you do
It is really okay to fail and cry about it but you really need to get back up ( whoop, whoop! I hope you guys are taking notes)
Success doesn’t happen overnight, alot of hard work, long nights, but as the saying goes “drip drip does full bucket”
- Can you tell us one fun fact about you?
Besides Carnival I love going to the beach and I love food. I’m a foodie. I will try any type of food……… twice. The first time I’ll have anxiety lol, but by the second time I’m sure I’ll either know if I like it or not.
- What keeps you motivated, on the rough days, how do you keep pressing on?
Fear of Failure /// Dreams of Success
- What is the top mistake you have made in your business?
Thinking too big and over catering
- What is your greatest achievement thus far?
In INDULGENCE’s first year we placed in 3 different categories.
5th in Overall Band of the Year – Small Band Category
6th in Designer Category
4th in the Music Truck Category
- How can some-one get in contact with you re: your mas band?
FB: Indulgence Carnival
Well that’s it….
Tell me what you wanna hear about next!
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With love and hustle