This is my story.
My early years began
in rural Jamaica.
I share the story of my mental illness recovery journey to let others know that
recovery is possible. Experiencing disability left me unemployed. Hence, I created Qinnamon, and Qinnamon Botanicals LLC by God's grace.
There is nothing too hard for God! (Jeremiah 32: 27; Matthew 19:26)
Fun Facts About Me
Learning and books are a passion
Feeding my brain with new information has always been my coping mechanism. When I learn something new, Sharing what my findings are also helpful in my recovery.
Redecoration is another passion
My reason for entering art school was to peruse the mechanics of drafting for interior design, but alas, there was no such program so I did the next best, register for Graphic Design. Re-decorating friends' homes to give them a refreshed start is my pleasure.
Just love arranging flowers
I love making floral arrangements. It has been my pleasure to make wedding flowers for brides, grooms, and wedding parties and decorate the venues. Over the years, I've also made arrangements for several funerals too.
An Entrepreneur at Heart
After Art School in Jamaica, I started my own business and did a short stint working for the Design firm Carter, Gambrill, Robinson. Being featured in the first Jamaican directory for women in business was an honor. And being a participant in the Women in Business Expo at the Jamaican Pegasus Hotel in 1987 was incredible. At that time I was also the Fiber and Fabric Coordinator for Things Jamaica Ltd, under the Office of the Prime Minister.
Jamaican Women in Business Highlight Fun Fact: The Woman Inc. Logo was one of my most successful designs for the Bunny Levy Design Studio.
The New York Years
Graduating from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, was a highlight and a goal attained. On the heels of that graduate degree, I started working as a public school Special Education Teacher for an elementary school in NYC. Completing the requirements to become a New York State Certified Special Educator was a blessing.
The experience of living with a disability and with training was natural to transition the information to the church setting.
Volunteering in the Community
My time as a volunteer at the Greater New York Conference of Seventh-day Adventist as the Disabilities Ministry Coordinator and advisor.
Qinnamon and Qinnamon Botanicals LLC support each other. Remuneration was lacking for bookings at most churches and community centers that did not have a budget for a speaker. So I developed a line of teas that would benefit the attendees' health and help me travel to locations across New York to give mental health talks based on my lived experience.
My line of Herbal teas was developed using the research on starting a tea business by ASK JAN of the Job Accommodations of Americans With Disabilities Act, under the US Justice Department. Working with Start Small Think Big to hone my brand design and legal assistance in crafting website user agreements and SCORE Westchester and SCORE NY METRO for mentorship in emerging as a person of business. New York City Small Business Services provided ongoing business courses, and the Small Business Development at Lehman College gave me a hand in figuring out how to proceed.
I rediscovered my design roots and used Avery We Print to create colorful labels. I packaged my teas to reflect my brand. Look for a comprehensive article on starting a tea business sometime soon. In the meantime, here is my visual journey.