At 17-years-old, he is a young entrepreneur who gets his hustle on strictly from a health conscious point of view.
Dymare is one of eight students enrolled in the BEDC Summer Student Entrepreneurship Programme.
Earlier this month he published this post on Facebook, where he markets his business regularly: “Building an eco-friendly business on a small island sounds simple but Bermuda has very limited natural resources.
“Even though I hand make everything that l sell at ALOE ALOE…much of my materials have to be ✈ imported. which can admittedly create waste.”
But he told Bermuda Real that creating the recipes was a fun challenge.
“My first round included aloe with watermelon. It was a really tasty combination, but when we worked out the price per serving, it was way too expensive and it went off quickly. I had to eliminate that from the product line. I had to tweak the recipe.”
Initially, he planned to do aloe-based products including after-sun care, along with the aloe water and aloecicles.
“But the packaging that BEDC bought for me was lost in the mail.”
Securing a health license to sell his products proved to be even more challenging as a first-time applicant.
“I had no information on getting a health license, and so it took us a while to get permission to get started and it feels like I missed three crucial weeks of potential sales.
“Getting transport for deliveries is still a challenge because I do not have a bike license yet,” he added.
And there were frustrations along way.
“Staying motivated while trying to overcome the challenges was tough. I got frustrated at how long it took to get it going and to get it right.”
But through it all, he said he was more than grateful for the support given by his family, the BEDC, his growing list of customers and several others.
“My family has been my big support base, from helping me with production each week, driving me around when the packages are too big and I can’t take the bus and spreading the word.”
Even more than that he said they “showed love”.
He also noted that the BEDC reimburses $900 in start-up costs to the participants.
“And they gave us a really good week of training to be an entrepreneur,” he said.
“The Brand Lion, run by my Auntie has been an amazing source of support. They have given me an office to work out of and given marketing support.
“Island Press Limited has generously donated the wrap for my cart and stall and given me quality labels at a great price for my business. It is amazing to get support from such a big business.
“The Department of Health invited me to give a presentation on my products in order to get my license and they gave me advice and encouragement.”
He also thanked Herman Tucker, “a successful businessman” who gave him plenty of advice on owning a business.
“He said I would to undergo changes and sacrifice things – whether that would be people, sleep or sometimes money. He was my first buyer and is a constant source of helpful guidance.
“I am grateful for the support from the community and especially of Black men, who have been a tremendous source of advice and wisdom, from CEO’s to small business owners, to workers from around the island and many of my dad’s friends and people from my community.
“The Bermuda Tourism Authority and the Corporation of Hamilton have chosen Aloe ALoe for their staff retreats. And the ‘uber’ supportive staff at King Edward VII Memorial Hospital have been some of my most loyal customers.”
Last but not least, he said: “The Leopard’s Club, a historic social club founded by Black men during times of segregation has generously donated their kitchen for me to use until the end of the month.”
Earlier this summer he was hitting 500 customers, up from 200 just a few weeks before. At last check, Dymare was reaching for 800 customers, as of today, he has 760.
Back on the beat at the Washington Mall, he said he was hoping to hit the 800 mark by the end of the day today.
In fact, his business is doing so go that he is currently leaning towards taking a year off from school.
“I am supposed to return to the UK at the end of the month but the business seems to be moving me towards taking a gap year to see how far I can grow me and Aloe Aloe.
- Try to stay motivated even during the bad times, push through it
- Speak to people and especially other entrepreneurs to gain insight
- My mentor shared with me that you will have to sacrifice a few things whether it is people or sleep, and
- You have to spend money to make money
And on that note he concluded: “I am open to talking with young entrepreneurs and sharing my story, or giving advice whenever I can!”
- For more information, Dymare Simons can be reached on 516-2332 or email firstname.lastname@example.org