Kendal St Louis is CEO of cleaning company Ladnek Ltd.

Thirty-one-year-old Kendal St Louis is the Chief Executive Officer of Ladnek Limited. The cleaning company, operating for the last 10 years, has become one of the most sought-after in Trinidad and Tobago amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Speaking with Loop News in the lead up to Good News Day, St Louis recalled life before becoming an entrepreneur. He said he did various jobs to survive, one of which was construction. Considering himself a hustler, he said while working in the industrial sector, he sold any and everything he could. This was why he became known as the “Black Syrian”. Locally, the Syrian-Lebanese community that migrated to T&T from as early as 1904 became known for entrepreneurship, being involved in real estate development, the manufacturing sector and the fast-food industry according to the NALIS library. “I used to sell soft drinks, snacks, phone cards, CDs, DVDs. It was like a one-stop-shop for construction workers. So, they didn’t have to go out of the construction site to get anything that they needed, basically. They got everything right there.” St Louis said he hit a slow period as his construction job stalled. This was when he decided to register Ladnek Contracting Services. Though, to this day, he has no clue exactly what propelled him to change his business to a cleaning company. Whatever the inspiration, he started marketing Ladnek as a cleaning corporation. His first job came from a friend whose employer sent a request for quotation. St Louis said he had no knowledge on the standard price for jobs of this nature but he responded to the request anyway and days later, received a purchase order. He had gotten the job. At the time he had no equipment and no idea what to do next. He said a family member introduced him to the owner of a cleaning company and they struck a deal; St Louis would work for 10% of the figure and he would get the rest. The man also advised him on how to handle future negotiations. St Louis then went on several jobs as the guy’s employee, learning the trade and saving to purchase his own equipment one day. “I bought the equipment. I bout it cash. I basically had it parked up for almost six months with no work.” He finally got an opportunity and hired his first team, however, he failed miserably. He decided to do research to ensure that he would not fail at the job in future. “I started practising at home and I basically started to get more jobs again and my practise at home, end up becoming much better so I started to get more confidence in executing the job.” Now, he has roughly 130 permanent and contract staff. “At this point in time with corona, I would say that we were one of the leading companies in our field that was able to adapt very quickly to everything that was going on as it relates to sanitation and hygiene. We were one of the first companies to have the electrostatic disinfection service. We also were one of the companies that was able to supply the hand sanitiser dispensers to numerous people in the country.” Speaking about his focus, St Louis said he has developed routines that he now maintains religiously. “Let’s just say if 10 distractions come at me, half of a distraction might get my attention, not one.”

Photos courtesy Fitt Street Market.

Amid the economic uncertainties created by the COVID-19 pandemic, one new business can fill a much-needed niche for customers seeking a quality shopping experience. The Fitt Street Market, located at the corner of Fitt Street and Ariapita Avenue, opened its doors earlier this month, providing a burst of activity on the Avenue and catering to customers seeking quality food items, both local and imported. Amanda Chandler, Marketing Manager, said owner Adrian Chandler came up with the idea after the unexpected turn of events created by the pandemic in April this year. ‘We used to be in the event industry which was put on hold during the pandemic so we were forced to come up with an alternative. Everything kind of aligned with the opportunity [for Fitt Street Market]. We already had the space, so we did research on what would be important, what would be essential, and keeping in mind the ‘new normal’. We took the chance to expand our horizons into this uncharted territory.’ Chandler said the experience varies from regular supermarkets: ‘We don’t view Fitt Street as a general supermarket but more of a boutique service, so we connect to customers to see what they want and need, to be able to have an insight and satisfy their demands.’ ‘It’s not only a specialty or gourmet market, we have both local and specialty items, a café and bakery to grab breakfast on the go, grab and go meals for people in the area, from wraps sandwiches, salads, sushi and a wide variety of other items.’ Fitt Street Market also features a range of local produce and fruit, alongside more exotic items like dragon fruit, strawberries and more. The Market also features a wide range of meats including lamb, beef and other meats. Chandler said they’re also launching a drinks section with local and imported beers alongside other beverages, which will be stocked from next week. She said they’ve also received requests for gluten-free products which they’re following up. As for launching during the pandemic, Chandler said there is uncertainty however they’ve poured their attention into ensuring their product provides a real service to customers: ‘If this pandemic has taught anyone anything, it’s to manage expectations. We can’t foresee if there’ll be participation or not, we can only hope so, but we have done our best in focusing our energy, time and thought to provide not only a supermarket but an experience and hope that the support will follow.’ As for guiding other start-ups, her advice is practical: ‘We can’t pinpoint just one tip, but what I will say is you must be able to adapt, have vision and foresight [as] those are critical, as well as wise planning and investing, these things are crucial during these times.’ Fitt Street Market is open from Mondays to Thursdays from 7am to 9pm, Fridays to Saturdays from 7am to 10pm, and on Sundays from 7am to 4pm. The store also has a carpark close by as well as a shuttle service for customers. The company also worked swiftly from their initial decision in April, to convert the space, previously a casino, into a distinctively branded space that conveys ease of use, safety, and awide variety of quality produce. ‘We wanted it to be a unique look colour and feel,’ she said. After much hard work, preparation and planning, Fitt Street Market is nowwelcoming all Christmas customers. Check them out on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/fittstmarket


A judge has refused Johnny Depp permission to appeal against a British court's ruling that he assaulted ex-wife Amber Heard. Earlier this month a High Court judge rejected Depp's claim that a newspaper had committed libel when it called him a "wife-beater." Judge Andrew Nicol said the article in The Sun was "substantially true." Depp is seeking to overturn the judgment. But in a setback for the "Pirates of the Caribbean" star, Nicol denied permission to appeal, saying "I do not consider that the proposed grounds of appeal have a reasonable prospect of success." In a ruling made public on Wednesday, the judge also ordered Depp to make an initial payment of almost 630,000 pounds ($840,000) to News Group Newspapers, publisher of The Sun, to cover its legal fees. Depp can still apply directly to the Court of Appeal, and has until December7 to do so. The judge's main ruling came after a three-week trial in which Depp and Heard gave conflicting accounts of their brief, tempestuous marriage. In the wake of the decision, Depp said he was leaving the "Fantastic Beasts" film franchise after studio Warner Bros. requested his resignation. Depp is also suing Heard for $50 million in Virginia over a Washington Post op-ed essay that she wrote about domestic violence. The essay talks about her experience of being abused but does not name Depp. The trial is due to be held next year.

Trinidad and Tobago’s dancehall community has made international waves with singer Khalif‘KG’ Greaves nominated for Best Upcoming/Local artist at the sixth annual African Entertainment Awards, USA (AEAUSA). “Is a good feeling,” he said, in response to questions regarding how he felt about the nomination. “I just wanna thank everybody for supporting meh, everybody for voting for meh and hopefully I do win the award and big up to all meh fans and supporters,” he added. KG, however, is not new to the music scene, having sung reggae, dancehall and even soca. He also participated in Soca Star season seven in 2011. The 30-year-old is known for his hit songs My Team ft Prince Swanny, No White Flag ft Rassi, Empire ft Nebula 868 and many others. My Team, uploaded to YouTube on April 1, 2017, glorifies brotherhood and showcases the beauty of T&T’s beaches and has racked up over one million views. Apart from singing, KG is the founder of Reality Entertainment Record Label. Zesser and Trinibadabout unity, not badness Lately, social media has been abuzz with many debating the term “zesser”. KG chimed in and sought to set the record straight. “I think the zesser generation is the young generation. We don’t want to fete, we want to zess and there’s nothing negative about it. It’s the same thing [just like fetes]. The same people going to parties enjoying themselves. Even in these same ‘zesser parties’ you don’t hear about nobody dying. You don’t hear about none of these things. It’s just the new generation of partiers and the new generation of entertainers.” The singer noted that talented individuals from so-called hotspot communities now have an outlet to express themselves and provide joy to members of the public from all walks of life. Furthermore, he believes this has somewhat uplifted these areas. “The zesser movement and the Trinibad movement literally...I not going to say it bring down crime or anything like that because Trinidad still have crime but the energy in these places that [people] used to think that… I remember like, people wouldn’t even go in the Beetham eight years ago to party. It is clear to see that we literally bring the country together. Now, people from uptown areas in these areas partying safely and going back home.” And what’s in the future for KG? “My fans could expect the unexpected and also, as I say, my goal is to push upcoming talent so I have a lot of artists signed under meh label so they could look forward to some new, young artists coming up same way.” To vote for KG, visit the African Entertainment Awards website. Two Trinidadians also up for awards are Jahllano for Best Male Artist and Melissa Etienne for Best Dancer/Group.


A pet bed from Paw Nation.

Micah Clarke is a man of many talents. The 28-year-old is a self-taught portrait artist and a cook who specialises in fried wontons for events. Nowadays, Clarke is adding pet decor manufacturer to his list of accomplishments. Founder of Paw Nation, Clarke turns reclaimed material into beds, leash holders, luxury homes and feeding stations for your favourite furry four-legged friend. Clarke told Loop News he was inspired to make these creations in April after accompanying his girlfriend, who is a veterinarian, to her private appointments. “When I start seeing dogs like German Shepherds and Huskies and these high breed dogs, I realise people pay so much money to take care of them. And whenever she goes to get her pet stuff I see different things like pet beds so I say how come nobody selling these things like how they do for humans, the way Courts or Standards would do it,” he said. A pet feeder from Paw Nation Clarke, who works at an NP Gas Station, decided to try his hand at making affordable but classy furnishing for animals. He started by picking up pallets on the side of the road and doing research online on how to treat the wood and fashion them into something. Armed with little woodworking knowledge from school but bit by bit he got a few tools and learned how to make a few items. On his Facebook page, he displays the décor with stylish shots, using his two dogs, rabbit and cat as his models. In May, the Santa Cruz residentmade his first sale when a woman who adopts animals ought a floating feeding station and a leash holder. “When she purchased from me she posted what she bought and from that, there was no going back,” he said, noting that he gets two to three sales a week. Micah Clarke uses reclaimed material to create pet decor He said from the beds he expanded his line to include dog homes or what he called luxury homes. “I don’t like when people say Kennels and coop. You wouldn’t rent a coop for you and your children. I build them exactly like condos, houses and mansions,” he said, noting that a man once asked him if he built dog coops. While Paw Nation is currently a hobby for Clarke, he envisions one day growing the brand under his business Hand Jünge Creations which in German means Youth Creations. In his vision is the occupation of an entire building where he would have a workshop and a showroom for Paw Nation and another brand he wants to establish called Floral Nation. Clarke, who lived in Grenada for eight years with his father, also sees regional expansion of his business in the future. And as for his girlfriend who inspired his hobby, she will be right there building the empire alongside him. He said: “I try to push her business as well, she is constantly trying to do things, she advises me on patterns and does pet collars and pillows for my pets. We work hand in hand like that.” To order Whatsapp 868-323-2647 or email micah.clarke92@gmail.com.

Photo: Make-Up Artist @sexaslim. Photo via Instagram.

When Make-Up Artist (MUA) @sexaslim'smakeup look went viral online as one of Sacha Cosmetics' looks of the day, he was shocked and grateful. In an interview with Loop News, the MUAsaid he has always had a love of makeup and artistry. 'I have always been sneaking around playing with my mother and grandmother's make up as far back as I could remember. After some time I realised that make up wasn't supposed to be for boys so I stopped for a while. That was until my younger sister starting getting into make up and I started back sneaking around and using her make up.' 'Eventually my cousin and I had a really deep talk one day and she gave me two eyeshadow palettes of my very own, I was so elated. Then I started serving looks in the bathroom and send it to my friends and they would tell me I should post them on Instagram and hunny the rest was history or as I say herstory.' He has several tips for aspiring MUAs: 'I personally love doing my eyes before my foundation because you can just wipe away eyeshadow fall out and can clean up if you blended out the eyeshadow too far. Also,if you have oily eye lids use specifically an eyeshadow base/primer. Concealer just won't cut it, your eyes would crease in minutes especially if you have hooded eyes like I do.' He also promoted mattifying sprays: 'I love using using mattifying setting sprays before I put on foundation and concealer because it basically adds a layer of protection from the oils coming out from your skin which can break those products down. Plus it's easy to apply in a rush. Note that I have very oily skin so if you have dry skin you would want to make sure and hydrate your skill well before doing that.' As for removal, he has his own approach: 'This tip is for make up removal. I am not a fan of make up wipes because 1. I find it to be a lot of unnecessary tugging on your skin and they are usually very stripping to the skin and alsoIt is a lot of waste you are adding to the environment. I would suggest you either use a facial clensing oil/cream or a make up removal balm before going in with your regular face wash. Your face and the environment will thank you.' As for lipstick, he had this to say: 'My last tip is for the people who have trouble putting on lip stick. Try using a lip liner fist and then filling it in. If your hand is shaky try using your pinky finger to help stabilise your hand, I actually do that when doing eyeshadow too.' The MUA said he became teary upon seeing that his work was supported by such a large company like Sacha. 'I believe representation is very important and I think some brands are starting to see that. I can't even begin to imagine how life would have been when I was growing up and seeing people like me.' 'Maybe I would not felt like such an outsider or maybe I would have learned to love myself much earlier in life. By the way a lot of popular make up techniques used today such as baking and contour have come from queer culture. I would love to see more representation locally of queer people both in front and behind the camera because at the end of the day we exist in evey part of the world, always have and always will.' As for getting started, he had useful tips for newbies: 'Take time and get to know your skin, Like is it oily, dry, normal or combination because that would affect how your prep your skin for make up and what kind of foundation or concealer you use on it. For oiler skin you should look for a foundation that dries down ,maybe with a matte finish, for drier skin try more creamier and oil based foundations.' 'Also get to know the undertone of your skin such as cool(pink/red undertones), warm(yellow undertones), neutral(both pink/red and yellow undertones) and olive(similar to neutral but with a more green undertone).' 'Besides that all I have to say practise, practise, practise and you will get more familiar with your face and eye shape. You will also develop muscle memory which can make it easier over time. And remember makeup should be fun and know that you are beautiful with or without it because at the end of the day the make up comes off, hopefully, please remember to take off your make up.' Wise words! Follow his make-up looks on Instagram athttps://www.instagram.com/sexaslim/