Avalon Gomez builds brand, mentors female entrepreneurs

Business owner, brand manager and women’s empowerment advocate Avalon Gomez.  -
Business owner, brand manager and women’s empowerment advocate Avalon Gomez. -

Business owner, brand manager and women’s empowerment advocate Avalon Gomez said her community refers to her as a "dot connector" and "the ultimate multi-hyphenate.

Gomez started out working in corporate finance and banking, transitioning to marketing and then party promotion. She focused on business at El Dorado East Secondary School, then El Dorado Senior Comprehensive, moving on to do marketing and special event management at SBCS and Sital.

“I always loved the concept of creating things from scratch, or having someone just tell me an idea and then I get to actually build it. I enjoyed creating things people could come out and enjoy, creating things people like and want to support.

“I was the only female promoter 15 years ago having boat rides on Harbour Master and Treasure Queen. My best friend and I had this brand called Zero, so we used to have the Zero Breakfast Cruise, which was a Boxing Day cruise, and we had other events every Easter Monday. We threw land events down by Teteron. Back then we didn’t call it brand marketing and personal branding and things like that, we just said we’re throwing a party, we’re having fun, but I realise that’s what my passion was, that’s what I really enjoyed.”

After a few years, Gomez said she began to think that she didn’t want to be known only as a party girl.

“I asked myself, 'how can you use your skill, your expertise, your talents, interests, use the things you’re passionate about to build your legacy?' I started to focus more on creating my agency, and working with other people on them having these same experiences, building their branding through events, through digital marketing, content marketing, things like that.”

Gomez said she was able to leverage the contacts she had made both in banking and while promoting when she launched her brand marketing agency, Avelle, in 2017.

Business owner, brand manager and women’s empowerment advocate Avalon Gomez at a SPOTT mentorship event. -

“I was always passionate about connecting with people. That was just one of my superpowers. My clients would come in, connect with me, wait until I was free. I was always the person who was personable and wanted to connect with, and when I used to throw parties, I did the same thing. So when I transitioned I used the same connections to let them know I have this agency, this is what we do.

“From building my brand over the years, those people knew me and what I was capable of. That’s another great benefit to building your name. Some people might see me as a promoter but others would say, 'well she did this for so many years, so clearly she could do it for me.' Or they would remember I have certain connections from having to work with radio stations, venues, other promoters.”

She said she had built a great network which enabled her to connect people.

“My social media community gave me the name 'professional dot connector.' They said ‘if we need anything we could definitely call Avalon. She would definitely know where to find it, she could get it done.’ If they need to meet somebody, I am the person connecting those dots for them. So I said I had to put that on my website for sure.”

Gomez said one of her main challenges while opening her business was navigating life as a young mother.

“When you’re in the entertainment industry, you know how much time that takes from you, which was time away from my son. It was challenging being away from him all the time but thankfully my mother was very supportive, so he was never alone.”

She said another challenge was being a woman in the male-dominated event space. She said the men she worked with and around didn’t think she deserved to be in the space and it should be theirs exclusively.

“Entertainment especially was male-dominated, and here was this girl doing her thing, earning her respect, but it definitely didn’t come easy. It took me being very persistent, speaking up when I needed to, and making sure others knew I deserved to be here just as much.”

Gomez said a third challenge was building her business, including getting capital, finding consistent clients, and trying to show what made her different from anyone else.

She said there have been many highs over the last few years, including working with Nadia Batson as part of her management team for the last seven years.

“It’s something I don’t take for granted. Her entire journey and career have been a great asset to me and my career.

“Also, being able to work with international clients is a high for me, because when people in New York or Miami or St Lucia are having an event attached to their brand or executing any type of launch, be it storefront, personal brand, or product, they think of me first. I get to work in different places.”

Business owner, brand manager and women’s empowerment advocate Avalon Gomez speaks at a Ministry of Youth Development and National Service event. -

She said another high was getting to work with people every day, as she gets to meet amazing people. She said her online community were amazing cheerleaders.

“I get to share knowledge I’ve learned over the years with different people and that’s a big asset for me.”

Gomez is also the founder of EmpowHerTT, which she said came about from her challenges operating in a male-dominated space and becoming an entrepreneur.

“The support wasn’t there, even from other women. Covid19 was a period where a lot of people realised we need other people and women should support each other, things like community are very important. Prior to that, years before, it wasn’t like that. Women would always be the first ones to bring down another woman, and I wanted EmpowHerTT to really fill that gap of supporting other female entrepreneurs who just started off their business.”

The 37-year-old said the business does logos and other branding material for female entrepreneurs.

“Certain things like logos are so expensive when you’re starting off your business, and not all entrepreneurs have the resources or money. I didn’t. So I wanted to make it accessible to them so they wouldn’t have to struggle like I did.

“We also mentor female business owners, pair them up with other mentors, have sessions teaching them about the different aspects of entrepreneurship, the financial part, the mental health part, how to build your brand and scale your business.”

Gomez said the organisation has been on hiatus for the last year, but she was building a camp for young girls who wanted to become entrepreneurs. She said when she visited schools as part of the 40 under 40 influencer programme with the Ministry of Youth Development and National Service, the children wanted to know how to start businesses.

“They know they have to finish school and get their subjects, but they’ll say, 'I want to be a vet yes, but I want to open my own veterinary clinic, how do I do that?' Or, 'I can draw, how can I start designing clothes based on my drawing skills?' They have this entrepreneurial spirit I think we need to tap into more and develop, so I wanted EmpowHerTT to fill that gap.”

Gomez said mentorship is important, as everyone needs accountability partners and guides. She sits on the advisory board of SPOTT – a professional development mentorship organisation that spans across Washington DC and Trinidad and Tobago.

“There were people who went the same route we’re trying to go before us. It’s important we be that guide for the next generation, and let our stories be the building blocks for those coming up. I don’t think anyone needs to be left alone to figure it out, they could figure it out with guidance. Nothing is new under the sun and nobody is going to do something new that was never done before. So as much as people could, they should find someone who they can mentor and guide, as that could make all the difference.

“There are people who don’t have friends, people who can’t talk to their family members, parents, siblings, so a mentor can fill that gap, even if it’s not in a professional capacity; just being that person for somebody else.”

Gomez said her plans for the future are to have Avelle become a fully-functional all-female boutique brand agency working for local and international clients in the next five years.

“A dream of mine is to have a commercial building that would be the hub for EmpowHerTT, a co-working and networking space. If an entrepreneur needs a space for a pop-up on a Saturday, they can come and use that space, outfit it the way they like and pop-up. They don’t have to go out somewhere and rent every month to have a store. We’d have office spaces as well.

“I want to keep on growing and doing what God sent me here to do. I feel like I make a difference in people’s lives. When I finish a tour speaking about branding, people come and tell me they learned about their values and standing in their power from their parents, which they thought had become second nature. But I remind people these are the same values that will open doors and get you opportunities. You just need to be authentic and be yourself.”

Gomez had some advice for female entrepreneurs.

“You miss the chances you don’t take. You really have to be able to go out there and take the chances, take the risks, make sure it’s a calculated risk but take the chances. I love to say 'shoot your shot' because you never know. You want to work with someone, send them an email, jump in their DMs. Create the opportunities you want, because we can’t always depend on people to create it for us.”


"Avalon Gomez builds brand, mentors female entrepreneurs"

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