Sarah Callender maintains winner’s mindset amid challenges – Trinidad and Tobago Newsday
Features Marshall Heasley an hour ago Sarah Callender poses with her brand new car. Photo courtesy Sarah Callender. ,
On February 27, entrepreneur Sarah Callender’s act of kindness saw her “blessed with a car”—a reward for a random act of kindness over a series of gifts by entrepreneur Israel Mark, known on social media as @askmarkos Is.
“I went to Trinity Mall to pay some bills. I took my youngest son with me as he had no school and is currently preparing for SEA. I decided that he should have a brain cooler needed. When I finished everything I left. Do, I proceeded to get a taxi,” Callender told WMN.
He said a young man approached him and asked for money to get Arima. He listened to her but initially did not give her any money as he has given money to people countless times in the past and ended up getting scammed.
But, she said she immediately felt guilty.
Sarah Callender, whose act of kindness got her a new car. – photo courtesy of Sarah Callender
“I thought to myself, ‘Sara, you have sons and if one day they are stranded, you will feel good knowing that someone has helped them.’”
So, he turned and gave her the money.
“To my great surprise, what happened after that astounded me, and although this is my reality now, I am still in great shock.”
After helping the young man with the travel fare, she proceeded to walk. Only then is he told that he has won a car because of his act of kindness to a stranger.
“I thought it was a hoax and asked him to keep the money as I don’t need anything. I was stunned when I saw him change his disguise and call the rest of his team. I was asked if I wanted to see the car and I agreed. I decided to play along with whatever prank I had. To my great surprise I was taken home with the car and given the keys as well as $1,000. Very fast A lot was happening, and I wasn’t given time to digest or understand what was happening.” She said she felt like she was in the Matrix, with countless questions and no one to answer them.
“I felt overwhelmed. I expected him to return in the morning for the car, but he didn’t… When the video aired I became an overnight sensation. Almost everywhere I go people still follow my come over to ask if I really got a car. This experience has brought so many opportunities for me. I have received an avalanche of congratulatory messages and positivity. However it feels as if I received that special act of kindness that day. performed the work that allowed me to win a car, I know it is because of the seeds I sowed in the past, and God decided to reward me openly. I know this My life will never be the same because of the overwhelming experience.”
The Mello Elco team is working. – photo courtesy of Sarah Callender
Callender is the founder of Sarah Kay Mello Elco. Her life hasn’t been easy by any stretch of the imagination, but she said her goal has always been to live with purpose, trying to dream and experience as much as possible.
The 39-year-old entrepreneur from Arima said that business runs in her family’s blood. His grandmother was also a business woman.
“I can clearly remember how my grandmother used to serve her customers with a smile, and truly the level of concern she had for each one of them. Those memories are etched in my heart and have inspired me to become a business woman. Very impressed as.”
Mellow Elko produces a range of exotic flavored rum cream liqueurs and fruit cocktails. Flavors include Coconut Nog, Irish Cream, Dragon Punch, and Caramel Toffee, to name a few.
“This brand was specially created, and formulated for people who do not like strong and highly alcoholic beverages. The alcohol in my products is just enough to make you feel mellow.”
Production began in 2017, two years before the company’s official launch in December 2019.
“It was something that was seasonal and a side hustle. My previous boyfriend loaned me capital after sharing my vision and business ideas with him.”
Sarah Callender’s mellow alcove produces a range of exotic flavored rum cream liqueurs and fruit cocktails. – photo courtesy of Sarah Callender
Although the pandemic limited their ability to market products and reach as wide an audience as possible, they said they don’t mind customers taking orders from their homes.
That said, since inception, her business has grown tremendously.
“This is mainly because I do a lot of marketing, and the quality of my products remains the same. Also, I make sure that I meet the needs of my customers and build a good relationship with them.”
Callender said that while the sector in which she operates is highly competitive, her brand differentiates itself with quality, delicious and tastefully presented products.
Services provided by Mellow Alco include delivery service.
“I also give our customers the option to choose whether they want to customize their order based on the occasion. We also offer cocktail bar service for any event. We use our own products and special make an assortment of cocktails.”
When he and his team do a full cocktail bar at a client’s event, they charge based on the details required by the client, as well as how many people they will be serving.
“Our retail price for one of our drinks is $160, and a mixed caper is usually sold at a discounted price of $10 off each bottle.”
He described his work team as efficient, dedicated and hard working. The team usually consists of him and his three sons, Nathaniel, Nathan and Nehemiah who are 21, 19 and 12 respectively. Her assignments may change depending on the event or artisan market she attends, she said.
To date, the biggest event Callender and his team have worked on is the Shades Breakfast and Soca All Inclusive Party.
She said the response was mind-blowing.
“I have faced many challenges during my time in business. Some of these challenges include self-doubt, fear, uncertainties and most of all a lack of support.”
She said she overcame these challenges through prayer and nurtured hope, optimism and patience with herself.
Sarah Callender, second from left, and her Mello Elco team. – photo courtesy of Sarah Callender
“My business was not handed over to me, I worked from the very beginning to not only build a brand, but offer impeccable products and services.”
He believes that someone who is seemingly at a loss can use their current situation to revisit their drawing board and change a few things. “Do some introspection when needed and never be afraid to ask for help. Sometimes our ego can be the reason for us not making progress.”
Callender told WMN that she is currently working on things that excite her.
“I am currently re-discovering myself holistically, and the changes I am progressively making really excite me. I am also currently pursuing an event management course, which I find really fascinating Seems like.”
But while she can be seen walking through the boroughs of Arima with a smile on her face, Callender has been overcoming challenges for as long as she can remember.
“Family? I never had a family that trusted me…I lived in different places and was never stable. My childhood was full of abuse.”
Those traumas and deep emotional and psychological pain continued to affect her throughout her adult life.
“My literature teacher in secondary school always believed in me, and left a very encouraging and motivating note for me at my first place of employment.”
When asked why she chose to become an entrepreneur, Callender said, “What drew me to entrepreneurship was just a way to earn money to take care of my three sons.”
Callender holds an Associate’s degree in Journalism and a Bachelor’s degree in Mass Communication from the College of Science Technology and Applied Arts of Trinidad and Tobago.
“I worked with the first few ministries for many years. However, always being under contract is very unsettling, to say the least, and when your contract nears its end, you find yourself unsure whether or not it will be renewed. I was tired and exhausted of not knowing, and decided to do whatever was necessary to pay my bills.
And with her recent vehicle acquisition, it is now easier for her to move around.
“This experience deserves to be entered in the Guinness Book of Records. I am really grateful to Marcos for being kind and generous. He is a character that God is using to change and impact the lives of many . Even when the preaching and the momentum dies, the blessing will remain, and I will always have a testimony to share. Remember, be kind.”