Sharnelle Nguyen

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#POSHgirls Entrepreneurship Feature
Company Name: Virgin Islands Ink
Country: British Virgin Islands
Years in Business: 1
Social Media: @viink.tattoo

Sharnelle Nguyen grew up in the BVI before leaving to attend school in New York. She then returned to the BVI after completing school where her passion for creativity and entrepreneurship grew. Sharnelle has had conventional jobs in corporate offices but as time went on she knew that was not her passion or what she wanted to do with her life. She took some time off to focus on motherhood but then shortly after revisited the idea of being a business owner and working for herself. With this desire coupled with the right opportunity, she opened her first business with her husband TLC Bikes. This saw an expansion into Esmé Nail Spa, a one-of-a-kind nail spa, that Sharnelle herself decorated to perfection, as well as Virgin Islands Ink employing a very skilled and experienced artist. Sharnelle has an eye for detail, design and impeccable service.

She is now setting her sights on expanding her business ownership portfolio and bringing services and products to the BVI that are much needed with a focus on customer satisfaction.

  1. How did you get your start in business?

 I became an Entrepreneur after Hurricane Irma. My husband and I decided to bring in scooters to sell after we found that there was a need and a convenience in owning a scooter during that time. It was a risk we took as we knew nothing about owning a business or selling bikes. Fortunately, that decision paid off and led us to opening other businesses we were passionate about and more familiar with.

  • What would you say is your deepest motivator?

My deepest motivators are my children and being someone they can look up to. I want them to know and see that they are capable of making their ideas reality.

  • What do you love the most about your work?

Being on my own time. It’s often said being an entrepreneur means working 24/7, which is true, however, nothing beats being in full control of your time.

  • What drove you to make your ‘big idea’ a reality?

My passion. Once you’re passionate about something, it will always be in the back of your mind and it’s up to you to make that initial step.

  • What would you say is your best-selling feature/service/product?

Surprisingly, the Piercings. When we first announced that we are offering piercings, I didn’t expect to receive such overwhelming support.

  • What unexpected change did you have to make because of the pandemic?

Mask wearing and hand sanitizing.

  • What advice would you give to an aspiring entrepreneur?

Have a strong support team. Starting a business is difficult and tiring.  There will be days that you want to give up but, having people who believe in you and what you do will help you see it through.

Founded in 2005 by Virgin Island native Janette Brin, Caribbean POSH is a fashion and lifestyle magazine blog on a mission to empower Caribbean Women. Visit our website to learn more about the magazine and our annual Caribbean POSHgirl POWER Brunch.