Natalie Joseph: I Have Grown to Love Dominica
Enchanting Island: How I Came, Saw & Stayed
Dominica is home to an estimated 70,000 people and boasts a plethora of natural beauty and wonders. Of many people who call Dominica home, some were not born on the island but migrated from elsewhere and fell in love with the country.
Natalie Joseph, renowned hairdresser, and owner of G-Suite Hair Salon, formerly Genesis Hair Salon, is one such individual who spoke exclusively to The Sun about her move to Dominica – back in 1995 - and what life is like for her in the country.
"My father was here [in Dominica] on contract, as a result, the family migrated. and that is where I am since," Joseph said.
Having moved here shortly after completing high school, Joseph says she was never one to join a clique or fit in easily with people.
"We came from a very disciplined background so lyming, partying, etc is not how we were raised," she said. "We were raised to appreciate the company of siblings and family."
During her time here, she keenly observed that people gravitated towards non-nationals, yet it took longer to be truly accepted.
"That's my experience, there was always that feeling of being under the microscope. Persons are looking out for you, to know about you, not necessarily in the positive so that was a bit rough," she said.
Finding her creative energy
Natalie finally found her niche and a place to express herself, develop her talent, and grow her artistic skills.
"I started working at Caprice Hair Studio, and that was my foot into Dominica. Because Mr. Caprice – may his soul rest in peace – gave me the opportunity to showcase the skills I had as a hairdresser."
Her talents don't stop there. Joseph is also known for being the chaperone for many pageant contestants – her first queen being Leandra Lander – her six-year stint with the Swinging Stars, wedding coordination, spot-on in the décor arena, and much more.
Having integrated herself into Dominican culture and society Natalie says her views on the country have matured as well.
"To be honest I've grown to love and appreciate Dominica for what it is, for what it has, and what I have gained being here. It has matured me," she said.
The COVID pandemic had affected the G-Suite Hair Salon owner as she had to close up shop and turn to another source of income.
"I was baking for my family on the weekend and whenever I baked I would always give. Then COVID came along and in speaking to my husband and conversations with God it just came back to my mind, why don't I do baking? and that is where it started," Joseph said.
Joseph is convinced that anyone who finds and develops their talent will never be bored in Dominica.
"I strongly believe in discovering your gift and then developing your gift. Work on networking and your goals in life and once that can be done occupy yourself and there is never a dull moment."
Trini to the bone
She cautions Dominicans to be grateful for what they have in the Nature Isle.
"Dominica is a simple island where you can live a better life in terms of living longer because there are so many opportunities for good living, healthy living, holistic healing," Joseph said.
Family is key to Joseph, as such, she decided to grow her family of two children to three by adopting through the Welfare Division's Foster programme.
"Many times, there are persons who are born into a family but they need somebody else to love them and nurture them into their purpose in this life. And if that is what you are called to do, it begins with love then everything falls into place," she said, encouraging others to take up foster care as well.
Reaffirming that she is a 'Trini to de Bone', Natalie says leaving Dominica is not currently on her radar, but it is not completely off the cards.
"When it comes to opportunities because I have children and I would like for them to not be limited in their own personal development if for that to happen I have to migrate or go then I will."
-By Andrea Louis