Out of politics, Nandi shifts to business
She’s gone from party politician to party organiser and in the space of a year business is booming for Nandi Outerbridge.
The former One Bermuda Alliance MP turned her attention to her business interests a year and a half after her party lost the election in July 2017.
Following a stint as an opposition senator, she took over as owner of The Bridal Suite Bermuda wedding and luxury event planning company last October.
The business has been doing so well she has now expanded to include party planning and a party supplies and rental store at 27 Queen Street.
Ms Outerbridge, 32, who launched Bananas Party Boutique under the parent company Bermuda Blue Ltd on July 2 of this year, said: “While we were doing our weddings, we started picking up a lot of the baby showers, bridal showers and milestone birthdays.
“We found that we were ordering in a lot of supplies.
“It got to a point, where, I thought we should order in bulk and I also needed a space, to accommodate meetings with clients. When we started looking for spaces, this became available — it was big enough to have our offices and the store and it became a natural transition.”
The store, located above Pic a Pet, houses basic party supplies for children and adults and also has a small space to host parties and other engagements.
On top of basic party supplies such as invitations, gift bags cups, cake stands and balloons, clients are able to browse online for a host of bigger supplies such as tents, tables, chairs and lounge furniture which can be ordered in.
“We have been able to accommodate a space for kids’ parties with a play area as well as adult parties and can plan parties off site,” said Ms Outerbridge.
“Most locals are in touch with different vendors from growing up in Bermuda, but if they ever need assistance in bringing in services and vendors, we are happy to do that.
“We are almost like a party hub — whatever your party needs are, we are here for you. We had a Sip and Share where one lady came to host a speaking engagement about financing.”
Ms Outerbridge was raised in Hamilton Parish and attended Saltus Grammar School before studying Business and Computer Applications at Compu College in Halifax.
A mother of one child, Ms Outerbridge still lives in Hamilton Parish, and while she is out of politics — for now, she still tries to contribute to the community. “I am working at a community level with my Hamilton Parish Youth Soccer Programme — I never left my community.
“I just left the high-level politics and dealing with it on a national level. You need to have a lot of time to dedicate to that.”
However, Ms Outerbridge said she has not ruled out returning to politics.
“Before I left, I did consider running for the chairman of the party, but after a period the focus became about my business — I had to choose business or politics because, along with family, that is a lot of hats to wear.
“People are always asking when am I going back into politics — having my business is my priority for now before giving my all to Bermuda.
“I don’t know if I would want to come back as an MP.
“I have been talking to young, more progressive people who are trying to figure out whether we should be following the Westminster system; there are alternative systems that could work for a small island.”
For now, her business is her main focus and she only sees it going from strength to strength.
“People say they want to get into business so they can have more time and freedom, but it is none of the above.
“Owning your own business is a lot of work; you get a lot more flexibility and control over your time, but you are still busy.
“We hire all Bermudians and we have about five to ten part-time staff, but, going forward, we are looking to hire fulltime staff and head in that direction for 2020.”
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