One local lady’s creative touch is so versatile it has allowed her to tap into many different types of successful business ventures and place her very unique mark on each one.
From distributing health and diet patches and breeding specialised German Shepherd dogs, to her aspirations of selling her acrylic paintings of Cayman scenes, Lisa Houben-Gould’s talents certainly span many areas.
A native of George Town and daughter of Amy Gould and the late British Army Veteran Ashton Gould, her most recent business venture is certainly causing a stir and was the talk of the recent Balance Health and Fitness Expo.
Lisa imports a range of natural health and fitness patches, which includes diet patches (carbohydrate blocker and green tea), detox patches (which actually turn black after you’ve used them), pain treatment patches, de-fat seaweed soap, Yerba Maté health tea, shampoos, conditioners, shower scrub and quit smoking aids.
Lisa, who attended George Town Primary School and Cayman Islands High School, explains that she got fed up of trying to lose weight following the birth of her two children. After having tried various methods and given up, she finally began to do research into green tea. The result is her new business ‘Patch Mania’, now less than a year old, through which she imports her range of products from Japan and China.
Since she began first using these products Lisa explained that people noticed the weight fall off her and she has become totally energised and no longer suffers from chronic low back pain.
‘My patches have been tried, tested and have been proven safe and effective, internationally and locally. I will be happy to consult with interested persons on their path to better health and an improved quality of life,’ she said.
The level of interest in her patches is constant, she explains, and her sales for this year are already higher than they were for the much longer period her business was in operation last year.
Lisa also makes the packaging for the products, puts on the labels and stuffs them herself.
However, it was back in 1995 when the resourceful lady first cut her entrepreneurial teeth. She became involved in outdoor paving and soon set up her business, Cayman Professional Paving and Design, and has worked on many patios, pool decks, parking lots and driveways around the island.
‘My business was very successful and we worked to a very professional standard. I did everything. I was out driving the bobcat and did the laying, cutting, everything’ she explained.
However, Lisa experienced much trouble in collecting debts from companies, and is still owed a lot of money, she maintains.
‘Since the hurricane I’ve lost everything and I’ve suspended the business. I don’t even have proper transport to do the work,’ she said.
So for the moment Lisa is concentrating on Patch Mania but nevertheless has another few business ideas up her sleeve.
Her home-made jerk sauce, known as ‘Lisa’s Island Secrets Jerk Sauce’, has been a big hit locally, and is available in Foster’s at The Strand and Airport stores and the Texaco Service Station on Walker’s Road. However, since the hurricane that has also been temporarily put on hold as she is waiting for local produce to come back on stream for her sauce, which contains Cayman ingredients.
However, Lisa hopes that by three month’s time her sauce can be back in business again and is also hoping that it may go on the market in Europe.
And as if that’s not enough to fill one lady’s plate, she has plenty more lined up to keep her busy.
Lisa is an avid trainer and breeder of a special breed of German Shepherd she brought to Cayman from Connecticut in 1998.
‘This type of dog is free of hip dysplasia that German Shepherds are prone to and the mother comes from a long line of very good dogs,’ she explains.
Believe it or not, the dogs are fully trained in German. Lisa pre-trains the pups before they are sold at 12 weeks old and, complete with vet checks and jabs, she sells them for $1,000 each.
The multi-lingual dogs even seem to understand Lisa as she talks away to them in fluent Dutch.
But there is still more to add to Lisa’s creative world.
‘I love to play music, I’m self taught, and I also love to write poetry, so I thought I’d combine the two,’ she explains.
Songs and poems
The result is a number of songs and poems, including two Ivan songs, ‘When Ivan Came (He Took our Aims)’ and ‘Ivan took a Vacation’. Radio Cayman also airs one of Lisa’s song’s regularly, ‘Not Enough Love in the World – Stop the War’. Indeed, following the hurricane, this was the first song she heard when she turned on the radio.
Her Ivan experience story ‘Terror on Sunday’ is also completed.
‘I’m a creative person. I’m always doing something,’ Lisa explains while casually showing some of her acrylic paintings of local Cayman scenes and some of the very professional looking nails she has painted merely as a hobby.
And, by the way, was it mentioned that she represented Cayman in the Caribbean Darts Championships for 15 years?
Lisa certainly is one of those people who brings a whole new dimension to the world ‘versatile’.
She can be contacted at 917 7757.