The ever-so-charming Nicole Maraj-Pandohie takes time out of her busy schedule to share cocktails with us. Though hubby Richard Pandohie is managing director of Carerras Limited and a business titan to boot, the Mrs is no shrinking violet, but a formidable force all her own. Devoted wifely duties notwithstanding, Nicole is a savvy marketing communications consultant and proud mother of three boys.
What are you sipping?
My drink of choice is a Caipirinha — made with cachaca and Brazilian sugar cane rum, but this evening I'm trying a Wray-Tings.
Socialite or homebody?
A bit of both, depending on my mood.
Flats or stilettos?
It depends on whether I'm running after my three boys or not (laughs). But seriously, definitely stilettos, would wear them all the time if functionality did not get in the way so often.
Jeans or LBD?
Jeans actually. I love the combination of a pair of jeans and the right stilettos.
What's your must-have accessory?
My smile. I learnt early on in life that material things are all expendable.
What's your style?
I'd say eclectic and easy. Comfort is a must, but I'd honestly say I am not one to conform to any one particular style.
What's in your handbag?
IMAN powder and bronze lipgloss, hand sanitiser and lotion --they're my day-to-day essentials; My BlackBerry, notepad and measuring tape -- essentials for work; and my youngest son's favourite plane -- an absolute essential just to get me through the ride home.
What perfume are you splashing?
Cool Water for Women by Davidoff. It's a clean and natural scent. I'm not big on overpowering scents.
Who does your hair?
Charmaine Chambers at Cassandra's.
Who does your nails?
Raquel and Seanne, also at Cassandra's.
When you're not working, where's the best place to find you?
Chilling at Maiden Cay.
What's in your car stereo/on your iPod?
I love a wide range of music -- everything from old-time calypso to dancehall to pop, but lately I find myself gravitating towards the soulful vocals of Irish Canadian singer, Loreena McKennitt, a nice break from the norm.
What's your idea of the perfect date?
A surprise trip to the country with all details planned to a T including packed bags.
What's your idea of the perfect man?
Isn't this where I say my husband, Richard? (laughs) Someone who's intelligent, ambitious and fun, who can laugh at himself and take life in stride.
What projects are you working on?
Right now I am winding up some collateral for a client in the financial industry, and doing public relations for an environmental agency. Next month, I begin a four-month contract with the Inter American Development Bank.
Who or what inspires you?
Jamaica inspires me. As a well travelled non-Jamaican with a good basis for comparison, I am still in awe at the level of creativity that abounds from the Jamaican people in sport, music, art, dance, and business. It's no wonder the Jamaican culture has been ranked the third most influential culture in the world. Of course, it's unfortunate that a minority choose to use this awesome gift negatively and tarnish the country's reputation. My kids also inspire me to put life in perspective. "This too will pass" has become my mantra.
What's the best piece of advice you've received?
It's two, and they are both from my mother. The first is that it takes all kinds of people to make this world, so embrace diversity and do not expect that everyone lives by the principles you've set yourself -- there'll be fewer disappointments. The second is to shed emotional baggage ASAP -- so deal with issues as they come along, put them behind you and move on. You'll look younger, longer.
And 10 years from now?
Picking and choosing projects so I can spend more time giving back to this country I call home, and travelling the world with my husband.