Charlyn Asher: Growing up in Grenada taught me how to hustle

Charlyn made the decision to leave the home she shared with nine siblings long before she graduated High school, but that did not stop her from acquiring her CXC subjects. “I didn’t feel it was the right atmosphere for me to do well in my exams”, she said, “so I left”. That intuitive knack for knowing exactly what she wanted and going after it damning the consequences is what Charlyn credits for getting her to where she is now, C.E.O & President of Colt Paper, a packing and shipping company with millions in revenue, located in Ontario, Canada.

Charlyn grew up in a strict household in the quiet village of Windor forest, St. David’s. Her fondest memories of growing up in Grenada was time spent hanging out and having fun with her ‘crew’ at school – St. David’s Catholic Secondary School. Inspired by teachers like Ms. Denise Williams who taught her how to cook (Home Economics) and Mr. Lazarus who taught her the Principles of Business, these were the memories and attributes Charlyn took with her when she migrated to Canada to live with a father she barely knew at only 18.

Charlyn remembers growing up poor, food and resources were often scarce in a home of ten, but it taught her the skill of the hustle and commerce. She remembers making and selling fudge and juice, babysitting, and washing to earn money to send herself to school. That skill would come in handy later in life as it fueled her to work her way up the ladder once she landed a warehousing job in Canada. Her fondest memory of Grenada is a day trip to Mt. Carmel falls with her ‘crew’ from school, exploring nature, cooking outdoors and eating, drinking, laughing, just carefree enjoying the beauty of the sun and the lush greenery of paradise.

Charlyn moved to Canada with no money and few clothes at the age of 18, never having worked at a real job in her life. Her first job was babysitting which she admits she was terrible at; though it did not help that she was a young, black, immigrant female and subject to being taken advantage of.  Her next job was as a minimum wage factory worker, slowly working her way up the ladder. She eventually took advantage of a government Career development program that took her from the factory floor to the office and finally working her way up to managing distribution and logistics for one of the largest warehousing companies in North America.

But that was not enough for Charlyn, after being passed over for a promotion she knew she deserved, the single mother of one decided to take the plunge and pursue a dream she always had – owning her own business. Her search led her to appear on CBC’s – Under new management and to finally purchase Colt Paper – One of Canada’s Largest Suppliers of Moving Boxes, Shipping Boxes, Packing Boxes & Shipping Supplies.

From her new Brampton location Charlyn is glowing – finally her own boss and satisfied that she can now provide some of the things she never had growing up to her daughter.

Charlyn’s advice for young people? – Go hard for your goals and don’t let anyone tell you, you can’t.

I am Charlyn Asher and I AM GRENADIAN.





Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *