Twenty-four-year-old Devon Greaves is the founder of the website Dev’s Edge which promotes self-expression. Positive Vibes sat down with Greaves to discuss Dev’s Edge and how he came to study a Bachelor’s Degree in Spanish with Management Studies.
Q: What is your mantra for life?
A: “The grave is a rich place full of unsought ideas.” What is amazing is that I can bring my idea to life (Dev’s Edge – The Home of Self Expression) through the creation of an online platform for undiscovered talents and entrepreneurs to be recognized and to help them keep their dreams alive also.
Q: What led to the creation of Dev’s Edge-The Home of Self Expression?
A: When I was at Barbados Community College, I always used to look at the students from Morning Side in amazement because of how talented, free, self-expressive, weird or simply different they were. I was blown away and completely intrigued as my personality is somewhat reserved. As a result, I wanted to know “Why?” Why does she have orange hair? Why is he dressed that way? This thought process made me realize that we are all different, and that everyone has a story and quite interesting ones at that.
In addition, while at Cave Hill I took a more serious approach into understanding “why?” as I translated the work of social anthropologist Dr Lourdes Aripze, the Assistant Director-General of UNESCO. I examined culture, creativity and the governability of it all within the Caribbean and Latin America. While doing this, the major highlighted point was that this region is loaded with undiscovered talents, but it often goes unnoticed due to the lack of digitization. Therefore, having done some research, I decided to create an online platform to promote and document such talent.
Dev’s Edge – The Home of Self Expression is a digitalized space for these individuals to be recognized and be seen. I particularly look for persons who are unique, hence the “edge,” and I work with them to document their journeys and to further assist them in any way possible. It gives me great joy to be able to help these unique individuals and entrepreneurs to achieve and fulfil their dreams through the recognition that I give to them. Dev’s Edge is about them and also my way of giving back to society.
Q: At what age did you realize you wanted to pursue entrepreneurship?
A: Dev’s Edge was started in 2016 but the full dedication came in 2018 during my thesis at age 23.
Q: Were there any challenges you had to overcome with starting Dev’s Edge?
A: Certainly. Dev’s Edge is a one-man army as I do everything myself, from website creation and graphics to writing the articles and finding ways to help my featured individuals further develop their business and talents. Having done the research, I know the vision for Dev’s Edge but putting theory into practice is a different story altogether.
Q: You have interviewed many artistes and entrepreneurs on your page but which one would you say was a highlight for you?
A: Even though all the articles are different in their own way, Akeem Burke’s article and Tricia Price’s journey to Millennial HR Services are very inspirational reads as they capture the true essence of why I even created Dev’s Edge in the first place. They are extremely happy and in their elements and they need to be seen by the world.
Q: You were also a teacher in Colombia. How is this experience going?
A: I return home this month. I worked at Universidad Santiago de Cali which is a private university in Cali, Colombia where I was teaching English. I never imagined that I would be teaching at university level and certainly not in Latin America. It was a very worthwhile experience as I was inspiring and adding to the development of students.
Through Dev’s Edge, I also did a Latin America Campaign where I travelled throughout Colombia looking for local talent to give them the opportunities to have hands-on experience in doing what they love. I even helped my photographer for the campaign to go overseas to Texas on an exchange programme to further develop her skills and to have a cultural experience.
Q: Was it a culture shock leaving Barbados and living in Colombia?
A: I left Barbados with an open mind but indeed it was. The general Colombian city life or even life in the mountains as I travelled was very different from our island way of living back home. However, Colombia is not as bad as everyone thinks. It has come a long way and is now a thriving go-to-tourist destination because it is cheap and practically nature at its best. Definitely my second home.
Q: Are there any challenges you had to overcome living in Colombia?
A: Being away from family and living alone for a year was a challenge, and it is very common for non-natives to be sick with the climate change in the Andes Mountains. If it’s not the flu, there’s the unexpected earthquakes or being sick from the drinking water. The different cultures and food were also a huge aspect to adapt to. I am sick and tired of eating rice! Lastly, even though I studied Spanish and worked with the language at a doctoral level, it was never enough to prepare me for everyday street Spanish and having to adjust to the various accents throughout Colombia. Nonetheless, I am an expert now.
Q: You pursued languages at the University of the West Indies. What led you to decide you wanted to become a linguist?
A: I always had a liking for languages in general. I believe that each language is a gateway to a different world. I would like to explore them all.
Q: What is one thing the public would not know about you?
A: I am a huge rally and motorsports fan.
Q: What is one thing that you cannot live without?
A: The sea. I love the beach and surfing. I am an island kid at heart.
Q: Where can persons find you on social media?
A: Instagram @devsedge, Facebook @ Dev’s Edge, email [email protected] or persons can subscribe to my website