SELF-MADE businessman Darryl Friday is the defination of a true rags-to-riches story.
To watch the talented stone fabricator at work, few would imagine that he did not even finish high school. A native of Marabella, Friday epitomises that with determination, grit, and a little bit of luck, anyone can overcome their circumstances in life.
He is the founder and owner of Set In Stone Counterworks, a granite/stone shop located in his hometown of Marabella. As a young entrepreneur, Friday says life was not always crystal clear and there were many challenges he had to overcome.
Friday came from a single-parent home and was the last of three siblings.
He said, “Growing up was difficult, financially. I watched my mother sometimes with tears in her eyes as she struggled to provide for us every day. There were days we were unable to eat and we weren’t able to attend school regularly due to a lack of funds. There were even times we were put out because we couldn’t pay our rent.”
Seeing the hardship his mother endured for years lit a fuse in him to do something about it, says Friday.
He said, “I attended Pleasantville Junior Secondary School in San Fernando. As a child in Form 2, there was only so much I could do to assist my family. I began walking home from school to save money. After doing this for two weeks, I gave my mother the money. She was shocked, sad, and happy at the same time. She was shocked that I was already aware of our situation, and saw her crying even though she tried her best to give us a normal life. Sad, after hearing for two weeks, I had been walking home from school, and happy that her child, at such a young age, made such a bold and selfless decision.”
For Friday, his teenage years proved even more challenging and tested him in ways he could not quite understand.
Though he valued education, Friday had to cut his school life short.
He said his life was threatened by an individual who had also killed one of his friends.
Though he strived to do his best, Friday was hit by another devastating blow.
At 19, his eldest brother was shot and died as a result of his injuries. While Friday could have easily gone down a negative path, he used his brains rather than his fists to prove a point. Heart-broken by the tragedy of losing a sibling, Friday spent some time in solitude trying to put the pieces of his life together.
For Friday, his life seemed like a trail of unfortunate events.
Despite the pain and sorrow Friday struggled with almost every day, it went virtually undetected by those around him.
According to his girlfriend and business partner La Quanna Beckles, everyone who knows Darryl knows him with a smile on his face and an upbeat attitude.
She said, “He is not someone to wear his emotions on his sleeve, and he has worked very hard to reach where he is today.”
Friday said, “After my brother was shot, I wanted more out of life. I longed for something different. I buried myself into the Bible and started seeking God for guidance. I prayed for God to place the right people in my life - and he did.”
Now at 28, Friday is proud to run his own business, and show off his skills as a stone fabricator. Though there have been several people responsible for helping him reach this point in his life, Friday credits his success to Aazhaar Mohammed.
He said, “Mohammed has been like a brother, a father, and a friend to me. He has always been there in the best and worst times. When my vehicle was stolen, he not only provided transportation but encouraging words, life advice, and moral support when I needed it.”
Friday says knowing where he came from fuels his fire to do better.
“I came from a single-parent home, I was a high school dropout, and my brother died. People did not think I would amount to much, but I did not let it stop me from wanting a better life for myself and my family. This journey has taught me that you can come from nothing and become something. Consistency is the key. You have to keep the faith,” he said.
“As a stone fabricator, I create products out of quartz, granite, marble, and onyx. I specialise in countertops. I love being able to create unique creations while enjoying the joy and satisfaction of my customers on completion.”
Set in Stone Counterworks has been three years in existence and designs-custom made countertops.
Friday said, “My advice to anyone wanting to start their own business; be willing to go the extra mile. Put your best foot forward. Sacrifice is a big role in becoming successful. You may need to put out twice as much as you may receive before seeing results. Once you put God first anything is possible.
Set In Stone Counterworks is located on Battoo Avenue, Marabella.