Concrete queen Veniesha Dennis styling floors across Jamaica
Although she jokingly denies it, Veniesha Dennis is the typical girly-girl. She likes to get her hair and make-up done, and she is high on fashion. However, the 30-year old with the bubbly personality is not afraid to get her manicured nails dirty as she takes on a profession that is heavily dominated by men.
Dennis, along with her partner Peter Nunez, owns and operates Venunez Flooring and Concrete Limited, and on any given day, you can find her mixing and applying concrete to create the perfect flooring.
"I am really appreciated and I couldn't ask for a better job. I feel fulfilled, and I get a lot of respect from males in the field. They are always supporting me, and I have never met anyone who gave me a bad vibe as it relates to the work. Being a woman probably gives me a bit of an advantage," she said, between giggles.
Dennis, who hails from Spanish Town in St Catherine and Red Hills Road in St Andrew, had no intention of venturing into construction.
"I was an early childhood teacher, but I didn't really find the passion that I wanted in teaching so I moved on to do sales and marketing at university, but I still didn't feel what I was looking for. So one day, I was scrolling online and met Peter Nunez, who started telling me about the whole concrete thing. My father's side of the family is into construction, so I kinda knew about it from early on. I went to help him on a project one day, and right then and there, I knew I had found my calling, but I didn't officially begin to pursue it until about four years ago," she said.
Now a concrete queen in her own right, Dennis said that she journeyed to the United States to learn more about concrete.
"I came back to Jamaica and partnered with Nunez, and that was the start of Venunez Flooring and Concrete Limited. When I started, the demand for concrete flooring wasn't high as a lot of persons didn't know about it, but after learning how durable it is, more persons are now gravitating towards it. The promise that we give to our clients is that as long as the walls in their houses are standing, then so will the floor. While the tiles can crack and she sometimes hard to replace, the concrete is modern and will last for generations," she said.
The buzz around the use of concrete flooring as an option to tiles is due to the fact that that cement floors can be stained, coloured, stamped, and polished to create a tiled look.
"Right now, we have persons, waiting to get their floor done. It has been around in the US for about a decade and now it is here . Homeowners are getting tired of tiles, and yes, the business is extremely profitable. I do not build houses except mine. I laid a couple hundred blocks on my house and do other stuff, but my specialisation is in floor. I really love what I do," she said.