When they first came to Turks and Caicos on their honeymoon in 2008, Dylan and Tara Czarnecki didn’t imagine that nearly a decade later they’d be calling the islands home. But that’s exactly how the two Canadians now refer to the TCI. Not even a hurricane could dampen their plans for starting a new life on Providenciales. “We were very happy in Saskatoon, but we wanted something new and different,” said Dylan, who left his job with the city of Saskatoon to open Grace Bay Paint and Supply this winter.
After their first visit, Turks and Caicos became the couple’s holiday destination of choice. With each trip, they spent more and more time here. They even joked about someday making a move. Over time, the couple began seriously contemplating starting a new chapter. They considered places throughout the world, but kept coming back to one spot. “We knew this was a good place, so we said, ‘Let’s give it a try.’”
The Czarneckis spent months planning the move. But when the day finally arrived, so did a little hiccup called Hurricane Irma. Any entrepreneur will tell you flexibility is a key trait, and when you’re scheduled to arrive at your new home at the same time a hurricane is bearing down on it, you learn whether you have it.
After a two-week delay, the pair finally reached Provo in the third week of September – just three days after Hurricane Maria passed. But what seemed like a rocky start turned into validation for one of their top reasons for choosing Turks and Caicos. They’d liked the sense of community they’d experienced here on previous visits. “You consider those things when you open a business too,” said Tara, who is a former teacher with a Masters in Education.
“It was inspiring,” she said of witnessing the way Provo pulled together to overcome challenges after the hurricanes. The Czarneckis did their part too, helping the Grace Bay Car Rentals team deliver meals to local hurricane shelters.
After a few weeks delay, Grace Bay Paint and Supply – authorized retailer of Sherwin Williams paints – opened its doors on Dec. 11. From helping to solve paint-related issues to providing training, their goal is to offer support to the local painting industry.
Boxes unpacked and doors open, they are excited for what comes next. “You don’t know where life takes you,” Dylan said. But he’s glad it brought them here.