The Get It Done Girls
First there was Batman and Robin, then there was Thelma and Louise and now there is Bonnie and … Gayle.
Introducing Anguilla’s latest power duo, Bonnie Bloom and Gayle Pemberton, business partners in Kokoon, the island’s latest Real Estate and Villa Rental Agency.
Not really the New Kids on the Rock
Kokoon Real Estate may be new to you but the dynamic duo behind it are well known and firmly established in Anguilla.
The two women first met in 2006 when Bonnie interviewed Gayle to join her team. The colleagues swiftly became firm friends and are now business partners.
About the dynamic duo
Danish born Bonnie Bloom studied Business Admin in her homeland. Because she loved to travel and learn languages (as well speaking Danish & English she can converse is all the Scandinavian languages, as well as German, Chinese and ‘a little French) she decided to pursue a career in shipping which took her to Singapore then onto Shanghai then where she met her husband Ira.
After leaving the Far East the couple spent a few months in the USA before heading to Anguilla for a vacation with Ira’s parents, Marty, and Glenna, who had bought a home on the island.
Bonnie and Ira saw the beauty and potential of Anguilla and quickly set up their company, Bloom Development, after acquiring some gorgeous ocean front land. Their first project was Kamique – 3 luxury, contemporary, ocean front villas which they quickly sold and, then went on to manage, via Kokoon Villa Management.
Bloom Development went from strength to strength when they purchased and developed a plot of land above Little Bay that became the internationally acclaimed Ani Private Resorts.
Multi-talented Bonnie not only managed the construction of Ani Villas but was also instrumental in the interior design styling and in the marketing strategy to launch the incredible properties.
She also consulted on the acquisition of land and development of the other Ani properties in the Dominican Republic and Thailand. Other projects of note include being the Construction Manager for the recently remodelled Altamer Resort and overseeing the post Irma renovations of Kamique.
Gayle Pemberton was born in St Kitts but was educated in and has lived most of her life in Anguilla.
Her beautifully modulated voice gives a clue as to a previous career – Radio announcer at Beacon Radio. She did a stint at Malliouhana before before spotting the job to join Kokoon.
When she applied and didn’t immediately hear back, she called a friend in the office and asked why she had not heard from them? An interview was swiftly arranged.
When Gayle walked confidently into said interview, ‘smiling her big smile,’ Bonnie knew immediately that she was the right person for the job. Gayle confirmed that she had ‘already decided that she was meant to be part of the team’. And when Gayle decides she wants something it usually works out!
That job interview lead onto Gayle’s current position as the Executive Administrator for Ani Private Resorts (where everyone knows her as Empress). And also to her achieving a long held dream – gaining a University Education –a BA in Business Administration and an Associates degree in Real Estate from the American Publican University – financed by Kokoon.
Gayle graduated recently. An impressive 4-year commitment to completing the degrees online whilst holding down a job, raising a child and building her own dream home. A huge task but one she was determined to complete to meet her career goals and because she ‘gets things done’.
Bonnie says the reason Gayle is called Empress, and why she is such a huge asset to Kokoon’ s clients, is because no one can say no to her.
‘She never stops – she’s unwaveringly loyal and just goes into battle for you.’
To illustrate this point, Bonnie tells me about the time she and Ira, relatively new to Anguilla, tried to arrange a meeting to discuss a development project with the then Chief Minister, with little success.
Gayle took it into her own hands. She noticed he was giving a live interview on Radio Anguilla, drove to the radio station and ‘encouraged’ the Chief Minster back to their office. Job done.
Gayle says Bonnies exceptional business management skills are what set her apart.
‘Everyone wants a piece of Bonnie – she always has the best advice to give.’
She went on to explain how Bonnie’s business acumen and extensive skill set – she consults in tourism development, real estate for individuals and developers, construction management and luxury villa design – are in high demand internationally and locally.
‘I count myself as very luck to have a Bonnie my life.’
I too can add my own personal cheer here. Bonnie gave me invaluable advice when I was trying to find a home in Anguilla many moons ago.
It is clear that the two women complement each other: Bonnie gives Gayle the benefit of her international expertise and Gayle advises on the local perspective and how best to get things done in Anguilla.
Many years later, the original Kokoon Villa Management has evolved into Kokoon Real Estate.
The company’s beautiful new branding is perfectly pitched – visually demonstrating the transformation of a safe place into a beautiful butterfly. A lovely simile for finding and moving into a dream home.
And I am a BIG fan of those colours!
So, what can the dream team from Kokoon do for you?
To start with, Bonnie’s years in the business have netted here an outstanding network of agents and her knowledge will match you to her collection of luxury villas.
And, Gayle’s years with Ani means she brings an anticipatory level of service to everything she does.
In addition, Bonnie’s proven track record in acquiring and developing exceptional properties for investment, or tourism rental purposes, is another benefit of working with Kokoon.
Imagine looking at a piece of land alongside an Agent who has got their own hands dirty in development? Someone who knows the costs involved as well as the challenges of building in Anguilla inside out.
And of course there is Gayle’s ability to ‘go into battle for you,’ to move things forward, to get things done.
How do you find out more?
Check out their lively social media feeds and the Kokoon website which lists some of the land they represent. Bonnie advised me it often only features 50% of their current listings at a given time. And went on to say that there are always new pieces waiting to be uploaded as well as some ‘pocket’ listings available to those who get in touch.
The website also features a live chat facility so you can discuss your requirements in real time.
Another unique thing about their approach is getting drone footage of their land parcels. A very helpful tool, especially for those hoping to purchase but unable to visit at the moment, to view on request.
PHOTOGRAPHY: All the photos for this article were taken for True Anguilla magazine and Kokoon Real Estate by Kevin Archibald of KSharp Media.