By Stacey Alfonso-Mills. In the blink of an eye the Christmas season is upon us once more. The traditional painting and “pulling the house together” is a must-do. Making sorrel, pastelles, black-cake and punche-de-crème are all local traditional favourites – all the while listening to parang or soca-parang, no doubt!
But with a strained economy and equally strained bank account, we are all rethinking the economics of Christmas shopping. Over recent years, there has been a steady move by Trinbagonians towards more local, economic, natural, even environmentally-friendly and creative gift items. Luckily, within our very creative nation, we have many local products with all of those characteristics. The problem we face is we don’t know what’s available and where to access them.
So, in the spirit of local, creative and economic shopping and gift giving, here are a few quality local small businesses to consider visiting this season. All of these vendors and products have my stamp of approval as a customer. They are all worth a visit!
Local colouring book based on Manatee Has a Question storybook
I started writing in 2009 and love how my books have influenced children locally, regionally and internationally. My books are written in Standard English in a read aloud format that includes local content for the beginning and early reader. Also available are the Manatee Has a Question Colouring Book and wooden ‘PlayPal’ toy characters. These toys are locally hand-painted by Suzie Playpals with non-toxic paint and sealant and are excellent interactive toys for little hands. Books and toys are available directly from the author and also at:
– Caboodle Gifts, Long Circular Road
– Rainy Days, Ellerslie Plaza, Maraval
– Paper Based, The Normandie Hotel, St Anns
– Irie Elephant, Rookery Nook, Maraval
– Horizons Art & Framing, Mucurapo Road, St James
Phone: (868) 684-7240
Mosaics Custom Designs By Vanessa Dalla Costa
Beautifully, hand-crafted glass, ceramic or clay items designed to suit any budget. Vanessa Dalla Costa designs small/medium items such as bowls, cheese plates, boxes, lanterns, spoon rests, bird houses and larger items such as mirrors, tables, and trays. You may also commission her for murals, pools or larger furniture projects. She hosts the annual Bits and Pieces local artisan Christmas fair, so if you missed her items this year this is a great opportunity to grab a few items before they are gone.
Items are available at her workshop on Gray Street, St Clair.
AI Naturals by Gezelle Morle
AI NATURALS produces a line of locally crafted and handmade artisan skincare products infused with natural and indigenous ingredients. Available are soaps, scrubs, candles, hair and skin oil sand other natural products. AI NATURALS captures our country’s multicultural and vibrant aesthetic needs and provides nourishment and therapeutic relief for various conditions and personal needs. Products are animal testing free and chemical free. AI NATURALS products are available in Woodbrook.
For more information or orders contact:
PlayPals by Suzie
Bespoke, wooden, hand-painted character dolls, crafted with love with each delicate brush stroke. These custom-made dolls are the perfect gift choice for any age. Suzie’s unique character dolls can capture any family moment or season and can even be fashioned for personal moments such as weddings, anniversaries, baby showers and even graduations. Suzie’s designs include dolls, plaques, key-rings and more. They are the perfect personalised gift.
For more info visit Facebook: Playpals by Suzie or contact her on:
Charmed (I can’t believe it’s not Pandora) Jewelry by Racquel Charles and Nicole Abraham
A “build your own design” costume jewelry selection featuring beautiful charm bracelets, earrings, rings and watches. You can either select your own beads and charms to create your own designs or they can be customised at your request.
A wide variety of glass beads and charms are available for you to choose from making it easy to personalise the perfect Christmas gift for that special someone.
For more information contact:
Raquel Charles at (868) 751-1967
Nicole Abraham at (868) 768-9983
There are so many more local small businesses out there to support this Christmas. Please take time to seek them out and share them with friends and family.
Be safe, be happy, be healthy this Christmas!!
December 2016 www.sweettntmagazine.com
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