Laura is originally from Venezuela South America and is of Amerindian descent . The Amerindians are known for their artistry. She was intrigued that the very first inhabitants of Barbados were Amerindians. Many artifacts have been found confirming this. Historians have stated that the Amerindians did not have permanent settlements here on the island because when the British came, the island was uninhabited.
Yesterday I had a handy man helping me and I gave him a lift home. I was on my way back when I decided to take the long way home. I came across Laura's Studio and shop in Connell Town. I slowed down and reversed to the front of the building and out peeped a familiar face. A smile lit up my face and said "I have found you at last". I found a place to park and entered the the shop. Laura the owner and artist, whom I had met several years earlier, greeted me. I met her in the mid 90's while managing some shops at a large resort. She had some very interesting and colourful art products that we were selling. I later visited her studios which was located at the Animal Flower Cave in St. Lucy. From time to time we will meet and I would enquire about her business. We lost touch and the last time we spoke she told me that she had moved to another location and was still in St. Lucy. She gave me a tour of her studio and shop and we chatted for a while. She said that things were very slow for the past few months and that she had just returned form a trade show in Ft. Lauderdale Florida. I asked her what was the response to her products. She said that the buyers loved her work but though that they were a bit pricey and had the gall to compare her goods with those that came from China. How tacky can these buyers be! Laura's work is hand made art and produced in limited quantities. We discussed at length the challenges of working and living on a small island that depends wholly on the Tourist Industry. My love of marketing started buzzing in my head. I remembered the struggles and the challenges I had with my own children's clothing line. She has an outreach program where she trains the youth to work with her but it has been very difficult she explained. The young people on this island are not too interested and the work ethic has deteriorated over the years. As a former manager I can identify with what she was saying. She sees the Tourist market declining and wants to capture the local market. I told her as a gardener we can collaborate on things she can create for the garden and I can market them through my garden rambles and plant sales and possibly the internet. She plans on stopping by my house soon. I am glad that I took the long way home.