Tuesday, September 22, 2009

earth and fire

pieces awaiting their finishing touches

  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.


  1. What a bright little shop!
    I loved the earthen kettle.

    PS: You had asked me how to make the coconut paste and her's how you do it.
    Remove the brown skin of the fresh de-shelled coconut. Grate the white coarsely. Put this grated coconut in a blender, add just enough water to make a fine paste. Hope this helps!!


  2. Lovely handmade art! I am a sucker for all things terracota. I look forward to Laura's art on the internet.

  3. That's a good idea to market and sell Laura's products. The products look so original. I am sure there is a market out there though it is not easy to sell handicrafts at premium price nowadays.

  4. Hi Helen! Liked the pretty jars. Good luck to your new venture!

  5. Urban Green...thank you for the paste recipe. Yes the shop is full of life and colour!

    Jane.....I can't wait to help Laura set up a blog with her wares.

    Stephanie.....I agree it is not an easy market these days, however there are niche markets around. The challenge is to find them.

    Lotusleaf...... I love a challenge and I am full of ideas for the garden for Laura.

  6. How interesting! I think I would've bought up everything in sight. Good thing I'm at the other end of the globe!

  7. Sunita..... LOL she would love to have you as a customer! I plan to go back and purchase a few things... the wind chimes are beautiful. I have to look for a good place for them in the garden or gazebo.


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