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The Virgin Islands

The people of the Virgin Islands (both US Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands) are seriously working their butts off to get up and running asap.  All I keep hearing is how they plan to open their stores next month, ships are coming next month, some hotels are open now, and some are opening soon.  Airports are open.  Everyone is struggling to get ready FAST.  January, February, March are the real HIGH SEASON months in the islands, December & April are busy too.  They need you guys to still visit the islands, book hotels, go on sailing charters, eat at the restaurants, sip cocktails in the beach bars.  They want to get their lives back to normal. Your fellow countrymen...

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Think like a retailer

Being a designer, I spend most of my time in my office (which is no longer on a yacht floating around the Caribbean) dreaming up new island styles for next season, I think about how our end customer is going to WEAR my garments, but I often don't give a lot of thought to how you are going to retail my designs.  Lucky I have 5 years retail buyer experience, which I occasionally draw back on.  As I have said before on this topic......"display display display".   The last couple of weeks though, I decided I might clean out my office, which is increasingly overrun with samples and old stock.  We all need to de-clutter occasionally, right?  So here is my...

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I love a positive Hurricane Story

One of my very dear long time friends in St.Maarten is Debby who runs Aqua Mania Adventures with her husband Garth.  These 2 run a company that truly takes care of their customers and their 46 crew members.  They have also always given back to the St.Maarten community, teaching local kids boat building and sailing skills, that will ensure that the local people get opportunities in the marine industry of the future. Here is a photo of Deb & I in Statia many years back.  Please note that Debby is tiny, but I am 5'11 so she is really not that tiny. At the time I was running Shipwreck Shops - 16 stores and 53 employee's and doing West Indies Wear at...

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All the way to Florida to tie sarongs

Last year Miami Swim Show I released our new sarong packaging.  All the new sarongs would come wrapped with a kraft cardboard "how to tie" instruction manual, and this was tied on with a seaglass and charm bracelet.  So cute, and everyone loved it so much, they wanted ALL of the sarongs like that.  With 3000 sarongs already in the warehouse, this was no easy feat.   Now over a year later, and many hours of sarongs wrapping and tying, we have finally got them all done.  In fact, the only good thing to come out of Hurricane Irma for me was that I was forced to sit still and wrap sarongs.I don’t sit still very often, with 3 children (4, 6...

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Foxys in Jost Van Dyke

One of the most famous beach bars in the Caribbean is Foxy's.  They are consistently voted in the top 10 places around the world to bring in the New Year by Time Magazine.  If you haven't already heard about it, click here to read my previous blog post.   One of the first Caribbean buyers who bought my little collection back when I got started was Tessa at Foxy's.  I remember being very excited when Tessa visited my booth.  Tessa doesn't mince her words, and had been a successful buyer for many years, so it was a little daunting have her comment of all my works of "art".  Now I look back on that and laugh as all these years have gone...

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