Friends of VINP Will Increase Visibility with New Retail Store

This holiday season St. John residents and tourists will have the opportunity to purchase gifts and support a good cause at the same time.

Friends of the V.I. National Park is opening a retail store in the former St. John Canvas location at Mongoose Junction and will offer a full line of sustainable merchandise, explained Karen Brady, development director for Friends.

“We’re trying to focus on recycled products,” said Brady. “We’re going to have organic cotton t-shirts and some Maho Bay glass. We’ve also got some really cool gift ideas.”

“We took our license plates and sent them up to a company in the states and they made purses out of them,” Brady continued. “I think they’re going to be really popular.”

The store will help Friends fund its many initiatives, from summer eco-camps to the popular seminar series.

“The retail outlet will generate a new stream of revenue to support our programs in and out of the park,” said the Friends’ development director.

The group took the opportunity of the additional visibility of the new store, which will be called Friends of the Park Store, to update their look, Brady added.

“We freshened up our logo so we’re excited to show off the re-designed t-shirts and hats and polos,” she said.

While the Friends have always kept their third floor Mongoose office doors open to the public, their location was a bit difficult to find, explained Brady.

“We’ll use the space to have a place for our members to go to find out about upcoming seminars and sign up for events,” she said. “We want it to be kind of an interactive center and a place where we can share information more easily. People won’t have to trek all the way up to our attic space to see us.”

The more visible location should enable the non-profit organization to increase its membership.

“We’re hoping to increase our membership with the new visibility and create great awareness of our organization and our mission,” said Brady.
Friends of the Park Store is scheduled to open in mid-November and a grand opening party is set for the popular Mongoose Junction Evening In the Courtyard soiree in December.


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