As the 2019 holiday season ramps into high gear, U.S. Virgin Islands residents and visitors can look forward to adding a local, cultural twist to their celebrations and gift exchange activities with products from the “Made in the USVI” Pop Store Up next week. Brought to the V.I. community for the second time by the V.I. Economic Development Authority’s (VIEDA) Enterprise Zone Commission (EZC) and the Virgin Islands Department of Natural Resource’s Virgin Islands Council on the Arts (VICA), the “Made in the USVI” Pop Up Store returns to St. Thomas with its grand re-opening at 10 a.m., Monday, Dec. 16. The store will be located at 5070 Norre Gade, St. Thomas, in the Francois Building across from the Frederick Evangelical Lutheran Church and Fort Christian in downtown Charlotte Amalie.
The “Made in the USVI” Pop Up Store will feature locally-made products by 30 talented artists, artisans and small manufacturers from across the territory. Pop Up Store visitors can look forward to purchasing jewelry; clothing; home items such as candles, shower curtains, umbrellas and more; artwork, such as posters and postcards; books, food and much more. These products are made in the USVI and represent USVI culture or heritage.
The “Made in the USVI” Pop Up store, which first opened in December 2018 on St. Thomas, is designed to encourage residents and USVI visitors to ‘shop local’ and consider small businesses as an option when searching for holiday gifts. This is also an opportunity for local, small manufacturers to showcase and sell their products, network with potential wholesale buyers and be a significant part of amplifying the USVI brand to the world.
“The Made in the USVI Pop Up Store was a tremendous success last year, and we are hoping for an even larger success this year. This store has helped many of our local artisans connect with new and existing customers and buyers who visited the store during the last holiday season,” said Nadine Marchena Kean, USVIEDA managing director of the Enterprise Zone Commission.
“Through specific industry clusters that are featured at the store, the USVI brand can resonate with our residents and visitors from around the world. This initiative is also a significant part of economic development in the territory through our small businesses,” said Marchena Kean.
Some of the businesses that will be featured this year at the “Made in the USVI” Pop Up Store include:
YB Green, LLC by Ruth Gomez,
CPI Inc. (Tropical Pops Popsicle) by Carolyn Isaac,
JD Natlady’s Creations by Aquannette Chinnery,
Creative Crafts by Ida Nibbs,
Gifts of Joy by Dolena Paul,
Clifton Berry by Clifton Berry,
The Broom Man by Justin Todman,
Bella Naturals by Carolyn Wattley,
Blue Wolf by Tasida Kelch,
Bookstore 340 by Pam Richards,
Caribbean Herbals by Jason Budsan,
Christa Art Gallery by Christa Ann Molloy,
JMarie Artistry by Janice Marie Penn,
Tropical Ay Ay by Isoke G.M.,
Davila Studio Photography by Adrian Kean,
Soul Creations by Linda Bailey,
Savor St. Croix by Jahnesta Ritter,
MJM Designs by Mabel Maduro,
Barbara’s Tarts & Sweets by Barbara Hendricks,
Cultured Naturals Body Care by Ramone Reid,
Debbie Sun Design Studio by Debbie Sun and
Karibbean Kids by Sally George.
Pop Up Stores are short-term stores that are temporarily established in an available space to allow customers to experience products of a business first-hand. The Virgin Islands Council on the Arts (VICA) remains enthusiastic about this initiative.
“It is indeed an honor for VICA to partner with the USVIEDA and the Enterprise Zone Commission for the “Made in the USVI” Pop Up store this holiday season. This venture has proven to truly be a hidden, cultural gem for our community as the growing support from our residents and visitors alike has been overwhelming,” said Tasida Kelch, executive director of VICA.
“This store is not only good for the USVI community, but it is also beneficial for the artisans who add economic value to the territory through cultural arts. This store is a ‘win-win’ for everyone involved,” said Kelch.
For more information, contact Shaylah Anthony, EZC program and grants compliance officer, at 714-1700, ext. 1813; or contact Shanell Petersen, USVIEDA managing director of marketing and vision 2040 at ext. 1511.