Don’t be surprised to see an abundance of wings and angles fliting around the island, it’s just Helen Eltis’ new venture, due to open at Mongoose Junction next month.
Sun Angels St. John, a culmination of years of work, will offer hand-painted men’s, wo-men’s and children’s clothing as well as quilts, pillows and home furnishings, Eltis explained.
“I’ve been developing a clothing line in Costa Rica where I lived for seven years,” she explained. “Now I design all the clothes and I will be painting them too. I own the manufacturing, so I can change things all the time and keep the price down.”
Most people know Eltis for her murals which grace the walls of a number of private homes and ZoZo’s, Cafe Roma, Paradiso and the Catholic Church, among other places. What many people don’t know is she is actually a trained fashion designer.
“I have painted all my life,” said Eltis. “My mother said I was too good a painter so I should study something else when I went off to school. I listened to her advice and studied fashion design at the St. Martin School of Design in London.”
“Now it’s paying off,” she added.
Eltis has loftier ambitions than merely dressing people.
“I paint flowers and other things, but angles are my favorite subject,” she said. “There will be angels all over the place. I want people to come in here and be inspired.”
The island can use a little inspiration, Eltis explained.
Angels Mend Difficulties
“I want people to associate something positive with St. John,” she said. “I want the angels to mend some of the difficulties we’ve had lately. I want to put St. John on the map with something uplifting and positive.”
Sun Angels St. John is in a prime location, next to Deli Grotto in Mongoose Junction, and Eltis feels honored.
“This place was empty and I thought it would be a great place for my shop,” she said. “A lot of people were interested and I feel very honored to be chosen. I am so excited I am skipping and happy.”
Eltis, who used to own Each Peach where Wild Thyme is currently located, has big ideas for the little kids too.
Parades, Fashion Shows
“I want to have fashion shows and angel parades with all the kids,” she said. “I want to get all of the kids from all over the island to come together and get to know each other. And they will have wings.”
Eltis plans to spread her wings even farther than St. John.
“If this works, Sun Angels will open all over the world because one thing leads to another,” she said. “And it all started here. People who haven’t heard of St. John will hear of it now.”
There is one other reason to check out the new shop when it opens around Thanksgiving — good vibes.
“Sun Angels is not just a store — you come in here and it’s special,” Eltis said. “When you put on my clothes you smile. It’s very cheerful.”