One thing of the first things I noticed about Trinidad is how fashionable the people are. In Winnipeg, when I stepped out of my house to head to Walmart or the movies I’d be in sweats, runners and generally have messy hair. This is not a phenomena you will see here, which might be a good thing, people of Trinidad have an amazing sense of style when it comes to all facets of their life, here is a few of my favorite places in Trinidad where you can find a few things to add to your home or your closet:
A little piece of heaven in the cruise ship terminal, you may remember me talking about them in my last post.
Blue:-The Caribbean Sea: “the life giving sustaining waters that encompass us in her cool, calming embrace. Represents freedom, imagination, inspiration. Symbolizes strength, stability serenity and sustainability.”
Basin– The Caribbean Basin: “a reign as unique rich and diverse in its people, culture as its flora, fauna and terra firma, reflects the refreshing allure of a tropical lifestyle immersed in electric exoticism; symbolizes purity, synergy and unity.”
The concept behind Blue Basin is simple, it serves as a retail department store for its customers to interact solely with Caribbean designers. Some of my favorites lines the store carries are RGG (especially for men), Amara Organics which boasts a lovely bath & body line, and the bright beautiful The Lush Kingdom clothing line.
Located in Normandie Hotel, there are several stores that have a little bit of everything. Some of my favorite purchases to date have been Korporate Kouture’s signature Button Earrings, Kylex Naturals Bath salts and a Citizen’s T-shirts. The soca king himself, Machel Montano, also has his famously branded merch available here, which includes hats, crop tops, and backpacks. Other items available include Make up, jewelry, bikinis, clothing from local fashion royalty such as Mei Ling, and much much more.
On my last shopping trip to The Shop Normadie, you would never believe who was helping me in the change room, Mei Ling. YES! She was having tea and heard I was checking out her new collection and she came on up. How thoughtful is that? Just goes to show how caring and passionate she is as a designer.
The shop is set up in sections, you are able to roam freely through out the different rooms that are well laid out and organized. Each room is filled with its own character. Grab a girlfriend, have a bit to eat or some tea then head up to the shops.
The first Saturday of each month Upmarket throws together a remarkable market full of goodies. My general routine is to hit up the fresh juice lady for some fresh grapefruit juice and then begin to peruse the isles, then I finish off with some mango chow, saltfish and bake and some cake. There are plenty other items up for grabs, such as clothing, fresh seasonings, raw honey, accessories, paintings, lotions, tons of food to choose from (so come hungry!). I feel like it is impossible to categorize and name all the amazing vendors available.
My husband and I often make a little date out of UpMarket and to be honest it’s a great way to spend a Saturday morning. The market is a relaxed, welcoming environment filled with lovely people and local goods. I swear from the bottom of my heart, every time I go, there is something new to see and more importantly something new to eat. UpMarket location varies, to keep up to date make sure to check them out on Facebook.
While these three shopping experiences all seem the same, they are completely different. Each entity offers different brands, environments and services however the one thing they all have in common is that they all promote astounding Caribbean designers and artisans. Coming from a world dominated by box stores, its admirable to see these three shopping concepts stand against the common cliché and promote local out of the box talented designers. Even if you don’t have the time to visit all three stops, try and visit at least one, it will definitely revamp your shopping style. If you are traveling in Trinidad, all three of these places are great to pick up something for someone back home or if you live in Trinidad and headed out, grab something to take to your family and friends abroad. Share the wealth, creativity and pride the Caribbean has to offer.
Until next time, Xo