Jamaican-made: Your guide to gifting local this Christmas
The countdown to Christmas is on, and many have yet to secure gifts. So, with the help of lifestyle trend watchers who double as Santa’s helpers, we’ve rounded up a list of unique Jamaican products to help you get your loved ones a present they’ll adore while shopping locally this holiday season.
Jill of all trades and creative Simone Michelle specialises in a curation of creations that include resin art, home décor, handmade clocks, coasters and other accessories under the ACreativHaus umbrella that are bound to be model gifts for family and friends.
Where to find: Email by firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit acreativhaus.com and @acreativhaus on Instagram.
Amashika Lorne’s ‘Chat Tu Mi & Colour’ book
Kids will love this 44-page colouring book that takes them through a range of Jamaican proverbs and their meanings. Aspects of Jamaican culture spanning: National Hero Marcus Garvey, genres of music originating from Jamaica, the baking of pudding, and other traditional Jamaican settings, are presented in line drawings for children to express themselves creatively and develop their fine motor skills using wax or pencil crayons to complete the images.
Where to find: For $1,500 at Fontana (Waterloo and Barbican) or order online at email@example.com.
Not your average baskets, Beenybud has rethought Jamaican straw design for the home and heart in the form of numerous accessories such as bags, hats, mats, and much more. Beenybud partners with artisans and community groups around the island to produce beautiful gifts. Their collection is handmade by mostly rural women who specialise in locally sourced, sustainable natural fibres and traditional weaving methods that embrace modern design, making the brand’s items unique and ideal gifts for all.
Where to find: In Kingston — My Jamaica, Craft Cottage, Sobelio and Fontana (Waterloo); Ocho Rios — Harmony Hall; Montego Bay — The Collective, Shoppes of Rose Hall, Fontana (Fairview), as well as major hotel gift shops. You may also visit beenybud.com or find @beenybud on Instagram.
Be Sterling and give back
It’s been months since the devastating magnitude 7.2 earthquake that rocked the southwestern part of Haiti on August 14, 2021. Sterling Asset Management has stepped up, encouraging their stakeholders to donate to Food For The Poor in the spirit of giving this holiday season. Even though months have passed, Haiti needs support as many continue to be without food, clean water, housing, education, medicines, and self-sustainable projects that generate consolation, dignity, and hope. Give the gift of a donation on behalf of a loved one this holiday season.
How to donate: From now until January 31, 2022, you may donate directly by cheque to Food For The Poor or through their website, foodforthepoorja.org.
Blue Banyan Books
There is nothing like getting lost in a story that only a book can provide. Blue Banyan Books is an independent local publishing house producing riveting, engaging, lasting works from the Caribbean imagination for bookshelves all over the world. They aim to uncover, recover and discover great writing and present diverse voices coming out of the Caribbean.
Where to find: Visit bluebanyanbooks.com or @bluebanyanbooks on Instagram.
Canvas JA portrait
Get your favourite photos printed on canvas, or let the company transform your favourite shot into an artistic masterpiece and gift it to a loved one. Using special technology, Canvas JA transforms photographs into graphically modified works of art that resemble realistic oil paintings, pencil sketches and more.
Where to find: Visit canvasja.com, or @canvas_ja on Instagram. You may call 876-352-7714.
This family business was started in December 2020 by the mother-daughter team of Diane and Jami Spence. Helping you make your home a getaway of beauty through handmade décor items such as fashionable raffia place mats and wooden garlands, the duo’s creative blend of talent in fashion design and event ornamentation allows for home décor that is distinctive and has timeless style while being functional.
Where to find: In Kingston at Fontana (Waterloo) and in Montego Bay at Spaces, Fontana (Fairview) and The Collective. Visit drifthome.bigcartel.com or @drifthomeja on Instagram. You may call 876-850-5969.
Marlon James fine art photography print
With all your choices for gift-giving this Christmas, it may be good to consider investing in an art piece that will increase in value over time. Celebrity photographer Marlon James has snapped everyone from reggae icons Yellow Man and Buju Banton to supermodel Tyra Banks, and now you can deck the halls of your home with one of his limited edition prints.
Where to find: Limited edition prints are for sale starting at US$600. Visit marlonjames.wordpress.com or @moderndaycaveman on Instagram.
Rachael Lane was founded by mother-daughter duo Charmaine and Jo-Ann Morris. The diversity in their ages is used as an advantage to curate handmade aromatic and cosmetic products for professionals who appreciate the importance of ‘me time’ to relax and rejuvenate. With handcrafted products that include refillable soy wax candles in ceramic containers made by Jamaican potters, soaps, body scrubs, face masks, body butter and much more, you won’t go wrong giving a gift from the brand.
Where to find: In Kingston — The Life Store and The Artistree, and in Montego Bay, The Collective. Visit rachaellane.com or @rachael_laneja on Instagram.
Story & Myth
Mixing indigenous Job’s tears seeds with symbols made of semi-precious gemstones and charms, this island-inspired handmade protection jewellery is a vibe. With seeds harvested by local farmers and the jewellery assembled by a small community of artisans, some of whom have a physical disability, each piece is made with thought and intent and meant to bless, guide and protect the wearer. PS. Madonna and Barbados Prime Minister Mia Mottley are fans.
Where to find: Visit storyandmyth.com or @storyandmyth on Instagram. You may call 876-322-6358.
Touch By VLS
Victoria Silvera’s artisanal ceramic pieces are great gifts. Her current series, The Urchin Collection, is a unified mix of handmade ceramic sculptures, lighting and crockery featuring experimental decorative processes such as 3D slip trailing, hand carving, silk-screened decals and multimedia additions, including driftwood and pendant lighting. Your loved one will be delighted with one of these pieces.
Where to find: Studio appointments are available by request at the website touchbyvls.com or on Instagram @touchbyvls.
For more gift ideas, see this Monday’s Flair.