Even with Christmas just a few days away, some shoppers still haven’t gone Christmas shopping, and limited time usually means limited money to spend on the perfect gift. In fact, many stores would have already been sold out of quality goods, and the backlog at shipping companies would make it very hard to get gifts in within a week. As dreadful as this may sound, there are still some options hidden in far flung corners of Facebook and Instagram, or even in plain sight.
For those who love unique stationary Forever Factory is the place to shop. With products ranging from novelty mugs to notebooks and journals, owners Jayashri and Danny (both Saint Lucians) wanted to share their love for documenting ‘precious memories’. According to them, ‘we’d like to think of ourselves as a gift shop where you can get awesome presents for a loved one on that special occasion or ‘just because’. Their prices range from EC$7 to EC$50, which makes Forever Factory an affordable place to shop for Christmas gifts. Orders may be made through their Instagram page (@foreverfactory) or their website.
In keeping with unique pieces, Shanii Mesmain’s ‘Cotch Jewelry’ is ‘made with love and good vibes’. His high quality copper, crystal jewelry is highly sought after, especially in his home town of Soufriere. His products include necklaces, earrings, bracelets and the like, and include all sorts of crystals used to cleanse energies and promote wellbeing. Cotch Jewelry’s prices are reasonable, given the extreme effort put into every piece. Contact (@cotchjewelry) on Instagram for enquires.
St Lucia is not short of creative gift ideas, however unbelievable that may seem. For years, the cliché has been for children to get ties as gifts for their fathers. BeauTie wants to redefine the plain black, red or navy blue tie, and make this simple staple a highly coveted accessory. From plain and knitted ties and bow ties, to patterns ranging from florals, paisley, musical notes, sequined and polka dots, there is nowhere else in St Lucia where you could find such unique items. This week, BeauTie is located along the William Peter Boulevard. On a regular day, the ties can be purchased upstairs Tropics Boutique on Micoud Street. Browse through their products on Instagram (@beautieslu), as they continue to ‘redefine class’.
Chocolate might not seem like a great Christmas idea, but when it is made in St Lucia from start to finish, it takes on a new life as a specialty gift. Hotel Chocolat, located in Soufriere, is one of the few producers of chocolate on the island. The cocoa is harvested on the plantation at Rabot Estate, and the entire manufacturing process is facilitated by the hotel’s staff. While tourists are usually the ones who partake in the production process, locals are welcomed for a fee of US$28. You don’t have to take part in the production process to purchase chocolate from the hotel. With six squares of locally made chocolate priced at around EC$27, you can purchase a gift that would be well appreciated and savoured.
Christmas gift shopping is by no means limited to going to the mall and buying perfume, or clothes and shoes from large commercial stores. Instead, it should be a way to embrace community, and support St Lucians who try their best to provide quality, unique items that won’t break the bank. If you haven’t already ticked all the gifts off your list this year, try patronizing one of these businesses to make this year’s Christmas just a little different.