With so many worldwide changes in the way we shop, it is interesting to find the family business, Best of Barbados Gift Shops, celebrating 44 years of success in this small corner of the world. How do they do it? It takes vision, talent, a great team and of course…a lot of hard work.
The original vision in 1975, was that of artist, Jill Walker and her architect husband Jimmy, who felt that Barbados really needed a shop that sold things made or designed in Barbados. Jill, established as an artist, set about designing and having things made, gradually adding to the variety they offered.
Much to the Walker’s delight, visitors to the island loved the concept and supported the first shop in Holetown. Jimmy, the business head of this husband and wife team, eventually set about opening other locations and added a screen-printing and picture framing studio. It was an exciting time as the brand grew and the company expanded.
Fast forward, and today you’ll find the business in the capable hands of the Walker’s youngest daughter, Sue Trew, and her husband Chris. For 30 years they’ve been leading their team – Chris on the business side, while Sue has taken over the designing from her mum, becoming a popular author and illustrator of children’s books. Their daughter Holly, also a talented artist, paints designs in between researching for her PhD in Marine Biology.
The merchandise continues to be fresh and unique, the shops inviting, and when it’s all served up with a warm Bajan smile, customers find themselves coming back again…and again.
Shop online at best-of-barbados.com or visit Best of Barbados Gift Shops at:
The Chattel Village, Holetown • Quayside Centre, Rockley • Southern Palms Hotel,
St. Lawrence Gap • Airport Departure Lounge • Cruise Terminal, Bridgetown