Looking out the window from my desk at the near oppressive Caribbean sunshine and the boats sailing by on the sparkling water below (not to mention the sweat trickling down between my boobs – yeah, you knew I had to temper that fantasy scene), it feels a little ridiculous to be writing a holiday gift list. Is it really almost time for the holidays again? Hard to believe, particularly without the smooth transition that is pumpkin spice everything. And, of course, the changing of actual seasons.

But almost holiday season it is – I can tell by the number of tourists on my rock, multiplying by the day like rabbits. A good reminder for me to get thinking about the gifts I plan on giving this year to all those near, dear, and not so near. One thing you learn living on a rock is the necessity of advanced planning since pretty much everything has to be shipped in and out.

santa-sandman

A recent holiday thought: What better way to ring in the season than to support my fellow island entrepreneurs? This year, I plan on buying most, if not all, of my gifts from small business owners, preferably those rockin’ it on a rock too.

If you’d like to join me, I’ve compiled this Ultimate Island Holiday Gift Guide for your shopping pleasure. Not only will you get plenty of good vibes from supporting your fellow islanders (good vibes feel like glitter inside your heart, just FYIsies), but you will also dazzle the lucky friends and fam on your list by gifting unique goodies they likely couldn’t have discovered on their own.

All of these businesses are available for purchase online, though shipping options may vary depending on your location. Now here’s your list, rockers – shop on!

–  ISLAND VARIETY STORES –

Absolutely Unique VI – hammocks, swimwear, cushions, and more

Art Box Belize – Caribbean art and culture gifts

Beach Box TV Shop – island beauty, fashion, and home goods

Bonaire Stuff – wise range of Bonaire gifts

Coconuts Fiji – coconut oil products

From Around the Globe – unique finds from islands and elsewhere

Isola Bella – handmade island art, jewelry, bags, stationary, and home goods

My Fiji Store – art, beauty products, and more from Fiji

St. John Spice – spices, island crafts, and more

Ten Thousand Villages – art, home goods, and more by Haitian artisans

The Haitian Bead Project – jewelry and home decor

Visit Dominica – a range of gifts featuring the island of Dominica

 

–  ISLAND CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES –

Caribbean Girls Rock – island girl apparel

Drevait – Trinidad & Tobago handbags

Fanm Djanm – colorful head wraps and other accessories by “strong women” in Haiti

Hiho – Caribbean clothing

Hope Town Canvas – sail bags

Island Bags – colorful totes made in Barbados

Island Contessa – resort wear

Jovew by Makisa – Trinidadian handbags

Live Tropic – island lifestyle clothing

Meme Bete – leather bags from St. Lucia

Christmas decorations on a palm tree at the Caribbean beach

Merch Carnival – bacchanal clothing and accessories

Mermaid Swim VI – mermaid tails, tops, and accessories

Pascale Theard Creations – Haitian handbags

Rock Girls – island girl clothing and accessories

Roots Seychelles – hand-printed textiles from Seychelles

Salty Gem – whimsical totes and sail bags

Shelly the Creator – crocheted swimwear from St. Lucia

Sirenes Des Tropiques – island made accessories

Sloop Jones – wearable art

St. Kitts Turtles – rash guards that help save sea turtles

Trefle Designs – swimwear and cover-ups

West Indies Wear – beach tunics, sarongs, and more

Vintage Caribbean – t-shirts celebrating island history

Island hopping in The Bahamas on a sailboat

–  ISLAND INSPIRED JEWELRY –

Alexandra Mosher Bermuda – pink sand jewelry

Bamboo VI – Crucian hook bracelets and more VI jewelry

Bohio Mania – vibrant jewelry made in Haiti

Crucian Gold – St. Croix inspired jewelry

Fashion Cuts Jewelry – wooden and leather jewelry from Anguilla

IB Designs – Caribbean inspired jewelry

Island Mantra – artistic island jewelry

Lisa’s Grenada – handmade jewelry art from Grenada

Ocean and Stardust Studio by Kim Nogueira – artistic jewelry and talismans

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RJS Handmade Designs – island inspired silver jewelry

Simbi – handmade jewelry from Haiti

The Blue Seahorse – bracelets and pink sand accessories

Treasured Sands – beach sand jewelry

Vibe Collection – island inspired jewelry

Virgin Islands Local Fashion – “Island Girl” jewelry and “VI” jewelry

 

–  ISLAND BEAUTY / PERSONAL CARE PRODUCTS –

Amora – essential oils, butters, and airsprays

Calypso Glow – organic Caribbean skincare

Choiselle – body oils and body butter

Ital Blends – beauty products made in Jamaica from goat’s milk

Itiba Beauty – lotions, soaps, and more

Kreyol Essence – natural and ethical beauty products from Haiti

Southern Hare Bath Company – bath products

St. Maarten Nectar – body care and home fragrances

Wholesome You – face and body products

–  ISLAND ART –

By Lisa Art – island girl folk art and crafts

Eileen Seitz Art – tropical island watercolors, prints, rugs, and fabrics

Haiti Notecards – cards for all occasions featuring Haitian art

The Allamanda Gallery – photographic art, prints, coaster, magnets, and more

 

–  EDIBLE GIFTS –

Agapey Chocolate Factory – Barbados chocolate

Anguilla Jammin’ – locally made jams and sauces

Java’Mon Coffee – Caribbean coffee

Kitchen Creole – island spices

La Placita Bonaire – sea salt and bath salts made in Bonaire

Rococo Chocolates – made with Organic Grenada cocoa

Sint Maarten Guavaberry – hot sauces and seasonings

–  ISLAND BOOKS –

A Face in the River by Kristine Simelda

Books about Dominica via A Virtual Dominica

Children’s books by Miss Heidi

I’m Your Siren: Poems by Tara Hill 

Island books via Caribbean Reads

Moving to Paradise e-book by The Squishy Monster

Norman the Nurse Shark by Jillian Morris

River of Fire by Kristine Simelda

Books and sunglasses on a beach

–  OTHER TROPICAL GIFTS –

Androsia – handmade batik prints from the Bahamas

Bottles Reimagined – glass home goods made from recycled bottles on St. Croix

Caribbean Castaway Koozies

Friends of the National Park Auction – gifts for good, all proceeds benefit the VI National Park

Funky Crochet – handmade Spanish cotton coasters from the Dominican Republic

Garden of Grace – handmade soy candles from Trinidad and Tobago

Love VI – St. Thomas car emblem

Potcake Collars – for your island dog

Sharks 4 Kids – shark education apparel, books, and more

St. Johnopoly – the Monopoly board game of St. John

–   –   –

Do you have an island business that missed the list? Add it to the comments below!

Wishing you all a happy holiday season!

Written By:

Chrissann Nickel

Current Rock of Residence:

Virgin Gorda, BVI

Island Girl Since:

2006

Originally Hails From:

California

Chrissann’s home rock in the British Virgin Islands feels bigger to her than it actually is. Though after spending five years on a teensy one acre island, the current 13-mile long rock she’s residing on now IS ginormous, at least by comparison. As with everything in the tropics, it’s all about perspective.

Once upon a time she used to care about things like matching her purse to her pumps but these days, any activities that require a bra and shoes go under careful, is-this-even-worth-it consideration. If island life has taught her anything at all, it’s that few things are more rewarding than time spent in the pool with a cocktail in hand.

As the Editor in Chief of this site, she spends her days working from home with her blue-eyed sidekick, Island Dog Diego, writing, editing, and cultivating content in the hopes of bringing some laughter and lightness to her fellow island souls. She recently published her first children’s book, When You’re a Baby Who Lives on a Rock, and is pretty pumped to share it with all of the island mamas out there. Her days off are typically spent boating, hiking, and meeting up with the neighborhood’s imperious roadside goats, who she shamelessly bribes into friendship. While normalcy was never listed as one of her special skills, Caribbean life may indeed be responsible for new levels of madness. She attributes at least a smidge of her insanity to the amount of time she spends talking to drunk people.

If you’re somehow still reading this and feel inclined to find out more about this “Chrissann” of which we speak, you can also take a gander at her eponymous website or follow her daily escapades on Instagram @womanonarock.

Want to read more posts by this writer? Click here.

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