Oranjestad – The world will be observing International Women’s Day on March 8th, however here in Aruba Women’s Day is acknowledged every day at Caribbean Queen, a stylish fashion and accessory store at the Palm Beach Plaza Mall.
In honor of the important day, the Minister of Economic Affairs, Social Affairs and Culture who is a woman and a mother herself, invited hundreds of local women to participate in a free-of-charge conference under the slogan Strong Leadership, Strong Women, Strong World.
Empowering women is exactly what managing director Jodi Tobman had in mind when she opened Caribbean Queen at the end of 2011, adding that jewel of a store to her already well-established chain of Salamander Group shops.
Jodi has been living on the island for many years and observed first-hand the rampant creativity of the women of Aruba, as every Carnaval season, the sewing machines and glue guns come out and a creative frenzy ensues wherein color, texture, and whimsy are uniquely combined, resulting in impressive headdresses and stunning costumes. She also observed that throughout the year, talented local artists make jewelry and other goods, selling them at weekend craft markets or giving them away as gifts to family and friends.
As she was eager to support these artistic endeavors and foster entrepreneurial spirit, Jodi decided to feature the handcrafted work of local female artists at her store. Each month, a new “Caribbean Queen” is crowned, her work showcased and appreciated.
To date Caribbean Queen has displayed and promoted recycled copper and sea-glass jewelry by Belinda de Veer, hand blown glass jewelry ensembles by Anita Otilia Hugen, eclectic mosaic pieces by Omaira Silva, hand-blown glass ornaments and jewelry by Marijan Abath, silkscreen prints on canvas by Eliza Lejuez Peters, ceramic jewelry and miniature sculptures by Elizabeth van Brede, rope-stringed beads and baubles by Daphne Agius Cesareo-Lejuez, sterling silver and semi-precious stone jewelry by Candy Rasmijn-Reino, twisted colored wire pieces by Massiel Genser, ornate handbags by Marcia Solognier, photography by Annemiek van Vliet, hand-made fashion earrings and bracelets by Anchie Malmberg, leather, wire, glass, gems and precious metal pieces by Omaira Toro, stringed glass beads by Gabriela Gonzalez, and upcycled rubber belts and purses by Carina Molina.
And the Caribbean Queen program goes on to continuously feature a new artisan each month in addition to making quarterly donations, under the Tikkun Olam program, to artistic development here. Tikkun Olam, the repair of the world, is a Salamander Group core value, and the store designates a percentage of all sales to local not-for-profit foundations dedicated to artistic endeavors.
Visit the store at the Caribbean Palm Beach Mall. We’re confident that the accessories created by our honored queens will not only delight you, but will also inspire you and perhaps also inspire other fellow “daughters of the Aruban soil” to explore their own artistic talents.
Happy International Women’s Day! In Women We Trust!