Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 31st 2016 Contents SUNDAY, JULY 31, 2016
An unassuming dreadlocked
young man named Roger led them
through a plantation of cocoa and
cinnamon trees in Grenada. In a
clearing stood a small wooden
house...with an Internet connection.
To Joanne Raymond, this marriage
of rusticity and modernity was a
clear confirmation that their decision
was timely. The Antillean Line, born
as an idea in 2015, was taking root.
"The Antillean Line has its origin
in the desire to specialise in products
from the world's South, namely
South and Central America, Africa,
the Caribbean, Asia and Oceania,"
said Raymond, its co-founder. Ray-
mond is director of SICL, a mar-
keting and sales consultancy firm.
The philosophy of the line, she
said, promotes meaningful partner-
ships between T&T and Caribbean
entrepreneurs, with the focus on
bolstering industry in the region.
The Antillean space, at Home TT,
Scott Street, St Clair, is filled with
exotic scents and the colourful, soft,
clothing line conjures up images of
sun and fun-filled lazy days by the
sea. The selection is trendy and chic.
The second voice in this partner-
ship, Kenneth Lowe, added that the
idea of the Antillean Line is not just
about the products; it is also about
Shoppers are greeted with a choice
of alcoholic and non-alcoholic
refreshments in a relaxing environ-
ment, with strains of music in the
"Just as our clothing is unique in
look and style, so too did we strive
to offer the public a temporary
escape from the stresses of everyday
life. The intent is to have you wanting
to return, if only for an experience
that is set apart from the bustle of
mall and random shopping,"
The selection, mostly light and
breezy abstract designs, may look
like resort wear, but Raymond
assured they can easily double as
casual or even semiformal, once
dressed up with complementary
The clothing comes from coun-
tries such as the Dominican Republic,
India and the Antilles itself.
From a trip to the Spice Island
came a selection of scented soaps
"The traditional methods (used)
to make these have resulted in prod-
ucts that contain none of the chem-
ical additives that are in similar prod-
ucts that line the shelves of most
pharmacies and stores. In fact the
ingredient lists (on products sold by
Antillean Line) are short," said Lowe.
Personal care, he added, ought
not just to be focused on scents, but
also on health benefits to the user.
As a result, the soaps not only
come in flavours such as nutmeg,
cinnamon, cocoa butter, lavender,
and mint and eucalyptus, but also
in an unscented coconut-based soap
suitable for people with skin aller-
The trip between the islands of
Trinidad and Grenada takes 12 hours
by sea or half an hour by air.
Raymond said their reception in
Grenada was as warm as the waters
lining the shores of the island's scenic
beaches and ocean fronts.
"What stood out about Grenada
was the approachability of the peo-
"The average Grenadian was often
quite pleased to hear of a space to
have their country's products pro-
moted abroad. Getting around the
island was easy. Grenada is quite
small compared to Trinidad. Outside
of the major towns, streets rarely
have names. The essence of com-
munity spirit and small town life
was obvious in just the closeness in
which they lived.
"Searching for someone just
required a name. Go to the area
where he or she lives and ask around;
for sure someone will know who
you're looking for," she recalled with
a nostalgic smile.
Many entrepreneurs on the island
operate at cottage industry level, as
did the supplier of cinnamon they
found in the picturesque parish of
St David, said Lowe.
While the brand has started with
a regional base, Raymond said
Antillean promises a push into the
wider world without compromising
the customer's desire for quality,
uniqueness, beauty and comfort.
The focus will also be on the
entrepreneurs who create the goods.
Raymond believes this is part of
the line's appeal.
With this in mind, last year the
line met with representatives out
of Italy, even though that country
is not part of the global south. Their
product: Italian olive oil.
"The suppliers in this case were
not huge, conglomerate-run ones,
but small and medium-sized fam-
ily-operated businesses, many
whom had never traded outside of
Italy or Europe," she noted.
Raymond said, they saw the
opportunity as one that would not
only augur well for the continuation
of their concept, but would add to
their customers' shopping experi-
More trips to other islands and
countries are in the pipeline. The
hope is that they will find unique
products in nooks and crannies and
out of the way spots dotting the
length and breadth of the Antilles.
More info: Visit Antillean Line
PHOTOS: SCOTT HOMER • CREATIVE DIRECTOR: PROJECTGIO868 • CHEF: SHANNAZ ALICIA SEALES, BEYOND THE BOX CAKES
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