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Holiday 2013







Angels am s u o g n Giving. S ha ring.





the editor slandistas, can you believe it’s been a whole year?

While it’s been nearly six years online, Islandista is celebrating our first anniversary in print and what better time to mark our ‘print-iversary’ than in this joyous season of celebration, hope and renewal? For many of us, Christmas is a time for giving so in this issue we’ve highlighted some of the ‘angels among us’ who are giving of their time and effort to help others. Check out our feature on the Charity Chicks who have dedicated themselves to supporting other charities through fund-raising and volunteering. We’ve also got a review of REI Models’ Touch of Pink tea party which was held in aid of breast cancer support groups. And just in case you missed it, we have a wrap up of our own Power Dressing Party which benefited the Safe House for domestic violence victims. On a personal note, I must say a huge THANK YOU to everyone who generously supported us and helped us make the party happen. There really are angels among us! In keeping with the theme of giving, we’ve also got some great ideas for Christmas gifts in our Islandista gift guide. And if you want a gift that will keep on giving, Fortress Fund Managers can help you create a gift which will set up your most loved ones for life. Beyond the Christmas season, there are a whole lot more reasons to read this Holiday 2013 edition of Islandista. We’ve got fabulous fashion coverage including some of the best of Bridgetown Barbados Fashion Week. We’re also looking ahead to Girlfriends Expo and we’re excited about the pop up designer boutique which Signature 78’s Caribbean-American fashionistas Syntyche Dawkins and Tiffani Dawkins will be staging at the event. As ever, we hope this edition will be a veritable feast of fashion, festivals and fabulousness for you. Enjoy!

Mandy xxx

CONTENTS Celebs 4 Islandistas take over the small screen Entertainment 5 Islandista’s Power Dressing Party 6 Honey Jazz & Touch of Pink 7 Get the Christmas spirit 8 We Wish You a Pinterest Christmas! Play Mas 9 Bringing artistry back to mas Food 10 With Love by Esther James Fashion 12 Best of BB Fashion Week 13 Signature 78 pops in 14 Upcycle Your Style BEAUTY 16 Lunch Hour Luxury Islandistas We Love 17 The Charity Chicks Money Matters 18 The Islandista Holiday Gifting Guide 19 Could a Mutual Fund be the Greatest Gift? 20 Time to Take Stock I Am An Islandista 22 Dr Donna Matthew Relationships & Family 24 ‘I Went to University with my Baby’ Relationships & Family 26 Can the Modern Islandista Have it All?

CONTRIBUTORS Editor-in-chief Amanda Lynch-Foster

Patricia Delgado Paula Jackman

Makeup Kamilah Codrington

Senior Designer Mialisa Fenty

Photographers Khalil Goodman Amleya Clarke Gary Jordan

Cover Photographer Khalil Goodman, Model Emilomo Akpevwiehor

Ad Executives www.islandistas.com





CELEB NEWS Take a look - islandistas are bringing their style, spirit and tempo to a television near to you! Television producers seem to be having a Caribbean moment these days as there are several shows on web and television featuring women of the region.

Rihanna’s StyleD to Rock Debuts

Barbadian singing star Rihanna is a much-followed icon so its no surprise that she’s helming a fashionfocused reality TV contest. Her stylistspotting show Styled to Rock was originally set to air on the Style Network but was shifted to Bravo after Style was taken over by the Esquire Network. The show’s mentors who were all personally selected by Rihanna – model Erin Wasson, super producer Pharrell Williams and Rihanna’s own stylist Mel Ottenberg, take 12 aspiring stylists through their paces each week, whittling the number down along the way. Besides Rihanna herself, several other celebs have guest starred on the show including Miley Cyrus, Kylie Minogue and Carly Rae Jepsen.


This hash tag has dominated Caribbean Twitter every Monday and Tuesday night as the entire region and its diaspora has tuned into NBC en masse to watch Jamaican reggae-rocker Tessanne Chin make her


Annnnd Anya’s Back!

Still on the subject of stylish islandistas, Trinidadian designer Anya Ayoung-Chee is set to return to Lifetime TV with a reality fashion contest headed by Project Runway mentor Tim Gunn. This time, Anya and two other PR favourites, Mondo Guerra and Nick Verreos are in the role of mentors as the three are tasked with managing a fashion empire with the assistance of their own teams of up-andcoming designers who they will also mentor. It’s a big task but we’re sure Anya is up to it!

way up the ranks in The Voice. The excitement has been contagious and with the blinds, battle rounds and knock outs behind her, CaribbeanAmericans and Caribbean-Canadians now have their chance to vote to keep our girl in the show.

Naomi takes The Face Global

Just this time last year, we would have previewed The Face, a modelling reality show produced by and starring Naomi Campbell. In the last year, the Jamaican-British super model has gone on to conquer with the show being picked up for a second season in the US, a British version debuting in September and an Australian version already being recorded at press time and set to air in early 2014. Canadian and French versions of The Face are also in the works. Naomi, you better werk!

ISLANDISTA entertainment

Taking a look at the fascinators and hats from Shev Kalekshan Islandista publisher Amanda Lynch-Foster (right) with members of BPW Barbados.

Honey Jam artiste Dennica Pearl was one of the performers.


and Empowerment Power Dressing Partiers getting their glitter tattoos from I Heart Makeup’s team.


at the Power Dressing Party

mpowerment and indulgence complemented each other beautifully at the picturesque Hempstead House when Islandista Magazine held our first ever Power Dressing Party. Islandistas generously dug into their wardrobes and wallets to donate business wear for domestic violence survivors who have stayed at the Safe House run by the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Barbados. In return, attendees were treated to an afternoon of absolutely girly indulgence, fabulous food and wonderful entertainment. A host of entrepreneurs, big businesses and independent artistes came together to make this event possible and so huge thanks go to Super Centre/Dacosta Mannings, Cost U Less, I Heart Makeup, Chrysalis Studio, The Spa Lounge, Rock It Designz, Shev Kalekshan, The Pretty Pink Chef, The Daily Cookie, Honey Jam Barbados and Link International. A very special thanks goes to The Barbados Workers’ Union for graciously letting us use President of the Business and their venue free of cost and investing many Professional Women’s Club of staff hours into making it stunning on Barbados, Marrianne Burnham, the day itself. addressing attendees at the You are all truly some of the ‘angels Power Dressing Party. among us’!

A party patron gets a polish change from The Spa Lounge’s aesthetician Niki Watson (left).

Chrysalis Studio’s Shanelle Gooding (left) paying close attention to a patron at the party


ISLANDISTA entertainment

Honey Jazz

The soulful, sultry voice of Mandy Cummins will be on show at Honey Jazz 2014. Photo credit: Andrew Browne Photography and Kedrew Photography.


hen Honey

best traditions of jazz, it produces a show will also be called Honey a little spicy Jazz, you can and maybe only expect it to even a touch be as sweet as… saucy! well, honey! With a And if the lineup boasting inaugural show Honey Jam alums was any indication, it such as Gigi Ma’at, Gigi Ma’at will indeed be very sweet Christal Austin, Mandy when the Honey Jazz concert Cummins and Faith Callender comes back around on and featuring special guest January 19, 2014 at the Frank Kellie Cadogan, this concert Collymore Hall. But in the is not to be missed.

Rthing or two about glamour EI Model Academy knows a

Enjoying the treats at the tea party.

Singer Nikita Kunar Pink. performed at Touch of


and put that knowledge to work in the fight against breast cancer when they held their recent Touch of Pink tea party. The elegant tea party which was held at the historic Sunbury House in St. Philip, raised funds to be donated to cancer supporting organisations. It featured performances from Gigi Ma’at, Jamal Slocombe, Nikita Kunar and Mission Prayz and a fabulous fashion show with REI’s own model students and the latest collections from Pink Lemonade, Nia Chris and House of Fashion.

Touch of PINK Photos by RZI Photography

Local style on display from Nia Chris designs.

ISLANDISTA entertainment


Put a twist on the classic Caribbean Christmas dessert by mixing a little of that great cake blend into a complementary cake batter – pineapple, banana or the classic vanilla or chocolate all taste great with that rummy, fruity mix. Bake as cupcakes and up the Christmas spirit by making a frosting with a little eggnog or ponche de crème mixed in! (photo pinned from Hanielas.com)

Get jolly with a Santa’s hat cocktail. Half the fun is in the colour combination and you can use anything from cranberry juice to the more Caribbean sorrel as your ‘hat’. Rim the glass with a combination of coconut flakes and granulated sugar for a cupful of Christmas. (pinned from celebrations.com)

We wish you a



e really do.

Pinterest is our favourite new obsession and it is filled with fabulous ideas to make your Christmas season merry and bright. Founded in 2010, it is the fastest-growing social network on the internet and its rise is fuelled largely by women who make up 70% of its users. Just for your benefit, we’re sharing a few of our top Pinterest picks for the season here. Check out our “We Wish You a Pinterest Christmas” board on our page – pinterest. com/islandista for scores more ideas, gifts, recipes and all things Christmassy!



A cute idea for a Christmas gift basket for a friend. Buy some nail polishes in some of her favourite colours and then hunt Pinterest for a cute “For your mistletoes” printable tag and pop it on. (Pinned from makeitmyown. blogspot.com) Add to the pedicure pampering with a candy cane-striped peppermint scrub that is easy to make at home. Check the supermarket or pharmacy for Epsom salts, an essential oil (almond works well) and some peppermint extract. Dye half of the mix with some red food dye and style it up in a cute jar with a ribbon and a tag. Granulated sugar and sea salt also work well to make scrubs that will leave ‘mistletoes’ soft and smooth! (Pinned from outnumbered3-1. com)


You can find a thousand ideas for unusual Christmas wreaths on Pinterest but we especially love this clean white seashell wreath – the perky starfish adds just the right Caribbean Christmas touch. You can do this yourself with a little help from the craft store. (pinned from aprettycoollife. com) It wouldn’t be a true Pinterest round-up without printables as the site has printable subway art for every occasion and non-occasion. Print, frame and hang on your walls either on its own surrounded by other Christmas décor or in clusters for greater impact. (pinned from thekinchlife.blogspot.com)


Bringing artistry back to Mas

Icostume to be both

s it possible for a Carnival

artistic in the best traditions of mas and sexy in the best traditions of the popular ‘bikini and beads’ super bands? For so long, it seemed to be a dilemma that could not be resolved. Thankfully in 2012, K2K Alliance burst onto the scene in Trinidad and definitively answered that question with a strong, sartorial ‘yes!’ Sisters Karen and Kathy Norman have outdone

themselves each year, producing haute couture costume creations that are sexy and yet defy all modern expectations of what sexy Carnival costumes are. Scarcely a jewelled waistband, feathered headdress or frontline-style backpack is to be seen among their costumes. Instead, for their Carnival 2014 presentation ‘Vie – The Rise of the Sanctuary’ K2K has amped up the sex appeal with fringed monokinis and jaw-dropping lace bodysuits that would thrill the most bodyconscious reveller.

I’ve been to so many fetes, I don’t know de quantity

Pun de boat

But nothing compares to when yuh partying pun de sea!

Bobo and Fadda Fox surely got it right in their smash Crop-Over 2013 hit Boat, because we all know how much Caribbean people love a party cruise! As we head into Trinidad Carnival 2014, check out the Roast cruise – The epic Roast cruises will be familiar to Barbadian party-goers. Last year the ‘Roast Lords’ Runako, Jonathan and Jeremy sailed down to Trinidad, bringing the Roast revelry to a very familiar vessel – the beloved Harbour

Master. A Miami Carnival edition has also come off since then and plans are reportedly in place for Roast Carnival 2014.

Scorch Duck Work: Since you’ve already ducked work and travelled to Trinidad to take in Carnival, make sure you enjoy it to the max with Scorch’s legendary cruise. It’s sexy, it’s soca, it’s vibes! Suits cruise – Suit up in your sexiest swimwear for this event that mixes three of our favourite Carnival concepts! Suits is a breakfast party (starting bright and early at 7 am on Carnival Saturday), a cooler fete and a cruise all in one!


islandista food and dining

With love

Talmost all.

he name says it all – well

If you want to understand how young villa chef and baker Esther James thinks, the name of her catering company gives a big hint. Her company is simply titled With Love by Esther James – a name that has no cutesy references to food or baking or cakes or even eating. Esther is quick to note that this is because the first and most important ingredient in her creations is love, adding: “The name “With Love” was chosen because everything that I create must be heartfelt and as the name implies - made with love.” Not surprisingly the 25 year old fairly bubbles over with enthusiasm for her job and her love of great food. “I love to see people happy after they’ve had my food and also being able to say “I love my job” at the end of each day!” she declares happily. What the name does not tell you is how incredibly skilled Esther is and the fact that she can literally turn her hand to anything food-related. She openly admits that she feels more comfortable cooking than baking but has become acclaimed for her fantastical cakes and cupcakes, creating everything from “Breaking Bad” themed cupcakes to elegant wedding cakes.


by Esther Jam

In addition to the baking, there’s a whole lot of cooking going on as well, as Esther is also a private villa chef and has whipped up treats for everyone from Cover Drive lead singer Amanda Reifer to Rihanna. With all of that going on and her busiest season coming up, we at Islandista consider ourselves lucky to have been able to pull Esther away for a few minutes to find out more about baking

and cooking with love. How did you get into catering? I got into the catering business in December 2011. Yes, it was preconceived, however I had no idea that it would honestly get as far as it has because I only intended to target close friends and family but the word spread from there. At present we take on small events especially weddings!

What inspired you to start your own business – especially as a very young person? I was 23 when this all began but I never considered age to be a factor when deciding to start a business. I’ve always had the goal in mind to begin a food based establishment. I was actually inspired by my parents who are also entrepreneurs.

mes Is there anyone who inspired or motivated you along the way? Yes! I’m inspired by positive, motivated people around me, international chefs and cake designers. As I mentioned, my parents are definitely an inspiration. They have come a long way and I love to see people grow. It shows me that if they can do it, I can too. I’ve always loved to watch John Hazzard work and his personality is so welcoming - that’s what propels him further. [And] international chefs like Jamie Oliver, Anthony Bourdain, Gordon Ramsay and Heston Blumenthal are just a few chefs that I look up to. What kind of support have you received – from friends, family, others? From the very beginning friends and family have always been encouraging and always supported me not only in a monetary form

but they actually are very hands on whenever I need the extra help. I am very grateful for that support system around me. What does being a villa chef entail? Being a villa chef entails preparation of ‘five star’ meals from breakfast to dinner as requested. The hours of work are quite extensive but it’s quite a prestigious position. You also do novelty cakes and pastry items – how did you get into doing this? I first began preparing treats within my comfort zone such as health breads and elegant celebration cakes and pastries. A close friend encouraged me to try my hand at fondant work and novelty cakes such as designer hand bags with sugar shoes and so on. I was hesitant initially and finally decided in August 2012 to design a Coach bag cake for

my mother’s birthday. It was so well received that I’ve continued to make novelty cakes ever since. Was it a natural progression from your villa chef work? Definitely not! I love food but cakes and pastries were out of my comfort zone. I could always make them but it was never as natural for me as cooking. What has been the response to these items? So far people show a lot of love. The proof is in the 4,000-plus likes on my Facebook page since I first began in December 2011. When are the best times of year for you in terms of getting business? The best times for business are holidays and special occasions especially Valentine’s Day and Mother’s Day. What has been your most

remarkable achievement thus far in your career? My greatest achievement thus far was being chosen as pop star Rihanna’s private chef during her summer holiday here in Barbados! It was an awesome experience. What is your favourite dish/ item to create? I love to infuse Caribbean and international flavours. I’ve done a lot of winning dishes with breadfruit especially! I really don’t have a favourite one. What do you find most challenging about what you do? Because of my long hours at work, it’s a challenge to make time for myself, family and friends. What is your next step for With Love? Big, big, big plans! I’m looking forward to the day when people can walk into a With Love Patisserie.



Best of

BB Fashion Week Band Vincentian Kimon

arbadian Kesia Estwick

Baptiste were by far the stand out designers of the three nights of fashion that made up Bridgetown Barbados Fashion Week in late October. The designers made their mark with collections that were almost at opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of formality but similar in one key way – their outfits were the definition of ready to wear. Small wonder that both designers are popular with the fashionable set in their native islands, and have had some retail successes, with Kimon running her own boutique Kimmystic.Clo and Kesia her street-wear line Kiss + Girl. On the first night, Kesia showcased her couture collection, featuring fabulous full-length gowns which would be just right for formal occasions like weddings, awards ceremonies or Christmas morning in Queen’s Park! On the second night, Kimon’s outfits were just as wearable, with acid brights, dramatic folds and popping patterns which would definitely suit allinclusive parties, jazz concerts or even a cooler fete.

This spectacular garnet-coloured gown with its plunging neckline is just begging to be worn.


Kesia’s combination of a crisp hounds tooth pattern with romantic floral accents on the hips makes this dress eye-catching in the best way.

Photographer: Amleya Clarke

Floral print, folds and fresh as can be, this Kimmystic mini dress is a winner. At right, the bright colours and bold prints in this outfit were a hallmark of the entire collection shown by Kimmystic Clo’s Kimon Baptiste.

Itime a whole new

n just over a month’s

concept in local fashion retailing will be popping up at the fifth annual Girlfriends Expo. Signature 78, a pop-up shop featuring some of the best up and coming designers, artisans and trendsetters will make its first appearance at Girlfriends Expo from January 31 to February 2, 2014. The company is the brainchild of two proud and stylish islandistas – radio executive Syntyche ‘Syn’ Dawkins of Irie Jam Radio and stylist Tiffani James. Though born in America, both ladies were raised in Caribbean households – Syn to a Barbadian mother and Jamaican father while Tiffani’s parents are both Jamaican. A love for the Caribbean runs deep in both women who have seized every opportunity to promote the distinctive style and flair of the Caribbean. Signature 78 produces fashion events such as Caribbean Fashion Rocks and Irie Fashion Rave in New York City which have highlighted the nexus between Caribbean fashion and music and bridged the gap between mainstream designers and edgy indie lines. Now they are turning their attention from fashion events to fashion retailing with the Signature 78 pop up shops which are planned for several islands and will feature clothing and accessories by some of the hottest designers, including many of Caribbean birth and descent. With New York City being the theme city for Girlfriends Expo 2014, the synergy couldn’t be better for Signature 78 as NYC is as much a part of the company’s DNA as the Caribbean. They promised that patrons who stop by their pop up shop will be transported into “an Empire State of mind” as they browse the carefully curated selections from the “amazing” designers they have chosen to participate in the first shop. The experience will begin with a glamorous opening reception hosted by Signature 78 and headlined by Nexcyx. Invitees will get a preview of what Signature 78 has to offer as the reception will feature some of the designers whose creations will be carried in the pop up shop. Designers for the first Signature 78 shop include Hunter NY, Coco and Breezy eyewear and Foreign Labur Clothing. Looking to the future, Syn and Tiffani have set their sights on expanding to rest of the region with St. Kitts, Trinidad, Signature 78 founders Syn Dawkins Guyana, St. Maarten, Jamaica and Japan and Tiffani James. on their radar for 2014 and 2015.

Behind the scenes at one of Signature 78’s events, New York City’s Irie Fashion Rave.

Signature 78 pops in

Lights, camera, action at a Signature 78 event.


ISLANDISTA fashion CREDITS Photography: Khalil Goodman Bowties, shorts, floral headband, red cloth necklace: Nu 2 U Vintage Boutique Handbag, all other necklaces: Ruce Fashion Model: Danielle Dottin Make-up artist: Kamilah Codrington (I Heart Makeup) Stylist: Amanda Lynch-Foster Photo assistant: Amleya Clarke Shot on location at the Iron Gardens, Perry Gap, Roebuck Street


The definition of upcycling. A plain handbag comes alive with a bounty of buttons, beads and gems.

Futuristic style meets tradition as prim floral prints and a proper bowtie meet pearl studding, a casual Kiss + Girl top and a robot.

your style R

euse, repurpose and upcycle! While the idea of shopping your closet has always been in style, it is more relevant than ever before with the rise of the upcycling movement. Maybe it’s a reaction to our recessionary times or maybe it’s a form of fashion nostalgia as we crave that vintage look but now more than ever, savvy fashionistas are taking old things and making them newer and more stylish than before. Local designers Lee-Ann Ramsay of Nu 2 U Vintage and Janillia August of Ruce Fashion are young leaders of this new school, creating stunning and cutting edge clothing and accessories from scraps of cloth, discarded denim, and even tossed t-shirts. Inspired, we took their bold designs to another haven of upcyled creativity, Dr Lance Bannister’s Iron Gardens in Perry Gap, Roebuck Street.


Bringing a whole new meaning to hardware, this Ruce necklace brings an industrial edge with the washers and wire and a more romantic feel with the bronze coloured ribbon.

Floral headbands have been all the rage and the trend shows no signs of cooling. Combine fake flowers from any craft or dollar store with a bit of elastic for an instant hippie vibe. Salute to style with a sexy stars-and-stripes makeover for your jeans. Leftover fabric in a beautiful garnet hue has been used to create this plush fabric necklace.

Call of the wild. Denim shorts and a proper bowtie both get a ferocious upgrade with leopard-print fabric and edgy gold studding.


ISLANDISTA BEAUTY By Nikitiah Grant-Watson Director, The Spa Lounge

Spa Treatments That Take an Hour or Less

Lunch Hour Luxury Afrom the stresses of work? Maybe re you in need of a quick escape

you think there aren’t enough hours in your day to treat yourself. Savvy islandistas are now enjoying spa luxuries during their lunch hour and returning to work completely revitalized, with time still left for a salad or coffee. There are so many treatments you can enjoy during your lunch time and just to prove it, we’ve put together a list for you!


Back, Neck and Shoulder Massage. This massage usually lasts for 30 minutes and focuses on the upper body where we hold most of our stress. This massage is very relaxing and inexpensive.


Indian Head Massage. The Indian Head Massage focuses on the face, scalp, neck, shoulders, décolleté and the upper part of the back. This massage can be for 30 minutes or an hour and aids with sinuses, migraines and stress in the upper body.


Polish Change or Mini Mani. This is probably one of the quickest services in the spa. If you have an office function or a dinner party and have little to no time for a full manicure, simply request a polish change. Make sure to have your colour already in mind as this saves time. These two services can be done within 15 minutes and you can get beautiful looking nails in a fraction of the time. Try to stick with the fingers as your office shoes would smudge toe polish.


Facial. Don’t panic, there are mini facials or express facials that can be done within half an hour – we promise! Your skin is usually cleansed, exfoliated, streamed, serum, mask and massaged within the allotted time. So you get to leave glowing and refreshed and it’s really not as risky as it sounds.


Eyebrow Waxing. This service is the most popular lunch time service there is because it can be done so quickly. A simple eyebrow wax can enhance your face and this service takes as little as 10 minutes or less!


All of these services are all less than one hour so even islandistas with super-busy schedules can still find time for a little pampering! The important thing is to find a spa which is always on time and dependable - that way you can manage your time accordingly and everything will be done within the allotted time. You can return to the office feeling refreshed and not rushed!

Half leg Wax: There’s no need to hide under a pair of pants for an outside function when you can simply pop into the spa for a half leg wax that can be done within 30 minutes. You can even throw in a bikini with your half leg and together it should take you 45 minutes max.

Contact The Spa Lounge for mobile spa treatments in the comfort of your home this Christmas! Email: thespalounge.thespa@gmail.com or call 828-0200.



The late Gail Skeete, founder of The Little Pink Gift Foundation, celebrates with the Men in Pink at the very first Tickled Pink party.

Charity Chicks spread the joy of giving back

Tcharge’ of Charity Chicks hey are the ‘chicks in

Barbados and over the last three years they have spread the joy of giving to hundreds of Barbadians. After starting out with a close-to-the-heart event in November 2010, over the years Tracey Worme, Kelly Gibson and Dr Madhuvanti ‘Maddy’ Murphy have expanded Charity Chicks into a significant force for good, with over 1000 members who attend their events and volunteer for various causes. Mothers and entrepreneurs all, the ladies also share American birth and Caribbean connections – Tracy’s father is Bajan as is Kelly’s husband while Maddy’s parents are Trinidadian. All three women have made their homes in Barbados. But the most important thing they have in common is their dedication to volunteerism – a habit ingrained from the time they were growing up. Volunteerism was a core requirement at Tracey’s school, leading her to work in soup kitchens and with Habitat for Humanity while Maddy’s mother got

From left: Charity Chicks Tracey Worme, Dr Madhuvanti Murphy and Kelly Gibson selling Tickled Pink tickets during polo. her involved in charitable work from a tender age and Kelly’s volunteerism was honed during summers as a volunteer with the United Methodist Action Reach-Out Mission by Youth. The group’s model is rather

unique in that it is essentially a charity-supporting charity which focuses on fundraising and marshalling volunteers to support the work of other organisations and individuals. The Chicks shared the thinking behind their model,

telling Islandista: “There are a handful of larger charities that maintain a permanent presence in the spotlight but there are so many wonderful, smaller organizations, run by dedicated individuals, who are effecting great change in our community.” Hence, this has been their focus from their very first event, the original Tickled Pink cocktail party which eventually evolved into their signature event. Held to honour Kelly’s mother who is a breast cancer survivor, the party raised funds for The Little Pink Gift Foundation which provides prostheses and special bras for breast cancer patients who have had mastectomies. The foundation was started by the late, lion-hearted Gail Skeete and Tracey, Kelly and Maddy all hail her early influence on Charity Chicks Barbados. “The most rewarding moment was handing over our first fundraising cheque to Gail and seeing her heartfelt gratitude for our efforts. Gail was such an

Continued on Page 25



Wknow that e already

For the teacher

This Christmas make sure to show your appreciation for the person who takes care of your little or not-solittle one for hours each day. Since they already have tons of teacher-themed knickknacks cluttering up their cupboards (no more mugs please!), something consumable like chocolates, cupcakes or cookies is always a good idea. And with so many talented bakers in Bim making customised items, this is easier than ever to order.

it’s better to give than receive but this Christmas, how about we give better? In a world of commercial overload, how do we select or create the gifts that will really resonate with our loved ones and make them feel special? Islandista is here to help with our holiday gift guide.

For the hubby

We know, we know. Men can be sooo hard to shop for! And if you’ve already purchased the colognes and jewellery, what can you do next? How about a man bouquet? Ideal for the hardto-shop-for man in your life, it’s a personalised bouquet of some of the things he loves most – try including merchandise for his favourite football club, a bottle of his liquor of choice or small electronics.

After 20, 30 years of giving presents to your mum, you might feel like you’re running out of ideas! So here’s a great one – you know your mum works hard so why not treat her to a spa day so she can relax? Many local spas offer gift certificates and even if she’s not bold enough to get a full-body massage, we bet she would still appreciate a facial or a mani-pedi package.

For the mum For the BFF

Rather than a material object, how about giving your bestie an experience this Christmas? If she’s an adventureseeker she might like a Zip-line tour. If she’s a culinary fanatic, you can get her a gourmet cooking class. And if she’s a party animal, a ticket to a good allinclusive party will surely be appreciated.



Could a Mutual Fund be the greatest gift of all? Ryears ago the giggly, wiggly

emember Tickle Me Elmo? Many

stuffed toy version of Sesame Street’s most popular character inspired mania, with desperate parents trampling store employees and even resorting to the black market in their quest to buy it. That was Christmas 1996 and the toddler recipients of the Tickle Me Elmos are now IPad-using young adults who would likely give you a blank stare if asked to remember what ever became of that coveted toy. The lesson? Toy crazes will come and go and seem laughably irrelevant in just a few years. So this Christmas, why not get your littlest and most loved ones a gift that will actually matter in years to come? A mutual fund from Fortress Fund Managers could well be one of the best presents you will ever give. Just to give an example – let’s say that a savvy islandista with a 1 year old child invests $500 this Christmas in Fortress’ Caribbean Growth Fund and puts in a mere $100 a month from now until her child’s 18th birthday. Fortress’ Marketing Manager Kim Howard outlined the long-term benefits, saying:

“If we assume a return on investment of 7% per year – which is well below the long term average for our Caribbean Growth Fund over the last 16 years, but we think a reasonable estimate going forward – your islandista’s account would be worth $40,315 on her child’s 18th birthday. Of course, future returns may be higher or lower than our assumption but any way you slice it that’s a lot of savings for only $100 a month!” In fact, that is nearly twice as much as the actual $20,900 investment you would have made over the 17 years! Not to mention that your gift will provide a financial foundation that can offset the cost of university education. “Saving for a child’s education via a mutual fund can be valuable in achieving that goal, and the earlier you start the better. That way you have more time to ride out any downturns in the market and maximize your returns. In addition, mutual funds can be used as collateral for loans from lending institutions, thereby giving you access to more income than you may have available by the time your child needs it,” noted Howard.

She pointed out that the minimum investment level for a mutual fund is hardly onerous as Fortress has a range of funds with different entry points. “People are often surprised to learn that you can invest in the Fortress Caribbean Growth Fund and the Fortress Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP) with as little as $100, while the Fortress Caribbean High Interest Fund has a slightly higher minimum of $500,” said Howard. The process is relatively simple too – just download an application form from fortressfund.com and in the “joint applicant” section, add your child’s full name. Take the completed form to Fortress’ Carlisle House offices along with one type of national ID, proof of address and the funds to start the account and you’re on your way to really giving your child the best Christmas present ever. Read more about Fortress’ mutual funds and investment options in our extensive interview with Marketing Manager Kim Howard on our website www.islandistas.com.


Time to take Stock

Ais often the time that we stop to s we close out the old year, this

take stock. And as we approach the new year, maybe you’re thinking it’s time to do exactly that in 2014 – take stock and invest in the local and regional businesses listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange. Buying shares is an investment in both the personal future of an islandista investor and the future of the country. Moreover, as Operations Supervisor of the BSE, Barry Blenman explained, getting into the stock market is simpler and cheaper than many people think “There is no minimum investment level. You can literally buy one share,” pointed out Blenman. However, he cautioned that since “there is a cost attached to purchasing shares, purchasing one share may not be a cost effective activity if the fees are higher than the cost of that single share.” And with the opportunity to own a stake in successful companies listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange website, why would you limit yourself to just one share? After all, just to be listed on the Barbados Stock Exchange, companies have to meet certain success thresholds. Blenman outlined the requirements for companies to be listed on the BSE’s Regular Market or Junior Market, saying: “Companies listing on the Regular Market must be a profit making venture with minimum assets of BBD $1 million. The Junior Market caters to smaller and newer public companies, which may not meet all the requirements for listing on the Regular market. Companies listing on the Junior Market must have a minimum equity capital of 1,000,000 shares with a minimum stated capitalization value of BBD$200,000.00.” So how do you get started? First – do yourself a favour and do some homework. “For the novice investor it is imperative to always start with education. That should be the base point,” advised Blenman, adding: “You won’t become an expert unless you equip yourself with the tools and knowledge to get there.” Determining one’s appetite for risk is part of this education process. If you are willing and able to take a


good deal of risk, you could be in for higher financial returns and rewards. Alternatively, if you have a low appetite for risk, a conservative strategy can still reap satisfying rewards. In both strategies, diversification can be key. Blenman explains how a diversified approach can balance things out. “Positive gains in lower risk investments can offset the negative impacts of higher risk investments that are underperforming,” After you’ve conducted your research, the next step would be

to contact one of the trained and registered brokers who are listed on the exchange’s website www.bse.com.bb. “There are nine Registered Brokers authorized to trade shares on the board of the BSE. The BSE cannot suggest which Broker a prospective investor uses, we can only inform the prospective investor of which companies are authorized to provide brokerage services,” outlined Blenman. From there, you can be on your way to creating wealth and a legacy for yourself, your family and your island.

I am an islandista

Featuring Dr Donna Matthew

“The Doctor who Dared”

Blover of life, Dr Donna old, vivacious and a

Matthew has many sides to her. The young physician is also a savvy entrepreneur, a dedicated Carnival baby and even an occasional model for local retailers. And while these sides are pretty well known to Barbadian society, she is also a loyal daughter and a woman of faith. Read more about the multifaceted Dr Matthew in our latest instalment of I Am An Islandista. WHO Islandista: Is Dr. Donna Matthew? Dr. Donna Matthew: How much time do we have for this interview?! Just kidding! I am an entrepreneur-a medical and beauty doctor by trade. It’s a blessing to help people look great and feel awesome. When I’m not in the office working, I’m out and about enjoying life to the max! I: Has most influenced what you’re doing now? DM: God, for sure. I look to Him for direction in my business endeavors and for guidance on how to run my life. My family is also a great influence. My mother, who raised me as a single parent,


is a teacher. She taught me that a sound education really makes a great foundation for success. My dad, who is Trinidadian and lives in Trinidad, is very ambitious and loves entrepreneurship. I think I take after him in that respect. My godfather, the late Lester Vaughan, was a great influence while I was growing up. He had a passion for life and was always smiling and cheerful. He helped shape my core values.

WHAT I: Is an Islandista to you? DM: An islandista is confident, resourceful, fearless, vibrant and enthusiastic about life. I: Do you love most about your island? DM: I love my Bajan peopletheir warmth, intelligence, and sense of style. I love the food, the beaches, the sun, and the cool relaxed vibe. I love the fact that our leaders, past and present, shaped this island to be a

safe, comfortable, place to be in. I: Do you miss most about your island when you are not there? DM: Definitely the warm weather and the beaches. WHERE I: Where do you see yourself in 5 years? DM: Fast forward five years and I’m married to an incredible husband and I’m a wonderful mother to two children. In terms of work, I see myself doing a lot more

I’ll be retired – yes, retired; travelling the world and continuing to enjoy life. I: Is your happy place? DM: At home reading a good book or magazine. I just completed “Breakout” by Joel Osteen which is an absolute must read! I: Do you call home? DM: Barbados and Trinidad to some extent since some of my family live there and I feel very at home there. But there’s no denying that something special I feel when I look through the plane window and see Barbadian soil. I am so proud to live here. WHEN I: You worry and what do you worry about? DM: I do not worry. I once read a book that said that worry is fear, and fear and faith cannot coexist in the same spirit. So I decided to stop the worrying. I usually say a prayer and take my next step in faith. God does the rest. I: Are you happiest? DM: All of the time. This is something I work on daily. I’m super committed to being happy in the moment and doing things that please me and make me happy-no exceptions. Life is meant to be enjoyed, every single moment of it! to impact and help society, especially for the women of the Caribbean. I: In 10 years? DM: Hopefully, in a decade,

WHY I: Do you love what you do? DM: I love what I do because it changes people’s lives for the better. Whether it’s

I love what I do because it changes people’s lives for the better. helping patients with their weight loss journey or helping them feel more comfortable in their skin, I feel very fulfilled at the end of each work day. I love that my job is not just about making people look great but it’s also about helping them feel awesome about who they are. HOW I: Would you like to be remembered? DM: As someone who loved life and lived it to the full, while embracing and helping other people along the way. I’d also love to be remembered as the doctor who dared and as a result, made a positive impact on others and a strong contribution to my country. I: Do you unwind? DM: I make the gym a daily priority. I find that boxing class is a great way to keep the stress levels down. Not to mention it increases endorphins, the feel-good hormone. I also enjoy a good party whenever one comes around. I take a vacation; personally, I’ve made it mandatory that I take one every 2-3 months. And on weekends, I also enjoy a good restaurant or movie with friends to unwind.

The Iron Gardens Perry Gap, Roebuck Street Adults

$5, Children $2



I went to


with my baby Hyour dreams?

ow far are you willing to go for

For Shamkoe Pilé, she was willing to go 1228 miles north to a place where she had no family so that she could attend the University of the West Indies, Mona in Jamaica. Of course, lots of young people do that every year. But very few take their 2 year old daughter along with them while they do it. Shamkoe did, taking daughter Kaiowa to live with her for the majority of her three-year bachelor’s degree program at Mona’s Caribbean Institute of Media and Communications (CARIMAC). And so determined was she that Shamkoe did it by cobbling together the money from her Barbados Exhibition, a student loan and part-time jobs which she fit in around her full-time studies. Reflecting now on her decision, she explains: “I could not imagine leaving my baby, even though I knew she would be in excellent care and I couldn’t imagine not pursuing my dream.” Their journey to Jamaica started in Shamkoe’s final year at the Barbados Community College when, as a 19 year old student pursuing her associate’s degree in Mass Communications, she discovered that she was pregnant. It was a jolt for the ambitious young woman – her parents were “very disappointed” in their eldest daughter and she herself wondered if she had put her dreams on hold. While her boyfriend and her mother turned out to be towers of strength, she had only herself to rely on when bouts of nausea affected her studying. She gave birth in the summer after


she finished her BCC program. A year then passed by and Shamkoe felt her dreams passing her by. “I felt nothing was happening for me career-wise. This made me extremely miserable because growing up; I had always envisioned that I would work in media and communications. I also had to use my Exhibition within a certain

Photographer: Amleya Clarke time. So I applied to CARIMAC.” Her family and boyfriend were very nervous and at first tried to nudge her towards her second choice - studying law at home at the Cave Hill campus. However Shamkoe is the kind that when her “mind is made up, there’s no turning back” and discussions eventually turned to planning how to make it work. Fate intervened in the months leading up to her departure as she met Jamaican Amba Chevannes at a local script-writing workshop. “My spirit took to hers. I told her I was coming to Jamaica with my daughter and obviously I questioned her about the island. Amba helped me to find accommodation and we eventually became very good friends. She was the only person I knew in Jamaica before I moved there,” Shamkoe relates. Amba’s parents, retired principal Pauletta and the late, renowned Jamaican anthropologist Professor Barry Chevannes “adopted” the young mother and toddler. “It’s amazing how they made us feel at home. When I got sick or Kaiowa got sick, they were there for me. I always remember for Kaiowa’s sports day [I couldn’t go] and one day, while we were visiting our “Jamaican family”, Kai said she was upset no one would see her run. On sports day, Barry came to support Kaiowa, and he was able to [tell us how] she won the pick-upyour-toys-race.” Their support, plus that of


Glamour for a great cause at Tickled Pink 2013.

a dedicated caregiver at Kaiowa’s nursery, helped the young mother juggle multiple responsibilities. But it was still far from easy and she had to develop keen time management skills and make sacrifices. “Naturally, being in a foreign country, I had very few babysitters so while my classmates were out partying, I stayed home. It forces you to grow up, so I became a boss at time management and budgeting. During free time at school, I would sometimes go to the library to do additional research. At home, I would read and prepare assignments while she slept at night. I mastered completing projects at least a week before the deadlines because I couldn’t risk not being able to submit my work in the event she woke up one morning sick.” The upshot of this, besides her first class honours degree (oh yes!) is the incredibly close relationship she and her daughter share. “In Jamaica, I kept drilling in her ‘we only have each other to depend on, so we have to be totally honest, even if we must own up to doing something wrong.’ Being alone and together for so long, Kaiowa and I matured together. We played, we read, we even cried together when we missed home,” Shamkoe shares. Looking back now on her experience, her advice for other young mothers trying to do it all, is flavoured with her characteristic determination. “Pregnancy and motherhood should improve who you are as a person... Having children is never an excuse for not achieving your goals - in fact, this should motivate you even more.”

Tickled Pink CHARITY CHICKS from Page 17 inspiring woman,” effused Kelly. That first Tickled Pink gave rise to the Charity Chicks as Tracey, Kelly and Maddy, bonded by their “shared faith in the impact Charity Chicks can have within our community” decided to make it official and became registered charity #845. Since then they have raised funds for causes such as Camp Pride – a summer camp for diabetic children and connected their members with volunteer opportunities from The Story Club, Clean Up Barbados and the Globeathon Walk to End Women’s Cancers, among others. And while both their charitable efforts and glamorous charitable events tend to be female-focused, they are ably and amply supported by a dedicated corps of male volunteers, dubbed the Men In Pink. The Men in Pink team includes the males in their lives, both older and younger. “One of my best moments was the day my older son came into the kitchen to ask me when he would be eligible to be a Man in Pink… the fact that he wanted to participate more was the essence of what we’re trying to achieve. He’s our very first Teen in Pink!” declared Maddy. With five children between the three of them, they understand intimately how the tricky work-life balance can make it challenging to dedicate time to a cause. This is why one of their goals is “helping others discover how best to give

Tickled Pink 2013 guests in a poseoff in the fun photo booth. back to their community in their own way” by connecting members with a range of charitable events, volunteer opportunities and donation opportunities. “What works for some doesn’t work for all, but there is something every one of us can do,” affirmed Tracey. Read more about the Charity Chicks’ work and some of their 2014 plans in an extensive interview on our website www.islandistas.com.



Can the Modern Islandista

Have It All?

IBefore I sat down to t’s 9:14 pm.

write this article, I bathed and dressed my 2 year old daughter, washed the dishes, unpacked her nursery bag, dealt with one successful potty break and one unsuccessful one, wiped up pee, put away toys and took clothes out of the dryer. In my younger days, I loved reading features in women’s magazines which highlighted glamorous, exciting, successful career women. Almost inevitably their profilers would breathlessly declare: “she has it all!” In the glorious naivety of youth, I confidently declared that I too would have it all. And I did and I do. I have a wonderful husband, a great job, an adorable daughter and even a business on the side – the magazine you’re reading now. I love them all to distraction, but I’m pretty sure the women’s magazines tricked me. Having it all is exhausting! As a result, the aforementioned clothes made it out of the dryer but haven’t yet made it to the drawers or closets where they belong. And after washing ‘all’ of the dishes, I discovered I forgot a pan that had been set aside until I got the smaller items




washed. I shoved it in the oven. Don’t judge me. So much ink has been spilled on the concept of having it all when the truth is that our idea of it is based on having the life men had for generations – the ability to both have a career and enjoy a family. But the sticking point that no-one ever pointed out was that those men had wives. If the modern woman had a wife, well then surely we could have it all the way those men of old did. Not wives like me, mind you. I’m talking about the old-time kind that cooked and cleaned and took care of the

children, so that after a long day at work, a man could come home to a hot meal and clean children. Which brings us to the flipside of this conundrum. The modern man isn’t having it all anymore either. For instance, the only culinary skill my late grandfather (God rest his soul) mastered in his 95 years was making a cup of tea. My husband on the other hand, is a boss cook who prepares the majority of the meals in our home. We split the laundry and childcare. However he doesn’t do dishes and is adamant about not learning how to do our daughter’s hair. So what does having it all mean for modern islandistas? Perhaps it means not being so hard on ourselves. Human nature being what it is, we are almost always going to have our moments where we yearn to have the things we don’t have, thinking that when we do, we will truly have it all. I was powerfully reminded of this some years

back when as a new mother readjusting to being back at work away from my baby, I casually posted that I wished I could be a housewife. First, I was surprised at how many other female friends and colleagues ‘liked’ the status especially since nearly every single one was a professional woman with an advanced degree. But perhaps most surprising was the interjection from a slightly older islandista whom I greatly admire, who cautioned “no you don’t!” She had taken time out from her career to be a housewife and stay at home mom. While she valued the time she got to spend with her children, she said frankly that she did not recommend it for the long term, pointing out the longing for adult conversation, people’s misconceptions that housewives had it easy and the hit that can have on the ego of an ambitious woman. The irony of this is that she definitely seems to be someone who has it all and even with the career break, came back to enviably highprofile and engaging jobs. It just goes to show that no matter what your definition of having it all is, there is always going to be something missing from the equation until you decide for yourself that nothing is missing. Having it all is everything that you have and treasure right now.

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Profile for Islandista Magazine

Islandista Magazine Holiday 2013  

Celebrate the spirit of giving and enjoy fantastic fashion in our Holiday 2013 edition! Featuring the Charity Chicks, Dr Donna Matthew, Esth...

Islandista Magazine Holiday 2013  

Celebrate the spirit of giving and enjoy fantastic fashion in our Holiday 2013 edition! Featuring the Charity Chicks, Dr Donna Matthew, Esth...