Buddy Darby, Lindsay Grant and Dale Kelly Cut ribbon

By Loshaun Dixon

Basseterre, St. Kitts-Local artists in St. Kitts and Nevis will be provided with a platform to sell their artwork with the opening of  Dale’s Original Art And Style at Christophe Harbour Marina.

The store is the first retail outlet to be opened to the public at the site.

Speaking at the opening of the of the store Friday, Dec. 30, Chief Executive Officer at Christophe Harbour Charles ‘Buddy’ Darby said the opening marks another milestone at Christophe Harbour

“It also a celebration of community and the spirit of community that is alive here today,” he said.

Mr. Darby said the management wants to create an experience that is not only in keeping with their own brand but one that is also carefully planned and rooted in authenticity.

“These retail shops will showcase the best of St. Kitts and Nevis to visitors from around the world and likewise bring a global influence to our shores in a complementary way. We are thrilled to have Dale’s open the first shop in the Marina Village,” he added.

He praised the proprietor of the store Dale Kelly for what he called her ‘revolutionary initiative.’

“Not only does she possess a strong pioneering spirit, she uses that spirit to encourage local artist to follow their entrepreneurial dreams,” he said.

Tourism Minister Lindsay Grant  said he was pleased that the first retail store to open at the Marina was locally owned and that the products are locally crafted.

“The first store that is being opened is locally owned but the products that would be emanating from it would be of the highest quality and all locally produced. That for me is the essence of what we want to deliver,” Mr. Grant stated.

He said the quality of the product that will be on sale is ‘exquisite’ and can be sold anywhere regionally and internationally.

Grant said if local people take opportunities that are available to them this is a testimony to what can be done.

“I must encourage those out there who are young budding upcoming entrepreneurs that the opportunities available over the next two to three to five years are going to be tremendous. People have to get on board because this Government would like to see our people be put first,” he said.

Grant praised the progress of Christophe Harbour and the importance of the organization to the tourism sector

“This is a working progress and nothing comes overnight…it takes time to evolve. Year after year we see new avenues being opened and we see the products being opened by them and so it gives you the feeling it is happening,” he declared.

Store owner Dale Kelly stressed that all of the products are locally made and features paintings, stone and wood carvings, and jewelry made by Federation citizens.

“All the jewelery and the artwork is of the highest quality and the paintings are gallery product,” she said.

She gave her rationale behind opening such a unique store, saying, “It has been a lifelong vision and dream. I feel as if we have made an outlet for up market art. Our artists are great and the quality of their work is fantastic…I want an avenue where they can make the highest amount for their art.”

She said all the art is original and that people will not be overcharged for the creations. Prices range from $100 to 20,000 per piece.