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By Elke O'Donnell | Photos by Carlo Lee
For one-of-a-kind Caymanian gifts, shop The National Trust's new Cayman's Nature Store and some of our favourite local artisans.
The National Trust’s role since 1987 has been to protect the future of Cayman’s heritage by preserving the history and biodiversity of the Cayman Islands. Since its inception, the National Trust strives to educate the community and visitors about Cayman’s history and culture. Their programmes and events aim to enhance visitors’ experiences in the Cayman Islands by engulfing them in art, culture, history and the environment including programmes and events.
Cayman's Nature Store
The Trust expanded its purpose of preserving the environment and sites of historical significance by opening their new shoppe, Cayman’s Nature Store. The aim of the newly re-designed retail store is to provide a space for locals and tourists to shop for environmentally responsible products whilst supporting local vendors. The store offers a diverse selection of locally made eco-friendly products aligning with Cayman’s heritage and culture. Products showcased at the store promote a sustainable lifestyle with options from Cayman Logwood, 3 Girls & a Kiln, Beach Bubbles Handmade Soaps, Ted Green Fragrances, The Wick Organic Soy Candles and Siggy Bags.
In addition to sustainable products, guests will find works from artisans from all artistic backgrounds, including jewellery, wood art, photos on canvas, paintings, books and more. Gifts for children range from nature-themed activity kits to adventure toys perfect for every age. Visitors can choose from binoculars, make-your-own yo-yo, stretchy lizards, insects in amber slime, paint-your-own birdhouse, hand-powered flashlights, create-your-own dragon kits and more.
Buyers can feel good spending their money in the Nature Store, as all proceeds go towards the continued efforts of the National Trust in preserving the heritage, culture and environment of the Cayman Islands.
Products aren’t the only feature of the Nature Store. Visitors can also dine for conservation. Open Monday to Friday,
9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Cayman’s Nature Store offers scrumptious vegan soups from Island Naturals Cafe, Powder Monkey Marshmallows and Island Taste Patties.
Choose from a delicious selection of coffee, mochas, cappuccinos, hot chocolate and tea. Also on the menu are grab-and-go sandwiches and locally baked goods. Visitors can also dine café-style on the store's front porch with scenic views of the Dart Park.
The National Trust and Cayman’s Nature Store house a treasure trove of art, food and drink, with charming park views all wrapped up in an environmentally sustainable package you can feel good about enjoying — and take a piece back home to friends and family.
Cayman’s Nature Store provides a diverse range of choices for Christmas gifts for every member of the family.
3 Girls and a Kiln
This art collective is made up of three artists who focus on local art, fun design and island-inspired creativity. Aimee, Claire and Deborah each bring something new and different to the studio thanks to their different art backgrounds. Claire and Aimee met through the Visual Art Society in 2012, and bonded over their love of clay. Aimee and Claire showed their work together before meeting Deborah in 2013. Their different art backgrounds are a mixture of all their strengths and make for a beautiful alliance of art and friendship. They started making art for themselves before making art for others. Once the orders grew, the girls knew their collaboration was the beginning of something marvellous.
They use earthenware clay along with colourful and bold glazes for their ceramics, and each artist creates pieces of art uniquely their own. They draw inspiration from the ocean and people they encounter each day. Their diverse collection of works include Cayman-inspired pieces, ceramics, drawings and illustrations, home décor, kitchen accessories and more. They also come in a wide range of patterns and designs.
3 Girls and a Kiln offer various sized ornaments in their signature patterns and island-inspired holiday pieces. Between all of the products they have on offer, choosing the perfect gift for friends and family won’t be easy. To learn more about 3 Girls and a Kiln, visit 3girlsandakiln.com.
The dream child of Lysha Manderson, Squirrelly Studio got its name from the popular saying, “Squirrel!” In honour of her daughter, Lysha woke up one Sunday morning and decided to go for it. It all started with an Instagram post. The fear of rejection was overcome by the excitement of the adventure and Squirrelly Studio launched in April of 2016.
Squirrelly Studio started as a few handmade gifts for family and friends and turned into a love of sharing positivity through words, art and Cayman’s incredible lifestyle. Each piece is meticulous in design and cut, before being prepped and painted. No two signs are identical, as every piece of wood is unique.
Squirrelly Studio creations come in a range of sizes, from small works to fit in your home to sizable pieces for parties and events as large as a wedding or your child’s birth. They’re perfect for business and schools, with phrases to encourage and motivate. Grab one of their Cayman Kind pieces, Caymanian sayings or works with a map of the islands.
Want a custom order? No problem! Choose your own size, colour and phrase, and Squirrelly Studio will create a design that speaks to and represents you. If you dream it, Squirrelly Studio can bring your idea to life.
Squirrely Studios are designing and prepping for Christmas depicting holiday colours and sayings, all wrapped up with Cayman flair and island vibes. New orders are open until 25 November, to guarantee Christmas delivery, so don’t wait — place your order today.
See Squirrelly Studio’s fantastic creations at Instagram.com/squirrellystudio.
Lyn Ebanks moved from Canada to Grand Cayman in 1992 and worked as a commercial producer for the local television station. After 20 years of producing TV commercials, Ebanks was ready for a change, so she retired from broadcasting to spend time working on a piece of land she owned. The land proved to be a utopia of trees and wild flora, supporting a fascinating and diverse ecosystem, a Winter haven for a broad range of migratory birds, and a regular nesting site for the local green heron. Ebanks decided to photograph the birds for identification purposes and a new adventure began.
The Cayman Islands are famous for its incredible marine life, but not many people notice the equal wonders on land. Ebanks wanted to introduce people to Cayman’s other wildlife, like birds, crabs, lizards, snakes, butterflies and more. Ebanks captures the animals in their natural habitat, bringing out their stunning beauty and the vibrant colours of the surrounding environment. Her passion for preserving Cayman’s wildlife is reflected in the animals she studies before immortalising them in print.
Ebanks is new to the art scene and her collection of animal images include postcards, prints in a variety of sizes and photos on canvas. She provides private viewings of stock photos if buyers desire a specific image, animal or colour to add to their home or business. Her photos and in-depth knowledge of the animals make them an exceptional choice for any classroom.
Whether you buy postcards or choose a print on canvas, Ebanks’ stunning photos make unique gifts for the animal lover or conservationist in the family this holiday season. For requests and inquiries, e-mail [email protected].
Craft Markets and Shoppes to Visit: