Female entrepreneurs, artists show off their stuff

By Vicki Wheaton

11 April 2023

Black woman holding art work
Camana Bay's pop-up market was held as part of Women's History Month celebrations. — Photo: Vicki Wheaton

“Have a great day, and thank you for supporting my small business,” said Diane Manderson with a smile, as she handed a bag to two young customers.

Obviously happy with their purchases, the teenagers smiled and thanked her back as they left to peruse the other stalls at the all-women market, held at Camana Bay on Saturday, 11 March.

The event was held to celebrate International Women’s Day, which was officially observed on 8 March. From crafts and homemade soaps to beauty products and books, the range of items displayed at the many booths was impressive and diverse.

Each lady to whom we spoke had been inspired to start their business in different ways. For Manderson, it was the COVID-19 pandemic that got her creative juices flowing.

D’s Krafty Occasions
Manderson had worked with the Port Authority for years, and never realised she had it in her to be artsy in any way, until, like many others, she was forced to spend long periods of time at home. It clearly awoke a hidden talent in the Caymanian craftswoman, as she sells a (literally) dazzling array of pieces, bejewelled with rhinestones and glitter. Mirrors and bottles are transformed into works of art, while also showing her knack for recycling.

“These corks are all recycled,” she said, pointing to a rack of repurposed objects.

“Everything is handmade,” she added, and said that she often gets orders to create custom pieces. Her Instagram account is how clients discover her work, which makes it easy for her to be a mobile operation.

“That and the markets are where you’ll find me,” she said.

EK Jasmine books
EK Jasmine may be an author familiar to many children, but Karen Chin, the imagination behind the pseudonym, is a prolific writer who has published no fewer than 12 books to date.

She said that it was a trip to Alaska, where she saw "A-Z" and “1, 2, 3… " books, that inspired her to adapt a similar theme to the Cayman Islands. Large, colourful volumes cover local topics that children in the islands will recognise, particularly the flora and fauna – such as fruits and marine life.

Chin often participates in the local markets, but her books can also be found in Next Chapter, in Camana Bay.

Marcia Codner, whose colourful booth stood out with its serving boards, coasters and artworks, said that she started producing pieces six years ago.

“I’m completely self-taught,” she said. “I needed a hobby, and living in the Cayman Islands, the views inspired me.”

She had perfectly represented the range of blues in the Caribbean Sea, the waves of which appeared to crash halfway up her serving boards, thanks to some impressive talent with the mix of mediums. There was also a black-and-white canvas of a lionfish in full regalia up for sale, and a triptych of swirling blues and yellows that might remind one of silversides at Eden Rock.

Codner often has a stall at the Camana Bay Farmers & Artisans Market on Wednesdays on the Paseo.

While customers browsed the stalls, the talented Jardae Barnes played guitar and sang – an excellent addition to the theme of the day.

This article was originally featured in the April 2023 print edition of Camana Bay Times.

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