This post is also available in: Dutch.
The Holiday season is one of the most commercialized season’s of the year with shops screaming louder and louder for the consumer’s attention to trigger them into buying new stuff yet again, even though your ‘old stuff’ hasn’t even been properly introduced to your world yet.
Almost everyone at one point or another succumbs to commercial screams by buying something they don’t really need. The call for change, for responsible and sustainable alternatives for the celebrations gets more widespread, however, and is powered by organizations and individuals who are convinced that celebrations need to be built on attention for not only profit (as it usually comes down to), but also the people and the planet in the well known 3-levels of sustainable development. It’s the people and the planet which are more often than not forgotten in the equation of any development world wide.
On small islands, especially those considered to be Small Island Developing States (SIDS), of which Curacao is one, the combination of these three levels on an equal basis is usually not even considered, as the short term economic revenues and thus profit are the only measurement of political and economical success. But there is a change in the making on this 444 km2 small island as well, as the voice of the local people gets stronger and stronger, demanding attention for the people and the planet in the equation. It’s not about the government anymore, the demand for responsible development comes from the people themselves, who are searching for new ways to show their ideas and creativity on the subject. And no better moment than the Holidays to see how creative people can get, inspired by the culture and nature of Curacao to create the most beautiful, and more importantly, locally handmade arts, crafts and other precious products, paying honors to the heritage of the island and producing a whole new kind of product. An alternative to commercialization in which the idea of buying local is incorporated. There are already really amazing alternatives to the typical commercial gifts for the holidays and even for all other festive moments for the rest of the year as well.
To make things easier for you, we are preparing an overview of the endless possibilities and creations available on our island, varying from jewelery to traditional sweet and savory delights, from the use of used wood in new furniture to books about our heritage. It certainly will not be a finished list before we get to this Christmas, and may never be complete, but we sure want to make sure it gives an impression of the diversity of our Island’s own products. To make things clear: we do not have any financial motives for sharing these products, nor do we receive any sponsoring for sharing. We were simply inspired by the featured products and the people responsible for their creation.
Potpourri and other delightful smelling stuff by Crafted by Angel
My surname is as local as can be, da Costa Gomez is a well known name on our island. There are two lines in the family, however, and I belong to the da Costa Gomez with a minor letter d, instead of the large D as it’s usually written down. The family is huge, and all da or Da Costa Gomez members are family one way or another.
Last week I finally met Angelique Da Costa Gomez, founder and owner of Crafted by Angel. I had heard many things about her and we were connected on Facebook, of course, but we never met face to face.
“To experience love and joy and share that with everyone who gets touched one way or the other by Crafted by Angel. To create awareness about the beauty of life. To create awareness about nature, all it has to offer and how we can protect it”, is the description of the many products she creates. Now I am a sucker for smell, and I am very particular about what I like and what I don’t, and as such buying perfume or any other kind of product for me in which smell is an essential element, is an impossible job better to be left to myself. On the Christmas market at Landhuis Bloemhof on December 1st I was lured to the stand of Crafted by Angel, guided by my nose as I smelled one of the most tantalizing smell combinations my olfactory system ever was confronted with: clove, cinnamon and orange. And there it was, a small sachet of potpourri, made by Angelique herself, luring me in. And finally Angelique and I met in person, over a great collection and variety of sachets with local made potpourri’s, bath salts, scrubs with coconut and lavender and much more, all exclusively made with natural ingredients and no chemicals.
Besides the herb based articles she showed me some really great corporate gift ideas with a wink to local nature, like reusable wine bags, hand painted domino sets from natural materials, coconut decorations and other ideas that inspire an alternative vibe to the giving of presents in general.
If you want to see what Angelique produces, take a look at www.facebook.com/craftedbyangel or call her for more info at +59995149424.
I must say, I am more than happy with my sachet of potpourri which is smelling away in my bedroom, luring me into taking a sniff every time I walk by.