Made in the Caribbean

Caribbean Export Development Agency is hosting Design Caribbean amid the splendour the five star Occidental El Embajador. From 1- 4 September artisans from all CARIFORUM countries will be exhibiting their unique, hand-crafted products. Recognising only the best of the best – the leatherwork, ceramics, weaving, woodwork and jewelry on display have all been vetted for quality of workmanship, aesthetic and emotional appeal.

Design Caribbean was born out of the Caribbean Gift and Craft Show that ran for 15 years. That show has been revamped and rebranded to take account of the high quality of products on display – products not otherwise readily available. Many of the artisans benefited from design workshops run by Caribbean Export and the ITC that were held in Trinidad, Jamaica, Barbados, Haiti and the Dominican Republic. It was exciting to see the synergies and incredible improvement in the products as a result of these workshops.

Convinced of the economic and social value of the creative industries to the livelihood of several countries in the region, many governments have begun pushing the creative industries at the forefront of their growth strategy. Handicrafts, music, film, fashion and fine art are all part of the tourism experience and can be harnessed to enhance this experience. Design Caribbean intends to collect the value of the creative industries that remains on the table.

Design Caribbean has offered a preview of the wonderful hand made products that can be accessed via our online shopping opportunity on The retailer buyers are able to preview textiles in bold, graphic designs. There is woodwork and leatherwork made by traditional means by incorporating contemporary designs. Exclusive and hotel gift shops are able to access one of a kind jewellery and sculptural pieces that would not be out of place in Paris or New York boutiques. The weaving and ceramics are striking, unique and surprising designs – blending the old and new.

The excitement of Design Caribbean does not finish here in the Dominican Republic. In 2012, we take Design Caribbean out of the region and onto the London stage during the London Olympics.