A love for tourism and sales took Mrs. Joan Ann John from Guyana, the land of her birth, to Barbados where she hand made and sold macramé bags mainly to tourists.
Ms. John was drawn to St. Vincent by the chords of marriage, when in 1984 husband decided to return home to St. Vincent and she followed him.
Upon arriving in St. Vincent, she began looking for the materials tocontinue her craft but could not fidn the macramé strings anywhere on the island.
While still pondering over what todo for a living in her new found home, she visited the wharf to watch the cruise ships and there she spotted a pile of conch shells. She inquired as to the owner and was told that it was garbage and that she could take all she wanted.
The fishermen's garbage became the first step in mrs. John's unique trade in St. Vincent and the Grenadines. She took hom a sack of conch shells added her personal touch and retailed them at the same Cruise ship Wharf.
While on the Young Island dock one day, Ms. John had a bright idea as she looked at the Poinciana tree. "Shak Shak, would make an excellent souvenir", she thought.
the sale of shak shak and conch shells, Ms. John gradually expanded her trade
to include other items such as t- shirts, tie and dye beach wear and any little
item marketable to tourists. Before long, she had a striving business supplying
visitors with many unique souvenirs. With tourism being seasonal Ms. John
commenced sewing various garments during the slow season which she wholesaled
and retailed in the Grenadines and Grenada.
In 2001, when the Cruise ship berth was built, Ms. John was the first to secure a shop and with funding from the NDF opened the now fully stocked Island Style Boutique.
In addition to funding, Ms. John has received training from the NDF in several areas of small business development. She strongly believes that personal development is imperative to the growth and survival of her business and uses every opportunity to enhance her entrepreneurial skills.