Caymanite Jewelry, Cayman Brac
Caymanite is a semi-precious stone with bands of white, pink, red and brown minerals found only in the Cayman Islands. Artisan Tenson Scott at NIM Things on Cayman Brac has a good selection of jewelry and even better stories.
Red Bays Baskets, Andros Island
At Red Bays, watch descendants of Black Seminoles who fled enslavement in Florida in 1821 weave thatch palms into beautiful baskets, often sold from front porches.
Model Boats, Bequia
Take home a piece of Bequia's boat building tradition by visiting model-boat-building workshops, such as Mauvin's or Sargeant Brothers'. Select a model boat or custom-order a replica of your own yacht.
Cruzan Hook Bracelets, St. Croix
Look for the C-hook (for St. Croix) bracelet, often made in silver and gold and sold all over the island. The lore goes like this: clasp the hook up (toward your heart) if your love is taken, or down (toward others) if you are available.
Molas, San Blas Archipelago
The Kuna women of Panama hand-stitch multilayered fabric panels called molas that are then sewn into their blouses - an iconic symbol of their culture. When they tire of the garments, they unthread the panels and trade them or sell them to collectors.
The enterprising women of Saba turned this unique form of thread tying into a cottage industry, beginning around 1880. At first, the Saban artisans mailed letters describing their wares and stating their prices to the addresses of merchants who shipped goods to the island. Today, the world comes to them. Saba lace comes in all sizes, from a coaster to a tablecloth, and is a prized souvenir.