Melissa Thomas turned into going to play it safe, however, her ardor for design took her in a totally distinctive route. With Territory Six, her new shop in Christiansted, St. Croix, Thomas discovered that taking a chance can surely pay off.
Born and raised on St. Croix, Thomas went to Johnson & Wales University in North Carolina to take a look at accounting, but her lifelong innovative aptitude, in the long run, changed her route.
“I continually desired to do amusing matters due to the fact that elementary college, but fashion design is risky. I was seeking to play it secure and be realistic,” she stated, “however I found out I didn’t adore it.”
From North Carolina, Thomas headed to the Art Institute of California-San Diego. There she studied her genuine ardor, fashion layout.
Back on St. Croix, Thomas’ enterprise commenced organically. She started by using making her Badili sandals (“badly” is the Swahili phrase for “trade”), now her signature style. Handmade, those one-of-a-type sandals may be laced in numerous exclusive methods with interchangeable laces made from constrained edition textiles. Selling from her home and at activities which includes the Agricultural and Food Fair and Mango Melee, she soon created an online save, adding additional sandal styles as well as brand new Ankara and tradition-inspired bags, clothing, and jewelry constructed from the leftover cloth, cowrie shells and other substances.
The area on King Street in Christiansted was available for quite some time. At first, Thomas’ awareness was strictly on online income. Eventually, she realized the opportunity the space presented and he or she knew she wanted a storefront in some unspecified time in the future, so she took a soar of religion. She commenced making ready the distance in October and held the grand beginning of Territory Six this past Saturday. Why Territory Six? Written as a Roman numeral, six reads VI, a clever manner to incorporate the Virgin Islands within the name.
With her designs, Thomas’ purpose is to bring the Afro-Caribbean vibe to the younger generation and get them excited about their subculture, whilst still conserving appeal for older customers. She contains traditional textiles which include local madras and tribal fabrics to create unique fashion statements.
“I try and make it sustainable. I don’t need to waste any fabric,” Thomas said. “I create something lovely with every inch. I took all of the greater portions and made something with it.”
As she settles into her new area, Thomas is bringing in different manufacturers, but her very own line can be the focus, and she will hold to work on new designs. Customers may be a part of the method by way of operating with her to create a custom look. Although imparting women’s wear best for the instant, Territory Six will carry gadgets for guys inside the 12 months.
“I’m usually running on something new due to the fact I like to create,” Thomas stated. “It’s now not just a job to me. I really want to encourage creativity. I want humans to be inspired and feel alive and stay their dream with something tangible.”
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