Island Beat (January/February 1998)

Chronicling life round the islands.


Rally round the West Indies

Waves gently lapping against quiet beaches, palm trees swaying in the wind, year-round sunshine, music, carnivals and friendly people — isn’t that what the Caribbean is all about? Well, add to the list the aggressive sport of car rallying. Unlikely as it may seem, motorsport thrives in the Caribbean, with circuit races, hill climbs, sprints and even drag racing; but by far the most popular form of it is rallying.

Maybe the thought of sitting in a car in 35-degree heat, negotiating some of the most demanding roads in the world, doesn’t inspire you. But it drives a growing army of fans to great excitement. Caribbean motorsport enthusiasts are instinctively competitive, there’s a huge variety of roads around the islands, and the terrain lends itself naturally to rallying, pushing both the driver and co-driver to their limits.

The UK is regarded as the mecca of rallying by the Caribbean teams, and they are always keen to show the Brits the strength of the competition on the other side of the Atlantic. Some teams have invested in state-of-the-art technology which would be at home at rallies in Britain. At the other end of the scale, less expensive road-going cars and less experienced teams compete on an equally competitive level. To cope with Caribbean conditions, modifications have been made to many of the cars, including improvements to their cooling systems, for the comfort of the vehicles as well as their crews.

The popularity of rallying gave rise to an inter-island series in 1996, when both Jamaica and Barbados hosted events. Trinidad added a third event, followed by Guadeloupe; the four countries now stage the Caribbean Rally Championship.

The 1997 series was given a boost when Tecmarine Shipping Lines agreed to sponsor the championship, transporting cars from island to island, cutting out a major expense and thus allowing more participation. Texaco also helped the organising clubs defray the costs of staging the events. As well as competing for individual honours, driver and navigator represent their country in competition for the team prize.

Texaco Tecmarine Caribbean Rally Championship 1998
Barbados, May 16–17; Guadeloupe, June 20–21; Jamaica, July 25–26;
Trinidad, August 29–30


BARBADOS

Open air music

The star of last year’s Holder’s Season — Luciano Pavarotti — may be a hard act to beat, but this year the programme of this unusual music festival promises plenty of variety as it celebrates opera, music, theatre and sport.

The 1998 season begins with a Classical Calypso Evening on March 21 and ends with a concert on April 6, featuring The Desperadoes Steel Orchestra from Trinidad and the festival’s Orchestra in an evening of classical favourites. In between are such opera classics as Bizet’s Carmen and Rossini’s The Barber of Seville, plus a Shakespearean evening, If Music Be The Food Of Love (March 24). Barbados’s star jazz performer Arturo Tappin and the Holder’s Band perform with singer Lester Garrett(March 28), and there’s a celebration of cricket called Wit and Willow (March 30).

April performances are An Evening with Mr Mozart and Dr Haydn (April 2), and a Gala/Picnic on April 5 with The Desperadoes, the Orchestra and the Barbados Youth Orchestra in an updated performance of Inkle and Yarico — The New Musical. Holder’s Season is held in the grounds of Holder’s House, originally the “great house” of a sugar plantation in the parish of St James. For more information, contact the Barbados Tourism Authority (246 427-2623) or Holder’s House (246 432-6385).

Look out for . . .

The Congaline Street Festival (April 27–May 1). Now in its fifth year, this nine-day carnival climaxes in a T-shirt band parade. The Congaline Village provides a daily exhibition forum and marketplace, free entertainment and local arts and crafts.

The Oistins Fish Festival (April 10–13). This is one of the popular Eastertime events in Barbados. Local people and visitors celebrate the bounty of the sea in this fishing town with daily and nightly cookouts and lots of partying. The programme includes fishing, boat racing, fish boning competitions, a Coast Guard Exhibition, food stalls, art and crafts, dancing, singing and road races.

Another Easter passion in Barbados is the big kite-flying competition at the Garrison Savannah in Bridgetown on Easter Monday. For its playfulness, serious competition, colour and family atmosphere, this is not to be missed.

What’s on in Barbados . . .

Sandy Lane Barbados Gold Cup, March 7

Cricket: West Indies v England, March 12–16; one-day internationals, March 29 and April 1

Play The Beach International Volleyball, April



GRENADA

Easter break

Easter breakastertime means fun in the sea and in the air. The Petit Martinique Regatta and the Easter Monday kite-flying competition are two of the most popular events at this time of year. At the Regatta (April 13) events range from sloop and open boat races to a greasy pole competition to keep everyone in good spirits. Beach parties and kite-flying are big at Pearls in St Andrew that same day, where folks and their kites compete in several categories, including “largest flying kite” and “oldest kite flyer”.


ANTIGUA

Hoist those sails

The Antigua Sailing Week, now in its 31st year, is the Caribbean’s largest regatta and one of the top five in the world. It is centred around Nelson’s Dockyard, at English Harbour, Antigua’s wonderfully restored 18th-century British naval base. The regatta brings people from near and far, and not only for the activities at sea. This is known as one of the most fun-filled and boisterous events in the boating world, and is always eagerly awaited by the sailing fraternity and locals.
This year’s Antigua Sailing Week runs from April 26 to May 2, but pre-events include the start of the Guadeloupe to Antigua Yacht Race, from Des Haies to English Harbour (April 23), the judging of the signboard competition at Admiral’s Inn (April 24) and the Department of Tourism’s Model Boat Competition.

Antigua Sailing Week
April 26: First Yacht Race — Dickenson Bay Race
April 27: Second Yacht Race — Olympic course off Dickenson Bay
April 28: Third Yacht Race — Falmouth Harbour Race
April 29: Lay Day. Antigua Yacht Club Single Handed Race in Falmouth Harbour; Lay Day activities at Antigua Yacht Club
April 30: Fourth Yacht Race — South Coast Race
May 1: Fifth Yacht Race — The Ocean Race
May 2: Dockyard Day activities; presentation of prizes; Lord Nelson Ball.


GUYANA

Green gold

“I was at first most disappointed that my BWIA flight from Trinidad to Antigua had a stopover in Guyana. Going south to get north sounds like something only Columbus would do, but it turned out to be an unexpected treat.

“There is nothing I’ve ever experienced from a plane, except seeing the Northern Lights, that comes near to the excitement of flying over miles and miles and miles of rain forest, and there was nothing to prepare me for it. Suddenly, beneath us was a vastness of land that someone from a little island could never grasp fully without actually seeing it for oneself. It seemed like it would never end.

“Then we reached the Essequibo River and that too was unbelievable. It looked like a sliver of mercury in the distance and then grew to a river of great continental proportions. We flew over the river for a long time before reaching the other side and saw huge islands in the middle of the river, most of them cultivated. The water was brown like the Mekong, slow and steady . . .“As I and other islanders looked through the windows in awe, exclaiming at the beauty, my Guyanese flightmate, going home from a holiday in Trinidad, stared out the window, unimpressed. ‘Guyana have a lot of waste land,’ she commented, apologetically.As for me, I can’t wait to have a chance to take a trip to that waste land.”

Excerpt from a letter from A. M. Roach

ST LUCIA

Taste the music

Taste the musiche Caribbean’s premier jazz event? The Montreux of the Antilles? Last May I headed to St Lucia to find out how their Jazz Festival had managed to garner so much hype in the space of six short years.

I usually find Festivals daunting — too much happening at the same time — but I found my angle in food. Because I don’t find eating daunting (and since music is the food of love), I approached the Festival like an à la carte menu.

On Day One, for instance, I and several hundred other folks did “lunch” (and a free one at that) in Castries, where the Caribbean steelband side Pan Explosion fed midday audiences in Derek Walcott Square. Six o’clock cocktails entailed a drive south to the Laborie Market for another free concert, again featuring Caribbean musicians. Dinner (not free) was at the St Lucia Cultural Centre, which offered a sumptuous menu of straight-ahead jazz served by trumpeter Nicholas Payton and vocalist Dee Dee Bridgewater.

For dessert and after-dinner drinks one could choose among several hotel venues (Wyndham Morgan Bay, Le Sport, Club St Lucia, Great House, Windjammer Landing), where Chaka Khan, Oleta Adams, Dianne Reeves, Shirley Horn and British guitarist Ronny Jordan cooked up a menu ranging from the zesty to the bitter-sweet. For more rustic fare, there was the village of Gros Islet, where the Preservation Hall Jazz Band from New Orleans dixied things up at the Banana Split.

Day Two laid out another lunchtime concert in Walcott Square with an all-star pickup side composed of Luther François & Company, the Hilton Ruiz Trio, Quartet Indigo, pannists Robbie Greenidge, Ray Holman and Andy Narell, David Rudder, Steve Turre, Dave Valentin, Nicholas Payton (and I’m positive I’m forgetting some of the other names crammed into the bandstand). Few of us present will forget Night in Tunisia, which not only awed the crowd but had each member of the band transfixed in mutual admiration as the soloists slid off on their various tangents before returning to Dizzy’s lingering melody. For “tea” there was a 4 p.m. concert at Pointe Seraphine, then another fine dining experience at the Cultural Centre with bassist Christian McBride (who became possessed by the spirit of James Brown in the middle of his set) and mystic Pharaoh Sanders, who played silver bowls and bells in addition to his signature saxophone.

Pigeon Island is no longer technically an island, I suppose, now that it’s joined by a causeway to the St Lucian mainland. This arrangement would hardly have suited Admiral Rodney, who exploited Pigeon Island’s strategic possibilities back in the 18th century in his campaigns against the French, but it’s safe to say that modern-day St. Lucians are happy that the tiny spit of land off the north coast is not only a national park but also the site of the weekend picnics (lest you thought the food metaphor was wearing thin) which begin on Saturday afternoon.

The parking lot filled in a flash and the jazz-hungry throng filed through the turnstiles toward the stage. A natural, if slightly skewed amphitheatre, the seating area at Pigeon Island slopes gently downward towards the stage, which is perched at the edge of a cliff against a backdrop of rocks and crashing waves, with Rat Island and the silhouette of Martinique in the distance. Saturday’s concert featured Hilton Ruiz and the Latin Jazz Ensemble, followed by R&B stars Regina Belle and Gerald and Eddie Levert. During the breaks, folks made their way to a small beach on the other side of the island, to browse the food stalls, wander the ruins of the fort or hike up the hill for a bird’s-eye view of the proceedings.

“We wanted sun, God wanted rain; and what God wants, God gets,” the MC at Pigeon Island announced on Sunday, the fourth and final day of the Festival. But a little damp ground couldn’t stop an even larger crowd from attending, armed with blankets and beach mats. A group of Trinidadians hoisted a national flag when Luther François & Company, with several Trinidadian stars including David Rudder, began the incredible musical suite they’d been preparing specially for the festival. Then Chuck Mangione played: the plangent sound of his flugelhorn could be heard way over on the beach playing the ever-familiar Feels So Good.

The pièce de resistance that day, however, was Carlos Santana and his band, who had religious icons placed among their amps and speakers, and who won hearts by confessing that he wasn’t worthy of performing in front of such a musical people. Santana ended his set with a fitting tribute: Bob Marley’s Get Up, Stand Up.

How the St Lucia Jazz Festival compares to Montreux, I don’t know, since I’ve never been there. What I do know, however, is that it’s one of the best meals I’ve had in a long, long time.

Georgia Popplewell
 

The 1998 St Lucia Jazz Festival (May 7–10) stars Jay Hoggard, Cassandra Wilson, Gato Barbieri, Thelonius Monk Jr, Malavoi, Grover Washington Jr, Loraaine Klaasen, Jazz Crusaders, Chick Corea, Herbie Mann, Zhane & Will Downing, Patti Austin & Alex Bugnon, and more. Information: The St Lucia Tourist Board, (758) 542-4094; fax (758) 453-1121

Telling tales

Caribbean people are great storytellers, and their humorous way of looking at everyday life is legendary. Each island has its favourite oral poets, and some of them, like Louise Bennett of Jamaica, have been entertaining the whole Caribbean for many years. In St Lucia, every April, the Festival of Comedy brings together storytellers and comedians from the Caribbean and around the world. The festival is organised by the St Lucia National Trust, where you can get more information on who are the performers this year and when you can join this bellyful of laughs.

Look out for . . .

St Lucia’s celebration of Earth Day, April 22, begins with a ceremony at dawn at Pigeon Island National Park. It’s the day St Lucians join conservationists around the world to say thanks for their bountiful land and reaffirm their intention to keep things green for all the generations to come.


JAMAICA

Doctor Jimmy

His plaintive voice sears on Many Rivers to Cross, he’s cool on I Can See Clearly Now and insistent on You Can Get It If You Really Want, but Jimmy Cliff is always inspirational. He’s been a Jamaican musical legend for the past 30 years, and now is the recipient of an honorary degree from the University of the West Indies. The singer who quit school as a teenager to make records became a Doctor of Letters at the Mona, Jamaica, campus of UWI at its graduation ceremonies last November.

Jimmy Cliff, along with Bob Marley, popularised reggae music around the world. He was born of humble circumstances in the rural St James parish, and grew up to the beat of traditional mento bands, work songs and the hymns of his local church, unlike his counterparts in Kingston who were listening to American R&B, blues and jazz on transistor radios. Cliff absorbed those influences from the late fifties when electricity reached his village. He went to Kingston as a sixth grader, to attend (and soon to leave) Kingston Technical School; reggae was then in an embryonic stage and he became one of its first proponents.

Like many other artists then and now, Cliff made the rounds at several studios before Hurricane Hattie in 1962 brought him his first success. A 1964 performance at World’s Fair in New York brought rave reviews from Billboard and caught the attention of Jamaican music producer Chris Blackwell. But Cliff was propelled into international limelight when director/producer Perry Henzel cast him as Ivan, the naive country boy turned gangster in the classic Jamaican film The Harder they Come, which featured his songs on the soundtrack.

Cliff has said the character of Ivan mirrors his early life, but, unlike Ivan, he has seen success after success in a long and illustrious career. He has gone out of his way to help would-be Ivans. Now, to crown it, he’s Doctor Jimmy.

Look out for . . .

Poised between the traditional pre-Lenten carnivals and the summer carnivals of Antigua, Barbados and Grenada, Jamaica’s Carnival season, which culminates on Easter Sunday, has a unique slot among Caribbean festivals. The partying starts in March along the north coast, with “blow-outs,” huge reggae and soca parties, before heading down south to Kingston a couple of weeks before Easter. In 1997, J’Ouvert was introduced for the first time, and the joys of blue devil and mud mas were celebrated in the wee morning hours before the colourful street parades began. Reggae and soca tents, the children’s parade and top performers from Trinidad give the Carnival a familiar feel with a distinctly Jamaican flavour. All indications are that this year’s event will be even more exciting.

What’s on in Jamaica . . .

The Alternative Market Fair, March 28, April 25
St Elizabeth Horticultural Show, April 13
Treasure Beach Off Road Triathlon, April 20
Live Jazz, Mutual Life Building, March 29, April 26


TRINIDAD

Turtle watch

The north and east coasts of Trinidad are among the few places on earth where the giant leatherback turtle nests. The leatherback is the world’s largest marine turtle, and from March to September female turtles return to the beaches where they themselves hatched years before to deposit their eggs in the soft sand.

It’s usually night when a turtle emerges from the water and crawls up the beach. Her great body searches for a safe place, and then she starts digging, slowly and laboriously, until there’s a hole beneath her a few feet deep and almost as wide. She’s then ready to deposit her eggs — about 100 of them, soft and white. She covers the hole and sets off again towards the dark sea, leaving the eggs to their destiny.
In the past, both mother and eggs risked the same fate: poachers would wait for her to lay, then harvest the eggs and slaughter the mother, for food or for fun. But these days turtles have much greater protection, thanks to joint efforts by government agencies such as the Wildlife Division of the Ministry of Agriculture and villagers themselves. Beaches are patrolled, nesting turtles are guarded, and turtle watchers now far outnumber people who may have ill intentions. Turtle-watching is regulated and a permit is required. Turtle-watchers are asked to be very quiet when the turtles come ashore, and to refrain from shining lights at them, for this confuses the turtles and they find difficulty getting back to the ocean.

Matura and Grand Rivière in Trinidad are among the best places for turtle-watching. The trip from Port of Spain to Matura takes about two hours; the best time to go is late at night and in the early hours of the morning. Tobago is also an important nesting site for the leatherback turtle. There are few experiences as thrilling as seeing these huge creatures come ashore, as they’ve done for thousands of years, following their instincts as they create new life.

Contact the Wildlife Division, Forestry Department, (868) 622-7476.

Look out for . . .

Phagwa, the Hindu spring festival, is one of the most exuberant and fun-filled events of the year; this year it is celebrated soon after Carnival, on March 13, with folk songs and the spraying of abir and coloured power. People dress in white or light colours, and by the time they leave, their clothes, faces and hands are all stained in purple, pink, green, orange, red. Everyone gets into the act, grandmothers spraying their grandchildren, children going to strangers to get their squeeze bottles refilled, and teenagers helping to soak their parents and attractive members of the other sex with heavy-duty pump-action plastic pipes. Non-Hindus join in the wild, clean fun, a day of celebration for all.

What’s on in Trinidad . . .
National Chutney Monarch Competition, March 7
Cricket: Fifth One-Day International, West Indies v England, April 8
Point Fortin Borough Week, April 26–May 2
Car Rallying: T&T Rally Club, March 22
Cycling: International Easter Grand Prix, April 10–13
Horse Racing: Stallion Stakes, Arima Race Club, March 8; President’s Cup, March 21; Easter Guineas, April 13
Yachting: T&T Yachting Association events, March 1–8, 13, 15, 22, 28;
April 4, 5, 10–13, 25, 26.

Tobago

Tobago is home to two of the most intriguing sports in the world, crab racing and goat racing, both of which take place during Eastertime. Crab racing is a haphazard thing at best, and rather slow going, but the course is short and the fun plentiful. A chalk line is drawn in a big circle around the contestants, and the first to reach the line, in any direction, is the winner. Goat racing is quite a lot faster but no less hilarious. Left to themselves, the goats may decide to chew on old tin cans instead of racing, so their owners, to avoid losing their money and their pride, race along with their charges, a leash uniting man and animal. Don’t miss these events, the highlight of the Easter Holidays, at Mt Pleasant and Buccoo on April 13 and 14.

What’s on in Tobago . . .

Carnival Champs in Concert, Shaw Park, March 7
Baywatch at Mt Irvine Beach Facility, a day of beach activities and games, April 12
Carib International Game Fishing Tournament, Pigeon Point, April 22–25


THEATRE

Jean and Dinah

Jean and Dinah, the Trinidadian jamettes made famous in calypso by the Mighty Sparrow in 1956, have been given new life in the play Jean and Dinah speak their minds publicly, for the first time since 1956, by playwright Tony Hall.
In residence at Trinity College at Hartford, Connecticut, Hall has been conducting workshops in various aspects of Trinidad Carnival. Jean and Dinah will be played by Trinidadian actresses Rhoma Spencer and Penelope Spencer at Trinity College on the weekend of April 2, and on subsequent weekends at Wellesley College in Boston, where Earl Lovelace (author of The Dragon Can’t Dance) is in residence, and at Boston University, where Derek Walcott lectures. The play will probably also be featured at Colgate University in Hamilton, New York, as part of the same tour.

Jamettes were women of the diametre, the social underworld, supporters of outlawed steelbands and panmen in the fifties, strong and wilful as the men who shaped the evolution of pan. Their lives, thoughts and spirits informed Hall’s production. The play is based on memories of the women, recovered through intense and lengthy interviews and reworked by the actresses who developed the dialogue and drama. The characters are archetypes, and the play fiercely feminist, unveiling the lives of a significant urban underclass in colonial society.


ST MAARTEN

Top sail

St Maarten is sailing country, and the annual Heineken Regatta has become such a success that it has placed St Maarten among the world’s top sailing venues. And there’s a really unusual opportunity for St Maarten’s visitors too. The St Maarten 12 Meter Challenge, offered year-round, gives visitors the chance to experience first-hand the thrill of America’s Cup racing. Aspiring sailors can serve as crew aboard the US Stars and Stripes, which raced in 1987, or the Canadian contenders Canada II, True North and True North IV, as these high-performance boats are put through their paces on a shortened America’s Cup course. Previous sailing experience is not necessary, only a sense of adventure.

The 17th Annual Heineken Regatta

Day 1 (March 7): Philipsburg to Marigot

Day 2 (March 8): Marigot to Philipsburg Day 3 (March 9): Round the island from Philipsburg to Simpson Bay

Look out for . . .

Dutch St Maarten celebrates its two-week Carnival just after Easter, culminating with the birthday celebration of Queen Beatrix on April 30. It begins with the “Balloon Jump-Up” which celebrates the opening of the Carnival Village. The street parades incorporate the street floats reminiscent of the New Orleans and Rio Carnivals, and live bands and costumed dancers, a facet of other Caribbean Carnivals like those of Trinidad and Tobago, Grenada and Jamaica. The two-week revelry also includes calypso competitions and children’s Carnival Parade.

What’s on in St Maarten . . .
Beach Cat Regatta, March 4–6
Golfers Association Medal Play, March 16, April 19
Queen’s Birthday (Holiday), April 30.


SAILING

The captain’s favourite

Even if you have no intention of putting foot in a boat, you’re bound to be tempted by this. It comes from Roger Paine, a master mariner and former hovercraft captain. He’s the UK director of The Moorings, the Caribbean boat charter company, and has sailed the seas of the Caribbean, the Pacific and the Mediterranean. He told the Sunday Times last October about his favourite sail.

“I think the trip from Guadeloupe around Marie Galante and the Iles des Saintes and up through Nevis, St Barts and Anguilla to St Martin is one of the best anywhere in the world,” he explained. “The scenery is spectacular, you have a fascinating range of cultures on the various islands, and there is a constant easterly breeze, which means you are guaranteed a good sail every day.

“Nevis is one of my favourite islands: the people are extremely friendly and the place is steeped in history. This is where Nelson married Frances Nisbet. You anchor off Pinney’s Beach, one of the best in the Caribbean, and you look up to the peak, which is more than 3,000 feet high. You don’t need to go into any marinas on this trip; you are always at anchor off those spectacular beaches. You can get out of your cabin in the morning and leap over the side into 80°F warm water.

“The longest sail is from Antigua to Nevis, 52 miles. It takes about seven hours, but it is a wonderful sail, all downwind. There is also a beautiful sail along the channel between Nevis and St Kitts that is just over a mile wide. The sea is so clear that you can see to a depth of 40 feet, and the scenery is spectacular, lush and mountainous. From there, it is up to St Eustatius, which is a dramatic lump of vegetation rising out of the sea, and then on to St Barts, which is most sophisticated, like a little piece of Paris moved to the Caribbean.

“On St Martin, I usually stop for a swim at a little island called Tintamarre, then spend the night at one of the northern bays, such as the Baie Grande Case, which is full of every type of French restaurant. It is also the launch pad for Anguilla, which probably has the best beaches in the Caribbean.

“Just near Crocus Bay on Anguilla I head for a place called Roy’s Bar, which serves three lobsters for $20. They are not as big as lobsters you will see in other parts of the world, but they are sweeter and more succulent. Quite superb. If you’re going to eat lobster in the Caribbean, this is where you need to head for.”


PEOPLE

Africa in the Caribbean

It started out as a second job. She is a lawyer by profession, but she also wanted to be her own boss and to create something of her own. So Nigerian-born Uche Ogbue hit on the idea of trading between the Caribbean and Africa, and in 1996 launched the Equatorial Trading Company (ETC).

“I always wanted to do something other than law, and working in the City of London, in shipping and international trade law, I developed a taste for commerce,” she says. She met her Trinidadian husband, architect Mark Raymond, in London in 1989, and they relocated to Trinidad in 1993. In early 1997 she gave up her job as legal manager with a merchant bank, to devote all her energies to ETC.

Through ETC she imports exquisite hand-woven and hand-dyed fabrics, beads and other accessories from West Africa, selecting items that appeal to her own sense of style. But she is best known these days for her own fabric design. “It’s wonderful to experiment with colours and different fabrics, and I suppose having no formal background or training in art or painting helps, in that I feel completely unrestrained and bold in my approach, in a way that a trained artist might not.”

Whatever the formula, her hand-painted silks are now much in demand across the Caribbean, and are sold in St Lucia, Barbados, Antigua, Martinique, Guadeloupe, Nevis and St Martin. She has also secured orders from Toast and Strawberries, the fashionable Washington boutique, for her line of simple slip dresses, sarongs and wraps.

At home in Trinidad, her hand-painted fabric has been received with much enthusiasm in fashion designer Meiling’s seasonal shows. “I love working with Meiling, because we have a good rapport and she has been extremely supportive. It is always a great pleasure to see how she interprets my work and converts the fabric into her beautiful creations.”

In the quiet suburb of St Clair, minutes away from the bustle and raw energy of downtown Port of Spain, in her home studio, Uche works away, bringing colour and life to exquisite silks and linens, ranging in texture from crepe to chiffon to the finest gauze. She never sketches her work before she paints, though this is a discipline she is trying to develop.

“I am having so much fun, and feel extremely confident about what I do. The success of the company in such a short time suggests to me that there is really no limit to what one can achieve with a positive approach and faith in one’s abilities.”

Nicole Westfield