Wednesday, August 9, 2017
By NATARIO McKENZIE
Tribune Business Reporter
Oasis Furniture, the Sandyport based retail showplace recently hosted a pop-up shop which allowed several local Bahamian entrepreneurs to showcase their work.
For one weekend that began on a Friday night and ended late Saturday the iconic store in Sandyport with furniture and accessories from around the world was completely transformed.
"This was a great idea, so much fun and I did really well," said Tadara Simon, whose candle, body scrub and similar personal products business under the name GLOW flourished, adding light and scent to event's atmosphere.
For Rebecca Armbrister Christen, the event was an opportunity to unveil her new collection of harem pants and kaftans.
"This was fantastic," said Christen, whose goods were moving off the racks as fast as she could re-stock.
Oasis Sandyport designer and operator Brooke Phillips, who sourced the unusual and the practical to fill the shop under Club One, created the pop up shop.
"We wanted to host an event that was lively, organic and dynamic, reflecting the feel and vibe of the store," said Phillips. "We think this worked really well because it gave a number of other people like Arcadian Treasures, LVC Resort Wear, Krystal Treco artwork, Rodero Miller jewelry and Café Channing Noelle coffees, teas and delicacies an opportunity to showcase their work while introducing new people to Oasis. When customers come in for the first time, there is always this look of surprise and words like, 'I never knew there was anything like this in Nassau,' and invariably they are drawn to pieces by local wood artist Morgan McKinney whose work is absolutely amazing."
McKinney works were not part of the pop up. He is a constant in the store that features everything from sofas and chairs to dining room tables, large mirrors, hanging chandeliers, organically shaped sinks, even a small selection of books and jewelry. McKinney works with native Bahamian woods, largely from the Family Islands. He allows the shape of the tree or the piece of driftwood to dictate the nature of the finished piece. His maller work, hand-carved key chains and coasters, are popular. Stand alone sculptures the size of a tree capture attention.
"When you run a small business, especially with overhead that does not go away, you can never rest on last week's success. You always have to think about what to do to add appeal so if mixing beautifully hand-sewn bikinis with Balinese bar stools works, why not?" asks Phillips.
While that event was highly successful, the 31-year-old is already planning a surprise for the Christmas holidays.
"We will use our imagination and hope that guests use theirs. Maybe this year instead of a tie he won't like and striped socks he'll never wear, Dad will get a native stone sink or a large copper chandelier," said the entrepreneur who opened the store in February after two years of sourcing.
"It's all about keeping it fresh so with a new container coming in next month, I have to do something to top the pop up shop. Any ideas?"