I am pretty sure I clicked “Going” weeks ago, out of sheer curiousity. ThingsTT was just another Facebook event existing in the peripheral of my mind, it was out of sight and therefore out of mind. I had all intention to sleep-in a bit longer until it was almost time for my shift at the restaurant. Around 9:00am, Facebook reminded me that I had an upcoming event; the ThingsTT market at the University of the West Indies.
With an almost extinct social life, at the expense of balancing two jobs, I decided to spontaneously head down to the Market. After failing to find company at the 99th hour, I packed my work clothes and camera and headed down to St Augustine, alone.
Objective: to find a cactus!
A trip through ThingsTT
I was met by so many amazing creations. Every artisan that I spoke to was so eager to share their story. With time against me, I was unable to visit every stall, however, I really wanted to do just that! Beauty was everywhere.
My first stop was Afrocessories, where I found a collection of afrobonnets. They look like headwraps, but they’re actually hats. If you’re like me and you struggle with tying the perfect head tie, then this is a must-have accessory.
From hair accessories to handmade jewellery
Over at Brenda’s Talk of the Town, I discovered some of the most vibrant hair accessories.
Chatting with Belinda Murray, a certified loctician, I got some amazing firsthand recommendations for my locs. In a nutshell, I’m switching locticians.
The owner of Trademark Designs, Tusca Martinez, is a frequent vendor at the pop-up shops. She designs custom-made jewellery and clothing. Besides showcasing her designs, she appreciates meeting the other vendors and seeing the uniqueness of everyone else’s work. If you’re looking for specialised gift ideas, her designs are perfect!
Traditional henna art
I absolutely love mehndi and henna art, so when I came across Made by Siyaadah, I fell in love with her designs. If you thought henna was limited to hands and feet, think again, she manages to translate those designs perfectly onto books and clothing.
The atmosphere was alive with vendors entertaining customers and potential buyers. King’s Specialty had ponche de crème, a local Christmas favourite. Love and Light had healing crystal on show and I was in awe of the handmade bags by Bags and Things, where there are no two identical designs.
Finally, I came across some cacti! After searching the entire market, I got it from a little lady who was sitting outside the main marketplace with her collection of cacti and other plants.
It would be remiss of me not to mention Junckollage by Rayya de Lune. Upon discovery, I immediately fell in love with her eclectic collection of recycled paper-journals and dream catchers. Each journal was so captivating that I had to make a purchase. There, I had the most interesting conversation with her, as she explained her process and influences from other artists that she encounters while traveling.
Overall, meeting new people and seeing so much talent was the highlight of what would’ve been a boring Saturday. Sometimes it’s revivifying to shake things up a bit!
It is about time we support the creative industry in Trinidad and Tobago. We have a lot to offer the world and the only way it will grow is through the backing of you and me, citizens of this beautiful twin island.