While all our content and recommendations are free, a lot of work goes into making this blog and podcast happen. Like lots of travel businesses, we got hit hard during this pandemic and your donation helps us create more free content and keep this castaway community running. Thank you so much!
LET THE HOLIDAYS BEGIN!
Once the Thanksgiving turkey has been devoured and we’re officially stuffed and carbo-loaded for the entire new year, it’s time to put up our Christmas tree here at Castaway Cove (That’s the cute name we have for our home).
As we decorated our traditional tree this year (I bet you thought we put lights around a palm tree), I had a new treasure to hang front and center – a hand painted, St. John inspired ornament from Island Fancy.
Not only does this ornament bring back fond memories of time spent on one of our favorite islands, but it also comes with an inspiring story about the owners of Island Fancy (Terry and Ken) and how the ornaments came to be.
Have you ever gone on vacation and then moved to that destination two weeks later?! Well, that’s exactly what Terry and Ken did.
One day during their visit on St. John in 2015, the couple stumbled upon Island Fancy and saw that the business was for sale. The two Ohioans jumped on this life-changing opportunity and never looked back. They were ready to say goodbye to the grueling winter months up north and start a brand new (warmer) life in the Caribbean.
These two castaways can totally own the phrases, “living in the moment,” “seizing the day,” and “stepping out of your comfort zone.”
I was amazed when Terry told me how quickly they made the decision and then moved. True inspiration to live life, take chances – and as RumShopRyan and I always like to say, “Just go.”
For those of you who don’t know, Island Fancy is a colorful gift shop that is nestled in the heart of Mongoose Junction.
The tiny, eight mile long island of St. John is packed with love for the community. That’s why in Terry and Ken’s shop, you’ll find many island goodies that are locally made (like my ornament). From hot sauce to an array of items created by local artists – you’re sure to find that one unique gift to bring home for yourself and/or loved ones (shipping back to the states is available).
Life isn’t always carefree beach days and planning your next adventure.
There are times when you think things couldn’t get any worse, life will say “hold my beer and watch this.”
Terry and Ken are no strangers to life’s relentless struggles.
After Hurricane Irma, Terry and her family were evacuated to St. Croix by a small boat. To add to this stressful situation, her husband, Ken was sick and the doctor told him to get off the island immediately (because life will never let you deal with one problem at a time).
Not only did they have to get Ken off the Island but Hurricane Maria was on her way and they had to evacuate…AGAIN.
They made it to the states and Ken was laid up in the hospital for over a month. Terry was done with being consumed by stress and worry. She had to get her mind on something productive. That’s when her idea of painting ornaments came to life.
Going through such treacherous events would leave many paralyzed with fear, but there are amazingly resilient souls out there like Terry, who in the midst of some of her worst storms in life (figuratively and literally) created something beautiful for others to enjoy.
It’s a year later and she now has a whole line of island inspired ornaments just waiting to be admired on your Christmas tree.
Next time you’re on St. John, stop by Island Fancy and say hello to Terry and Ken.
Never Stop Exploring
P.S. – Leaving soon? These recommended links below will help you save money and book your trip:
Grab a Caribbean Preferred Discount Card. It will save you a ton of money. It gives you access to the largest collection of island discounts & promotions. Click here to learn more.
Find our recommended Caribbean hotels, restaurants, charters, & tours here
Need something else? Check out our list of favorite companies on our resources page
We use all the companies listed here or on the resource page. By booking through these links, the small commission we earn helps us bring you more Caribbean content so that you can save money and have a better island vacation. Crystal and I greatly appreciate any support!
I'm a beach bunny hopping from island to island with camera in hand. I love experiencing all the Caribbean has to offer and sharing it with you! Conch fritter connoisseur, animal and nature lover, and RumShopRyan’s salty first mate. To learn more, visit our About Us Page.