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Skillful hands shape special work!

-Kishmet B. Daniel leads the way in promoting VI tourism through local craft work
Kishmet B. Daniel leads the way in promoting VI tourism through local craft work. Photo: VINO
Daniel especially enjoys making plastic bag handbags from recycled material. Photo: VINO
Daniel especially enjoys making plastic bag handbags from recycled material. Photo: VINO
Bracelets made from plastic bottles collected from Peter Island. Photo: VINO
Bracelets made from plastic bottles collected from Peter Island. Photo: VINO
A crochet hat made by Kishmet B. Daniel. Photo: VINO
A crochet hat made by Kishmet B. Daniel. Photo: VINO
Beautiful skirts on sale at Kishmet B. Daniel's stall in the Crafts Alive Village. Photo: VINO
Beautiful skirts on sale at Kishmet B. Daniel's stall in the Crafts Alive Village. Photo: VINO
Earrings, which Daniel said her children are fond of making. Photo: VINO
Earrings, which Daniel said her children are fond of making. Photo: VINO
As for her establishment at Craft’s Alive, Daniel said she would like to see in grow into something big “where I could bring in more people out there who do not care to work in the system and would like to use their hands. I would like to see this come into something big where I produce a lot more than I produce right now.” Photo: VINO
As for her establishment at Craft’s Alive, Daniel said she would like to see in grow into something big “where I could bring in more people out there who do not care to work in the system and would like to use their hands. I would like to see this come into something big where I produce a lot more than I produce right now.” Photo: VINO
ROAD TOWN, Tortola, VI- “My booth represents local indigenous grassroots products, made right here in the British Virgin Islands,” were the proud words of Virgin Islander Kishmet B. Daniel when Virgin Islands News Online visited her stall at the New Craft's Alive Village recently.

And Daniel has every reason to breathe an air of pride as her booth takes on so many significance, including the result of strength, hard work, determination, self-motivation, creativity and Virgin Islands pride as she can boast that most of her products are not only made right here by her but by using materials that others may deem as thrash.

Not surprising, Daniels related that tourists go for eco-friendly products and those that involve skilled handi-work, which makes her handbags made out of recycled plastic bags, crochet hats and her knitted dolls some of the best sellers at her booth.

“The response is good and the tourists like the eco-friendly products. They love the artwork. The tourists know the hand made products so when they come and they see them, they know them,” Daniel said while adding that much support is also received from the local population.

Kishmet had previously revealed to this news site that she got into doll making because of a friend. “I had a Filipino friend at Peter Island and while I was [waitressing], she was knitting. She used to knit dolls and I used to love dolls. When she was ready to go she left some patterns and pins with me,” she said.

“I just started reading the patterns and tried to figure out how to get them done.” Her persistence eventually paid off as she has become an expert knitter.

This was over 10 years ago and after she became a Rastafarian, Kishmet began following the principles of the teachings of Rastafarianism by becoming self-sufficient and so focus was placed on developing the skill of knitting while looking at other ways of sustaining herself and family. “I started helping myself to make and sell my own products.”

Her first art work was actually crochet hats. “I bought my pins and I bought my craft books from the lady that used to sell on Main Street and that got me started.”

Of all the products that she makes, Daniel said she especially enjoys making plastic bag handbags from recycled material, plastic bag shoes and soaps.

“The plastic bags are given to me by a lot of different people that shop from different stores and I wash them, cut them up, recycle it and crochet them. The straps for the handbags are made from recycled butter bowl covers.”

Other products made by Kishmet include dolls made from plastic bags, purses, cellphone pouches, bracelets made from plastic bottles collected from Peter Island, bead chains and purses and dresses.

Pointing to three beautifully designed bags hung on the wall, Daniel said “you see those three bags? I did them in one day,” a testimony that she has mastered her craft.

A special product found only at Kishmet’s booth is her plastic bag recycled shoes, which are quite popular among tourists but were sold out at the time. She said a lot of knitting is needed to make the shoes and this often takes a lot of her time since it has to be carefully be made into a pattern that can stretch and fit various foot sizes.

Her soaps are made from different products including herbs and spices found in the Virgin Islands and her variety of earrings is also made from products right here in the VI. “After I stopped working things got a bit hard so I had to learn to make a lot of products to help myself and my children, Daniel confessed.

She also said her children have been learning the trade with much enthusiasm and they especially enjoy making earrings and knitting dolls.

Making all those handmade products could be time consuming but luckily for Daniel, she has the full support of the family, who understands what needs to be done. “Basically in the home my husband and children do a lot of the house chores to allow me to be able to do my work... I still do a lot of house work,” she blurted out. “I am a hard working woman, I have a lot of things that I want to do with my life so I continue working towards them.”

As for her establishment at Craft’s Alive, Daniel said she would like to see in grow into something big “where I could bring in more people out there who do not care to work in the system and would like to use their hands. I would like to see this come into something big where I produce a lot more than I produce right now.”

Daniel also did not allow us to leave her stall until she had given credit where credit was due. “I would like to thank the Ministers of Cabinet, I would like to thank Janis Brathwaite, Kevin ‘OJ’ Smith and all those who put their faith and trust for me to be here today. They played a big role, especially Kevin ‘OJ’ Smith, he played  a big role in how I get here today and I just want to be grateful and thankful to him for that because it helped me out tremendously when times were hard at home. I could come out now and take care of my family more better, so I am grateful for that.”

25 Responses to “Skillful hands shape special work!”

  • Thanks (08/01/2013, 09:25) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    Good stuff Kishmet!!!!! I hope you see the light now, you should know what I mean! I'm so glad that politics was put aside and you got a MUCH DESERVED spot in the new Village! You will shine and do great things because you are talented. This is only the beginning, you will MAKE IT! Remember I said so. Keep your head up and don't forget those around you who are really looking out for your well being.
  • pat (08/01/2013, 09:33) Like (8) Dislike (0) Reply
    i like the fact that she has real stuff made in the BVI and was one of the first to truly go green!!!
  • sea cows bay massive (08/01/2013, 10:15) Like (1) Dislike (0) Reply
    nice article I am a big fan of kismet and her products she works hard and use her hands well. all the best in the new booth and may jah bless
  • Wait a min? (08/01/2013, 10:17) Like (14) Dislike (1) Reply
    Question :OJ get all the praise ,wa happen to Fraser?,she was Fraser girl
    • Nice (08/01/2013, 11:18) Like (6) Dislike (1) Reply
      Because instead of using her for politics, OJ actually assisted her in getting her dream off the ground. Now that she can make her own money she doesn't need to be begging behind no politician for help. she's talented and she will make it. Finally someone looking out for her own well being and not their own selfish pursuit of power. OJ is the man.
    • talk girl talk (08/01/2013, 13:41) Like (2) Dislike (1) Reply
      seems like she cross the floor and gone NDP..he he ...good job Ms. D, I will always support you I coming for a pair of them air rings i see on tv on karia's show
    • foxy (09/01/2013, 23:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      I thought I told you already once about biting the hand that feeds you!!!
  • Real Deal (08/01/2013, 10:23) Like (5) Dislike (0) Reply
    LOVE HER OR HATE HER THIS WOMEN HAS REAL SKILLS
  • jam band (08/01/2013, 12:07) Like (2) Dislike (0) Reply
    if fraser was doing what he was suppose to do then he would have gotten his praise . kishmet i m happy for u keep up the good works and u will get your heart desire
  • ooooo (08/01/2013, 12:48) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
    ndp quiet yet another loud-mouth....who next?
    • HA!! (08/01/2013, 14:52) Like (1) Dislike (10) Reply
      The lil boy doing BIG THINGS!! LMAO!!! Lord OJ giving them the bowels now. Lord soon he will help Raja to get his business off the ground. Then you will hear mess. Lordie...
      • critic (08/01/2013, 16:06) Like (9) Dislike (0) Reply
        OJ was given this job to help those in small business to get off the ground....thats his job....he's not suppose to be doing it and looking political mileage nor taking political credit....he's paid from those same people taxes, who he's helping
        • To Critic (08/01/2013, 17:02) Like (0) Dislike (2) Reply
          i agree 100 % but let he come back licks and more licks
          • Freddy (08/01/2013, 18:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply

            U a idiot u call 54 votes licks on election day Fraser had on A Maxi Pad n Depends his money was long talk done had he gone blow for blow hmmm anyway OJ is a good people's man that wanna see all prosper for the better of the country un like Fraser who does #@$% for self praise n enslavement.

            Kishmet keep going hard Rosie got skilled youths look at Arlene, Kunta, Kimberlee and Aaron who is one talented boy just listen to his new cd it's amazing

        • Comeback (08/01/2013, 17:50) Like (2) Dislike (30) Reply
          Fraser was given this job to help those in small business and on a whole to get off the ground....thats his job....he's not suppose to be doing it and looking political mileage nor taking political credit....he's paid from those same people taxes, who he's helping.

          BUT HE USES IT FOR POLITICAL MILEAGE AND TO KEEP PEOPLE HOSTAGE!!!
  • usa (08/01/2013, 14:32) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Those products are very good and of high quality. Her soft got it going on boss
    • dem say (12/01/2013, 08:38) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
      Brilliant. Sheer genius Kishmet keep it up...and I love your soap
  • yes we can (08/01/2013, 19:28) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    There it is, for all to see very good stuff Ms. Brooks
  • sand man (09/01/2013, 07:39) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    Some of you miserable people want to turn everything into politics. The article is about the good works of Ms. Daniels and the fact that she is one of the few that can say truly made in the BVI...

    Stop for once with your 'trivial politicks!!!
  • up (09/01/2013, 14:50) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I have always admired Kismet for her determination, business savvy and that she speaks her mind!!
  • run it red (10/01/2013, 06:52) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    I agree with everything said in this article
  • foxy (11/01/2013, 16:06) Like (0) Dislike (0) Reply
    i went to she store and i must confess its for real good stuff all hand made deman


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