sxm nectar

Bespoke SXM

Discover the island’s craftsmanship while searching for unique, locally made gifts.

By Alita Singh


Souvenirs, in the traditional sense, may be too kitschy for the savvy traveler. There’s a cure for that on St. Maarten/St. Martin, in the elegant form of locally made, cannot-be-found-anywhere-else items. The list ranges from body care products to art and spirits. Be sure to collect at least one unique island treasure to remind you of your visit and to nudge you into booking the next.


Learn the story about the colorful patchwork dresses worn by island women in the past at Our Creations Arts and Crafts in Cole Bay. Paint your own Titah Frock figurine or select one painted by a local artist. These colorful figurines, affectionately named “titah,” echo the endearing term used by island toddlers for their older sisters, capturing the familial warmth of St. Maarten/St. Martin’s culture.


For self-care enthusiasts, St. Maarten Nectar only creates all-natural formulas for body and home care. Also, seek out Sieben Bath and Body for their locally made products to care for your skin.


The Aroma Island Escape collection of candles and diffusers is crafted to take you away on the wings of fragrance. You can also make your own candles at the monthly Candle Bar at Pasture Piece, usually held on the last Friday of the month.


Tijon Parfumerie in French St. Martin is your spot if you love chemistry. Bottle your scent by choosing from among their 300 oils. Every scent and fragrance is guaranteed to bring you back to the island.


Put The Art Box Gallery on your on your must-visit list. The gallery is home to island jewelry designer Zdenka Kiric. She uses a selection of stones and other materials to capture the vibrance of the island. Other artworks and much more are available.


Show some island pride with wearable art from One of Two, founded by sisters Cheryll and Demi Bute, who wanted to create subtle yet timeless St. Maarten/St. Martin jewelry for all occasions. The designs feature the map of the island.


Snag apparel from fabric and fashion brand Jolie Duzon for more wearable options. The bold and colorful designs created by founder and designer Zillah Duzon-Hazel were a hit at the premier Caribbean fashion event “Summer Sizzle BVI” and The Bomb Fashion Show in New York City.


The light of the island inspires artists of all genres. Tes Verheij of the Artcraft Cafe Gallery is one such artist. Her colorful paintings evoke happiness and sunshine. The en plein air creations of Sir Roland Richardson, a Knight in the Order of Oranje-Nassau, feature vibrant canvases of flamboyant trees, landscapes, and portraits. Ruby Bute’s canvases tell the stories of island life and festivities, and her gallery in Friar’s Bay is a place for folk tales.


A picture is priceless, and Richard Hazel of RTGH Photography is ready to capture your moments. Contact him for incredible photo shoots, from portraits to scenics and more.


Das Cigars are hand rolled locally using both Dominican and Cuban fillers. If you’re looking for a special gift, check out their excellent selection of high-quality cigars.


Guavaberries are very connected locally. It’s harvested from the island’s rolling hill, soaked in rum, and left to ferment into a flavorful liqueur. Once a Christmas drink, it’s now available year-round from several makers who blend their special batches and flavors.


If you’re after local rum, try a family distillery, such as Topper’s Rhum Distillery. Each bottle is a bespoke island souvenir or gift.


Local eats can be found in the Marigot Market in the mornings, on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Load up on guava and coconut tarts, sugar cakes (made from grated coconut stewed in cane sugar), and other sweet delights.





More blogs on Things to do / Shopping


Back to the Visit St Maarten Main page



Back to the Visit St Maarten Blog Main page