Gonsalves introduces Caribbean lifestyles
December 18, 2009

Gonsalves introduces Caribbean lifestyles

Ever since Caribbean Lifestyles opened its doors just about one week ago, a steady stream of satisfied customers has passed through.{{more}}

The Home Décor/ Lifestyle Store situated at the residence of Ralph and Eloise Gonsalves at Frenches has been receiving positive feedback regarding the variety, quality and prices of the items being offered.

The proprietor, Eloise Gonsalves, said that the objective of Caribbean Lifestyles is to fill a gap in the market for good quality items at a reasonable price.

“I have tried to make it affordable to everyone,” Gonsalves said.

“There are some items in the store that are expensive, but equally there are items that are affordable to anybody.”

The customers, Gonsalves noted, are selecting from the range of items either for their own home accentuation, or as gifts for the Christmas season.

She said that the majority of purchases are not only for their beauty, but also for their functionality.

After more than ten years since her last business venture, Gonsalves has decided to revive her dream of owning her own home décor store mixed with her passion for interior decorating.

She said that this time around, she would have more time on her hands than previously.

“My children at that time would have been quite young and I was balancing and juggling so many things. And now Isis is at University, Storm is doing his A-levels and Soleil is a big 14 year old. My children are at a stage now where I can foresee the typical ‘empty nest syndrome’.”

“And besides, I really do miss being in a creative field. I am a creative person and I really do feel shifted if I’m not involved in the creative sphere. This is a perfect outlet for my skills, and this is something that I absolutely enjoy doing.”

Gonsalves said that her talents are not restricted to the walls of Caribbean Lifestyles.

She indicated that she is also an interior designer who lends her talent to a number of hotels and is open to smaller projects as well.

The interior design consultancy aspect of the business is soon to be established.

Apart from her Associate degree in Design, Gonsalves maintains that her greatest influence came from her parents Francis and Ursula Harris, especially her mother.

“My father worked at the United Nations, and from the time I was born we travelled the world, and in each country we went (Africa, Guyana, Persian Gulf to name a few) my mother had to establish a home.”

“She was courageous in her colour choices and my father was an art collector, so they worked well together as a team. So I grew up with the color sensibility in my blood.”

So how could the wife of arguably the busiest man in the country, if not the region, be able to mind shop and fulfill her political duties?

Gonsalves insisted that the shifting sands of time have made it possible for her and others in her shoes to cope.

“I am accustomed to juggling my roles. I am far more experienced at it now than I ever was. Wives of prime ministers and presidents now opt to work or to continue working in their chosen fields more and more.”

“Many of the wives that I meet when we go on conferences run their own businesses or are involved in their own respective fields. So it is a sign of the times. We are able to manage both roles.”

Following the Christmas season, Gonsalves indicated that customers can expect a wider variety of items on display and for sale, including a line of furniture designed by her and made by local carpenters.

She indicated that a visit to the store now or in the upcoming months would be sure to yield quality items at reasonable prices that would help to lift the mood and spirits in any home.

“Good design does not have to be expensive. It’s a question of working within your own budget. I think it is really important for each and everyone to have a beautiful home – not only at Christmas but all year round.”

“Your home is your sanctuary. It is where you are supposed to feel relaxed and you should feel comfortable with your colors and decorative items.”