We had the good fortune of connecting with Taribba do Nascimento and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Taribba, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Authenticity. Many people along the way have given me advice to align myself to other brands and I’ve always categorically refused. I realised early on that I can’t be a bad copy of someone else and expect to thrive. People support my brand because it is uniquely Caribbean and uniquely me. I put myself out there as the face of the brand and people can relate to where my aesthetic comes from and that has always been my brands biggest appeal.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My art has always been influenced by where I am in life. When I started and lived in Ethiopia African Print fabrics was my main aesthetic. When I move back to St. Lucia I switched to more tropical prints. Now I have moved into original prints that showcase local artists and also highlights aspect of St. Lucia life resonates with me. To that end I guess you can say I am my brand story as my brand is always a reflection of me and my mindset.
My proudest moment would be when I won Entrepreneur of the Year in St. Lucia. The resounding applause from the audience when I had won was an even bigger shocker. It was at that moment I realised that I had so many people rooting for me.
The journey has not been easy. Very early on I had gone viral and has several editorials in regional and international magazines but realistically my company was not ready for that kind of exposure. As a handmade brand our products are not mass produced. My output could not keep up not to mention I was too green in the business to understand online selling, exporting etc.
At one point I had to reign it in and take a step back. No more editorials or fashion shows. The brand has since been growing organically with a loyal fan base. This allows us to produce at a more reasonable pace to focus on quality instead of quantity.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
My best friend is also St. Lucian so we all know the best places. But one thing is certain we would either be at the beach or at a local ‘kabaway’ which is a rustic wooden bar, drinking with strangers and having a merry time.
My advice to anyone visiting St. Lucia is to follow the smoke and eat where you see the longest line. My favorite food is always food from road side establishments who probably only make 1 thing and have been making that 1 thing for years and has perfected that recipe.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
St. Lucian people. This tiny island is a force to be reckoned with and by large my biggest supporters have always been my fellow country people who are my biggest marketers. St Lucian love to come to me when they are travelling and need gifts to bring abroad. The most common thing I hear is that they need people to see that we have quality products made in St. Lucia. This type of support has always been the fuel to push me. My country men are my best ambassadors and my greatest motivators.
Photos by Kareem Stanley of Meerakulos Art