One of the things you notice about St. John, when you’re making generalizations (which never are true), is that the men work construction and the women work retail. It just looks that way.
The just-published issue of the St. John Sun Times gives supports that perception.
A feature, Owning the Day, spotlights four women. One of the themes in their interviews is that owning a business is hard work, very hard work – but rewarding if you’re serious and smart about it.
Perhaps the best known is Alex Ewald, owner of La Tapa. For 16 years, her four-star Trip Advisor rated restaurant in Cruz Bay has become a landmark for fine food and its great bar.
“It’s a lot of work,” Ewald told the Sun Times. “I can express my creativity through my employees. Good delegation, respect and trust are the keys.”
Gina Feddersen, the cover girl for the Sun Times issue, owns Isola Bella, a home decor store and online business in St. Thomas. Art and creativity are the drivers for her venture’s vision.
Colette Diede owns two businesses. She’s had 6-Paq Scuba for 12 years, teaching visitors, to navigate underwater. Then, earlier this year, she bought Island Blues, the waterfront bar and grill in Coral Bay.
“Now, after the classes we can come back to our fabulous new menu, chefs, servers and bartenders,” she explains. “Island Blues (is) the first time I’d gone beyond what I knew I could do myself. I got by with a little help from my friends, from above, and even strangers.”
Saphia Boynes owns the Beauty Lounge at Mongoose Junction. She’s about to open a branch on St. Thomas at Havensight Mall. “I’m determined,” she told Ella Anderson, publisher and owner of the Sun Times. “I saw there wasnt a multicultural salon and I’d always wanted to do it. I never was a person who thought small.”