... There was a girl who met a boy who whisked her off her feet and said "Hey, do you want to move to Aruba?"...
And that is how my love affair with One Happy Island began.
I had never even heard of this tiny piece of paradise. Being born and raised in rainy Manchester, England, I was not familiar with the Dutch Caribbean islands. Queue the frantic Google Search!!!!
Sure enough there is was... The white sandy beaches, the crystal clear waters... I was in love!
I can remember touching down at the airport in June 2008 and taking the drive to our new home on the island... I was mesmerised. I couldn't quite believe my luck. Was this place really going to be my new home sweet home? Was this really happening to me? I felt like I had hit the jackpot!
I had traveled and worked abroad in my youth throughout Europe and having half my family living in Australia I had visited there often too. Wanderlusting is probably my favourite hobby. I love exploring new places, soaking up new cultures, trying new exotic cuisines. My favourite destinations are New York, the Greek Islands, Thailand, British Colombia (Canada), Brisbane and Byron Bay (Australia) to name but a few. I always told myself that I would live Down Under someday.... But then I was introduced to the Happy Island and I knew I was "home".
I adapted to island life pretty fast. Making new friends was fun, I enjoyed meeting different people from around the world who had discovered this tiny island and made it their home too.
One Christmas it was like a United Nations event because we had that many nationalities come over for dinner... Dutch, Canadian, Venezuelan, Colombian, Aruban, America and us Brits... Cooking up a traditional English Christmas dinner with all the trimmings in 90 degree heat... Insane! But it was a memorable day!
My passion for Aruba was so strong that I really wanted to put this energy into something positive and to showcase my love for this island.... Thats when Dushi Designs was born.
I have always been a creative person and with my background in graphic design I decided to embark on a new venture. I have always been inspired by the scenery around Aruba... The sandy shores, swaying palm trees, turquoise water, prickly cactus dotting across the desert like cunucu, the abandoned traditional houses, old colonial buildings and of course the epic sunsets!
My awesome friends, One Happy Island and my global travels and road trips are where I draw my inspiration from.
I guess I kind of create things which I would love in my own home here in Aruba and also what I think my friends would love too. Prints and posters, cute slogan tee's and tanks based on Aruban sayings and phrases and of course our round beach towels.... I can always picture me and my friends hanging out on the beach at Dos Playa having a picnic and a glass of bubbles on one of our Roundie's.
Dushi Designs was one year in the making before it was officially launched and out there for the world to see. It's now been open online for 13 months and what a whirlwind that has been!
Hard work, dedication, staying focused, keeping the creative juices flowing and trying to have some fun with my designs has made Dushi Designs a success.
I am proud to say, "Yes! Dushi Designs is my creation, my bambino, my creative outlet, my passion and my way of expressing my love for Aruba."
So here I am, a girl from Manchester, who has been fortunate enough to travel the world, meet an amazing guy who happened to invite me to the island, have a super supportive Mama (who also happens to look hot in a bikini so often gets roped in to "model" our roundie's) and lucky enough to call Aruba home.
Check out our Instagram @dushidesigns for cool pics of the island and my travels and see what inspires our collections. Follow us on Facebook and subscribe to Dushi Designs mailing list to be the first to know about our events, new designs and to be in with a chance to WIN some island vibe goodies!
- Stacy, Dushi Designs Founder/Creator