Candles glowed. Jewellery shone. Fancy coffees, teas and fine champagne flowed. This was the scene at a unique pop-up shop by Oasis Furniture, whose owner is a young Bahamian who marries her sense of style with a desire for new business.
For one weekend only this month, the iconic store in Sandyport with furniture and accessories from around the world was transformed into a happening.
“This was a great idea, so much fun and I did really well,” said Tadara Simon, whose candle, body scrub and similar personal products business under the name GLOW flourished, adding light and scents to the pop-up shop.
For Rebecca Armbrister Christen the event was an opportunity to unveil her new collection of harem pants and kaftans with designs she created.
“This was fantastic,” said Christen, whose goods were moving off the racks as fast as she could re-stock them.
Oasis Sandyport designer and operator Brooke Phillips, who sourced the unusual and the practical to fill the shop under Club One, created the pop-up shop.
“We wanted to host an event that was lively, organic and dynamic, reflecting the feel and vibe of the store,” said Ms Phillips.
“We think this worked really well because it gave a number of other people like Arcadian Treasures, LVC Resort Wear, Krystal Treco artwork, Rodero Miller jewellery and Café Channing Noelle coffees, teas and delicacies an opportunity to showcase their work while introducing new people to Oasis. When customers come in for the first time there is always this look of surprise and words like, ‘I never knew there was anything like this in Nassau,’ and invariably they are drawn to pieces by local wood artist Morgan McKinney whose work is absolutely amazing.”
Mr McKinney's works were not part of the pop-up shop, but he is a constant in the store that features everything from sofas and chairs to dining room tables, large mirrors, hanging chandeliers, organically shaped sinks, even a small selection of books and jewellery.
Mr McKinney works with native Bahamian woods, largely from the Family Islands. He allows the shape of the tree or the piece of driftwood to dictate the nature of the finished piece. His hand-carved key chains and coasters are especially popular and his stand-alone sculptures the size of a tree always attract attention.
“When you run a small business, especially with overhead that does not go away, you can never rest on last week’s success," said Ms Phillips. "You always have to think about what to do to add appeal, so if mixing beautifully hand-sewn bikinis with Balinese bar stools works, why not?”
While that event was highly successful, the 31-year-old business owner is already planning a surprise for the Christmas holidays.
“We will use our imagination and hope that guests use theirs. Maybe this year instead of a tie he won’t like and striped socks he’ll never wear, Dad will get a native stone sink or a large copper chandelier," said the entrepreneur who opened the Oasis Furniture store in February after two years of sourcing.
“It’s all about keeping it fresh, so with a new container coming in next month I have to do something to top the pop-up shop. Any ideas?”