Retail outlet for Bermudian artisans
There’s something for everyone in a gift shop tucked away in the heart of St George’s.
The Bermuda National Trust shop, on the ground floor of The Globe Hotel, is open all year round and provides a delight for visitors and residents. It is also a welcome outlet for locally produced items and craftwork.
“It is lovely to be able to support local people and artisans. We have the Bermuda National Trust apparel, but everything else is made by locals — and when I tell tourists that they love it,” said Anna Ridgeway, museums manager for the BNT.
Visitors can pick up unique and handmade trinkets and gifts to remind them of their stay in Bermuda, and the selection is wide, it even includes Christmas tree decorations in the middle of summer.
Ms Ridgeway said: “The tourists go crazy for Christmas tree ornaments. Everywhere they go they try to pick one up.”
Those available in the shop are decorative, clear baubles made by Heidi Cowen and filled with pink Bermuda sand. There are also fridge magnets made from cedar and decorated with old Bermuda stamps.
Elsewhere in the shop are Robin’s Woodart items, including reusable shaving razors made from cedar, Betsey Bermuda books, and Dr Smith’s hot sauces which “fly off the shelves”, according to Ms Ridgeway.
With Sallie’s Jams, pottery items by Helle Pukk, local artwork, tea towels, banana leaf dolls and angels, key rings, heritage books and more, there is plenty of choice.
Genuine old one penny coins from the early and mid 1900s are also popular with tourists who dig into a small bowl of them searching for coins featuring their year of birth, before smiling and joking as they exchange $2 for a penny.
It is not only tourists who delight in the treasure trove of Bermudian-made and themed items for sale, many locals are also surprised to discover the small shop in the middle of St George’s.
“People come in and say they did not know this shop existed. It is a different kind of gift shop — and where else can you find a shop that is in a property build in 1699?”
The Globe Hotel building is on the corner of King’s Square and York Street, opposite St Peter’s Church. The museum, of which the shop is part, is steeped in history and attracts tourists eager to learn more about the Union blockade in the American Civil War, and the blockade runners who were based in Bermuda.
“We have some huge Civil War buffs who come in to look around,” said Ms Ridgeway.
The shop’s busiest day of the year coincides with the Bermuda National Trust’s Christmas walkabout, when thousands of people throng to the Old Towne, however the summer months are also busy.
The shop will soon be adding new designs to the BNT apparel range, including polo tops and fleeces. Additionally there is a new volume in the Bermuda’s Architectural Heritage Series soon to be released.
Ms Ridgeway loves working in the museum and helping at the shop because of the opportunity to meet a wide variety of people, from vacationers to locals.
She hopes more residents will come along and support the shop and the local artists and craftmakers who produce the items on sale. She also would like to hear anyone who can volunteer time to help with the running of the shop, which mostly relies on volunteers to keep it going.
“We are open five or six days a week, it depends on volunteers,” she said. “We need more volunteers for the shop and are always looking for them. It is the sort of work that would suit someone who is not working or wants to do some volunteering.”
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