What is it about self-taught accessory designer Althea Teague Johnville’s products that have us intrigued here at CFstyle.com? Is it the precision and expertise in crafting each individual piece? Is it the use of unconventional materials that others may not see with an artistic eye? Or could it be the unique twist that she incorporates into the often-stereotyped ‘typical Caribbean souvenir’ jewellery?
We believe it is a combination of all these things, and then some. Althea’s WonderfullyMade – located in Antigua and Barbuda – is a selection of Caribbean-inspired accessories that are as wearable as they are token holiday pieces.
What started as a childhood hobby for the designer has, within the past nine months, become a full-time profession. Preferring to work with unconventional items like mango seeds, mango skin, pineapple tops and even safety pins (as seen below), she puts coconut shells at the top of her list of favourite materials.
‘My inspiration comes from within,’ says Althea. ‘I know what I want each piece to look like when I start working on it, but in the final scenario, the materials at hand pretty much dictate what I can or cannot do.’
One of the biggest challenges in making jewellery and accessories is acquiring all the materials that she would prefer to work with.
‘The sourcing and importation of the things I need is a major hurdle. Port charges don’t help either.’
However, she still manages to create new work on a regular basis. That said, the next WonderfullyMade collection – a Mango and Pineapple collection – is set to be ready in time for Antigua’s annual Mango Fest in August.
What speaks to Althea the most about the Caribbean?
‘The natural beauty of the region is something I’m most proud of. Despite being a cluster of many countries, our similarities lie in our shared history, culture and daily life. The Caribbean has a unique style and flavour: like Antigua’s national dish – Fungi Pepper Pot – its many ingredients come together to give it a sweet taste.’
CFstyle particularly likes the WonderfullyMade watches, as shown below.
Contact Althea’s WonderfullyMade for more information and products:
Call: (268) 772 1544 or (268) 725 7420
Or email: firstname.lastname@example.org