ISLAND FUSION (IF)
For many island born natives, migration [island hopping] is a cultural and societal norm. But we often find that what we’re so ready to leave is actually what we’re really looking for. For this series, I won’t cover one fifth of what island hopping actually encompasses, but I do hope to give you a glimpse into the world of a few great people who have left one island nation only to make their home in another.
These people are designers, artists, dancers, musicians, and much more. The one thing they do have in common is their love for life, the sun, sand + sea and creating awesome works of ‘art’.
Leave a comment if you know someone who would be really great to feature and I will try to work my magic and get in touch.
Island Fusion Part 1: Sosefina Christie adds Polynesian flavor to her Bahamian designs
No one loves life more than my friend Fina. Sosefina Christie is an unstoppable force of joy and it’s hard not to smile when you meet her or when you see her work.
Born and raised between the South Pacific islands of Tonga and Hawaii, Fina’s free-spirited, go-getting nature and love of the outdoors prompted her to abandon the traditional education route of college and pursue a passion for designing art and jewelry.
But college wasn’t all bad; after all it’s where she met her Bahamian-born husband, Kirk. That new-found love is what brought her to the other side of the planet. It’s also what inspired her company’s name – BaNesian – a harmonious combination of her love of both her Bahamian and Polynesian worlds.
When it comes to her unique works of art, her jewelry in particular, her technique is hands on and armed with an infectious love of life and vibrant color. This island girl takes the term ‘island inspired’ to a whole new level.
“Designing, for me, is 24/7,” she says. “I’m forever surrounded by creativity and inspired by everyday occurrences. For example, I’m driving and all I see are explosions of ideas and color. From the greenery of swaying coconut trees, to blue skies and 40 shades of blue from the ocean. It never ends. I can’t shut it out. It’s my passion and when you love what you’re doing – it just is.”
With a keen eye for detail, Fina (her nickname) takes both her cues, and her materials, from her back yard. Then again her back yard is the Great Bahama Bank, the Atlantic Ocean’s sandy neighbor.
“Most of my designs happen on a whim, I create my designs in my mind and make them come to life. However some pieces, depending on the style, could take two or more hours to create.”
The five-year jewelry design veteran credits Umukoula Tu’inukuafe and Manusiu Tupper as her design idols but also pays homage to the people and things around her for their input as well.
“I’m inspired by my surroundings, family, friends and mostly travels. I love colors and enjoy putting them together like a puzzle. My grandmother and my aunt are my biggest inspiration, they’re very talented and I know that my creativity comes from them.”
And that creativity hasn’t gone unnoticed. Having participated in numerous public and private showcases, Fina is part of a collective of designers in The Bahamas getting world-renowned attention thanks to the consistent publicity of their home base – The Craft Cottage.
“I’ve never won an award but I really don’t need one because each piece that I sell to a customer to me is an award.”
For Fina, designing is a life experience and she says the best work that any designer can create is just one thought away. Her eclectic blend of her Tongan roots and her current Bahamian life is not without its challenges, but Fina adapts to any circumstance she encounters and makes the best of it thanks to a close circle of friends and family who encourage her on her on this journey.
“Believe in yourself and surround yourself with individuals who push you to higher achievements together,” is her one piece of advice to aspiring designers. “Positive energy yields wonderful possibilities.”
Vanessa Clarke is a native of the Bahamas and one of The Diva Inc. Magazine’s international correspondent. Clarke is an avid reader, breeds pittbulls, loves hiking, photography and hanging out on the beach with her dogs, Ghost and Sheba.