Earlier this year, New York City-based style and travel influencer Monroe Steele posted that she had teamed up with Kristin White, the Mayor of Black Bermuda (joking, but not really), to host a trip to Bermuda in the Fall. I decided to roll solo, but ended up meeting some other dope female solo travelers and Bermudian locals who fell nothing short of #BlackGirlMagic. Let’s start from the beginning.
Monroe has been to Bermuda a couple of times and describes it as one of her favorite places in the world. Kristin White is a Bermuda native and renaissance woman who loves to tell stories about people from her island, especially when it comes to Black entrepreneurs, especially women. Kristin is a writer, talk show host, owns a gift shop called Long Story Short, and she hosts history tours. She can count Yara Shahidi’s family among her happy tour customers. However, Kristin decided to take the concept of her tours to a higher level.
After learning that the Bermuda Board of Tourism wanted to attract more African American visitors, which currently stands at 4%, Kristin decided to host a full trip to her island to provide a deeper look into what it has to offer. When most people think of Bermuda, they think of rich White travelers and business people who come to play. While all of the above is true, Kristin also wants travelers to explore the island’s rich African diasporic heritage, as well as its bustling population of Black creatives who are turning their passions into profit and achieving milestones in Black History. So, she slid into Monroe’s DM’s to see if she would be interested in tapping into her follower base to host a group of stylish women on the island and “Untold Stories” was born. Bermuda is a 90 minute flight from JFK. It’s chill, the beaches aren’t overcrowded, and it’s a great place to experience luxury that rivals that of a weekend in the Hamptons.
Myself plus two other young stylish Black women joined the fun as we explored Bermuda over a four day weekend. We stayed at the luxurious Hamilton Princess Bermuda and traipsed around the island visiting modern museums, tasting epic food, getting history lessons, and visiting chic Black owned boutiques. Here’s a rundown of places you’ll want to visit when you touch down in Bermuda.
Orange Bay Company
Orange Bay Company is consignment shop that sells thoughtfully selected clothing, furniture, and accessories in good condition. Shop everything from Gucci and Tory Burch to Forever 21 and Zara. The items are carefully curated via a diverse selection of items brought in by stylish and eco-conscious people who drop off several items on a daily basis. There truly is something for everyone. The store’s bring your own bag policy helps to reduce plastic and paper use, and its partnership with Bermuda College offers employment opportunities for youth looking for work experience.
If you’re into fine jewelry then look no further than Davidrose, the first Black owned jewelry store on Front Street in Hamilton. David and Rose are the husband and wife duo behind their namesake shop and now have multiple locations. They met in college and discovered a mutual passion for jewelry design and the rest is history. The shop sells a variety of pieces from platinum engagement rings to gold studs and counts Shiona Turini as a fan of their pieces.
Joanna Stapff is the owner and jewelry designer of 1609 Designs. She is also a DJ and has an adorable dog named Babaloo who will greet you when you step into her quaint boutique. Much of Stapff’s jewelry is handmade with different types of crystals, or with a zodiac theme, but the shop has an overall variety of unique gifts inspired by local flora, fauna and the cosmos. You can find Bermuda-themed cloth bags, pouches, t-shirts, dresses, shirts, beach wear, and candles as well.
Urban Cottage Bermuda
Urban Cottage Bermuda is a hip-hop meets Bohemian hideaway located right on Front Street, not far from the Hamilton Princess. The vibe inside is that you’re lost in a hide away cave, but with Biggie playing in the background. It’s a clothing store that sells statement pieces with a whimsical flair, as well as makeup and accessories. Look out for tulle skirts, metallic pants, flowy dresses and clothing that will get you noticed.
Naked Zero is a mostly bath and body product shop nestled down an alleyway in Old Cellar Lane in Hamilton, right across from 1609 Designs. Naked Zero sells a variety of natural non-toxic, vegan products like, reef friendly sunscreen, laundry detergent, water bottles, oils, locally made apparel, and more.
If you’re looking for a nice night out without colorism and racism, then check out Cosmopolitan. Expect to hear the top hip-hop and R&B, especially if you stop in on 90s night.
Long Story Short
Take a trip to St. George and wander into Long Story Short where you will find products mostly made by Black women. Grab a beach read, some body scrubs, or statement hoops made by Liberia’s the Bombchel Factory.
Sweet Saak Bakery
Sweet Saak Bakery is a must when in St. George. Stop by for the tastiest cinnamon rolls you will ever have in life. Cinnamon rolls aside, you can generally grab breakfast, lunch and dinner without breaking the bank.
No island adventure is complete without a boat ride! Hit up True Bermuda for a relaxing or ratchet—depending on what you’re looking for—catamaran experience. The crew provides all the dark and stormy’s and rum swizzles you could ever want along with catering and music provided by your playlist. It’s a taylor made luxurious ride on the ocean with a stop for kayaking and swimming built in.
Banter and Steel
In case you didn’t know, menswear is poppin’ for everybody! Stop by Banter and Steel for stylish shirts, shorts, pants and accessories with a masculine edge. Stand out items include printed button down shirts, socks, and leather travel bags perfect for storing suits and loafers.
Beauties, are you interested in visiting Bermuda?
HELLO WORLD: Enhance Your Girls Trip To Bermuda With These 10 Black Owned Businesses was originally published on hellobeautiful.com