Lost Girls Field Trip: Andros Island-Part 3

Andros Island, Bahamas, Blogging Your Trip, Hotels & Resorts, Shopping & Style — By on January 28, 2009 at 8:27 pm

Jen: While I wouldn’t trade my position as 1/3 of The Lost Girls writing team for anything in…well…the world, I recently spread my journalist wings and accepted my first solo assignment: a 9-part web series on Andros Island for the pop culture travel site, Jaunted.com. But even though I temporarily flew away from the nest, I felt compelled to bring my stories home to you, my favorite TLG readers. So enjoy my third post and stay tuned each week for a new entry!

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“The Art of Androsia”: You’ve seen them used as beach blankets. You’ve watched women tie them around their bikini-clad waists. Perhaps your hippie college roommate even hung one on the wall. Give up? The answer is batik.

I’m slightly embarrassed to admit this, but if you’d asked me what batik was before my recent visit to Andros Island in the Bahamas, my top three guesses probably would have been:

1) Exotic hard wood used to make furniture. Boring!
2) Stiff sugarcane rum. Much better!
OR 3) an indigenous plant with hallucinogenic properties. Umm…no comment!

Luckily the Birch Family, who founded the Small Hope Bay Lodge where I was staying for the week, was also the brainchild behind Androsia, an original batik fabric and garment manufacturing company on the island. As loyal consumers to, well, themselves, everything from the cottage bedspreads to the staff uniforms were drenched in vibrant shades of magenta, aquamarine and canary yellow and accented with an array of exotic prints featuring turtles, seashells, hibiscus flowers and hummingbirds.

Not to worry, though, there are plenty of goods to go around for guests. The Small Hope gift shop is just a few steps down the beach and is stocked with shirts, dresses, pants and more, which are purchased by honor system (or if you can’t make it down to Andros, all merchandise can be ordered online at www.androsia.aacart.com)

While the beauty of this unique art form certainly set the island tone during my stay, it was Androsia’s pro-social story that truly inspired me. Started in 1973, the year the Bahamas gained its independence, Androsia offered gainful employment for the local people, particularly women and single mothers. In 1998, Androsia won the Silver Jubilee Award, an honor bestowed on certain individuals and companies who have made significant contributions to the Bahamas. Today, the Androsia industry provides job opportunities to residence while continuing to boost the island’s economy.

So while my abs aren’t quite as tight as the woman’s in the featured photo, I’d proudly sport Androsia any day!

For more information, including the batik process, factory tour and custom online orders, visit their website at www.androsia.com

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Dying to view my entire Andros blog series to date?…Of course you are!
Click here to re-visit Part 1-3!

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