Longing to take back a piece of Belize with you to your loved ones, but don’t know what? These are my personal top 5 best gift items from Belize that will be sure to leave a lasting impression.
Adorn your feelings with the best local gifts Belize has to offer. Whether you’re into fashion, food or natural products, these gift items are sure to melt or ignite anyone’s heart.
1. Twig & Pearl
A fashionable selection of leather handbags with a tropical vibe handcrafted with precision, love and environmentally friendly.
Designed and created by Belizean designer Rebecca Stirm, Twig & Pearl is an artisan leather handbag brand handcrafted by hand, hand-dyed and individually finished and checked for quality and strength. It is a tropical chic fashion focusing on the beauty of natural materials with minimal design. Stirm quotes on her website, “We combine the work of artisans and nature to offer beautiful, curated collections of high-quality handcrafted fashion and lifestyle products that are made from a minimum of 75% natural materials (Leather, wood, cotton, silk, hemp, stone, etc.).
We believe that the best way to leave behind a healthy environmental and social footprint is to create products that are thoughtfully designed, well-made from high-quality sustainable materials, and carefully manufactured in small batches by people who genuinely love and believe in the products they are creating.” Her leather items run anywhere from $45 US up to $240 US. To find out more or shop for Twig & Pearl go to https://www.twigandpearl.com/
2. Kaj Expressions
Captivating pieces of jewelry incorporating exquisite beads, gems and even lionfish from the seas of Belize. Handmade and handcrafted one by one with the option of custom making your jewelry.
Owner Khadija Assales also known as “Kaj” ties her love for art with marine conservation creating a most unusual collection of wearable art. She uses precious metals such as highly tarnish-resistant Argentium Silver and fuses it with non-venomous tails of the invasive lionfish. Each piece of jewelry is detail-oriented and handcrafted with love. The products are 100% Belizean. The best part of buying Kaj jewelry is you have the option of creating your own expression. You can tell them exactly what you want or leave it up to them and get your dream customized jewelry. For more information and purchasing Kaj products visit www.kajexpressions.com or visit their Facebook “Kaj expressions”. Kaj Expressions also have walk-in stores located in San Ignacio, Cayo, and Placencia.
3. Zest Handcrafted
One of a kind handmade jewelry pieces sure to bring smiles to people’s faces and add some “zest” to their outfit.
Aesha Rachelle Garel is the owner and artist behind Zest Handcrafted jewelry. The main ingredient used to make her jewelry is resin. A resin according to the Britannica dictionary is “any natural or synthetic organic compound consisting of a non-crystalline or viscous liquid substance. In other words, it is a mixture of organic compounds. Garel works from her home and recently has started making appearances at various pop-up events. Zest Handcrafted offers jewelry such as earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and pendants. Custom orders are also available. For more information on prices and products check out Zest Handcrafted on Facebook.
An original seaweed hair care line that’s 100% natural, high quality, sustainably farmed and hand-harvested. It is a powerful gift from the sea that helps transform damaged hair.
Owner and founder of Ikooma, Jolie Pollard created this product after many kitchen experiments. She longed for a product that would keep working on her hair beyond 12 or 24 hours during her backpack adventures in Central America. Her grandfather Cleveland Berry became popular in Placencia for his famous “Seaweed Punch” which was a brandy spiked milkshake with seaweed. It was rich with antioxidants and minerals with lots of health benefits. She then discovered seaweed was her missing ingredient for her haircare line.
Ikooma’s seaweed hair care products contain vitamins, minerals, and fatty acids to help fortify your hair and grow stronger. It combines 100% natural Belizean seaweed with high-quality natural ingredients (cold-pressed oils, pure butter, botanical essentials) to stimulate scalp hydration and increase hair mineralization. Ikooma also promotes saving the environment by introducing the growing global trend of refillable cosmetics in Belize. Save your jars and bottles and refill with Ikooma. Place your order now for Ikooma products which range from $25 BZ- $50 BZ. For more details on purchasing her products check her website www.ikoomahair.com.
5. Marie Sharp Hot Sauce
An extraordinary carrot-based blend with the perfect balance of flavor and heat made from fresh habanero peppers. Marie sharp offers 13 assorted hot sauce flavors with other base flavors made from orange/grapefruit pulp, cactus, tamarind, mango and pineapple combined with crushed habaneros. This is the perfect gift for those who love a good kick of flame in their meal.
Marie Sharp who is the owner and founder of this spectacular hot sauce came up with the recipe in 1980 while experimenting with fresh habanero peppers, vegetables, and fruits from her farm. She received positive feedback from friends and relatives and decided to launch a family business. In the beginning, she started their production in a small kitchen with the help of relatives and an employee. Now it has grown to over 20 employees with their factory located in Stann Creek, Belize manufacturing for local as well as international markets. Marie sharp lives up to their slogan, “Proud Products of Belize”. Marie sharp not only produces hot sauce but other products such as Belizean jams, squash, and seasonings. Her hot sauce, as well as other products, can be found in most grocery stores nationwide. It is the go-to gift item tourists buy before leaving Belize.
Written by Jiyoung Chehade