ZAZAA AT SHOAL BAY EAST The Ricketts’ Boutique With A Difference
Robin and Sue Ricketts are household names in Anguilla and for good reason. For some 30 years they have intimately being involved in the island’s tourism development with great success and over that period have moved on to other projects despite the attendant challenges.
They were involved in such projects like Cul de Sac, the early establishment of Malliouhana Hotel and, for many years, until recently, have been behind the successful marketing of Cap Juluca.
Returning To First Loves
It is now time for the Ricketts to move on again. “We decided to go back to one of our first loves: retail,” she stated. “It is very difficult to find a place to actually put a shop so we decided that we would build the shop from scratch and put it where we want it – out east because there is no sort of boutique there. We had the opportunity to build it on a slab at Ku. We decided to go back to the West Indian roots. Having built things in Mediterranean, Moorish and South Beach type architecture, we thought it was time that Anguilla now looks to its roots. We feel that in many ways it is in danger of losing its culture, so we had a special chattel house built in the old style in order that we can put the boutique within it.”
Mr. Ricketts, known for his tremendous behind-the-scenes skill and expertise, said that as Sue pointed out, “the basic concept of the boutique is to make it Anguillian.” He went on: “It was reasonably difficult finding somebody who actually knew how to build one of these but we did. He was Barbadian and he did a wonderful job. It was a bit nerve-racking because you never knew how it would come out, but it turned out very well. We want to make it Anguillian because Anguilla has been very good to us. We have been here 30-odd years and we thought that this would be the way to go rather than doing Moorish architecture or any of the other type of architecture.”
Fitting In ZaZaa at Shoal Bay
The low-key developer was asked how he saw ZaZaa fitting in with the whole development of the surrounding Shoal Bay East area. “We feel that the advantage of Shoal Bay is that there are so many different attractions and that’s why Ku is so popular because you don’t have to have a lot of money to stay here; and you can walk from one restaurant to other attractions like Uncle Ernie’s, Elodias and Gwen and you can have a massage on the beach. It is like South Beach in Miami. It is all different little things that you can do and it is only going to get more and more popular as time goes along. That’s why we thought that it would be an ideal situation that ZaZaa fits into this whole community”.
Why the name ZaZaa? Mrs. Ricketts provides the answer: “Like other efforts in Anguilla, where we went into Indian names, (Malliouhana and Cap Juluca and Ku), we decided at this time we would go with ZaZaa. Strangely enough, for us, it doesn’t actually mean anything but it was suggested to us by a journalist in New York to name Ku ZaZaa. We have a record of calling our hotels unusual names. We wanted it (Ku) to have an Arawak name; so when it came to doing the boutique, we certainly thought on ZaZaa because it got Panache [and other features]…which almost describe what is in the store.”
Sue, a lover of beautiful and exotic fashion wear, responded to another question. “What we are trying to have here is a fun ‘beachy’ type of boutique which is not out of the reach of everybody. Some of the boutiques in the upper end hotels are very expensive. We didn’t want that to happen. We want to be able to appeal to everybody not only to the people at the high end hotels but also those who are in the villas at Ku - to the day trippers coming in and to normal every day people. This is very important to the development of Anguilla that it remembers the middle market as well as the upper market.”
ZaZaa’s Collections And Local Craft
Commenting on some of the items in the boutique, she reported: “We brought in Sabina who has two stores in St. Barths and have everything from her ranging from dresses, tunics, tops and pants. We also have collections from France. We are about to bring in Noreen Phillips who is a very well known designer in St.Maarten and by Christmas we will have her collections here as well. We also, very interestingly, got jewellery from all over the world – Africa, France, South America, England.” ZaZaa will also have collections from Kenya featuring upgraded table mats, napkins, runners, finger-tip towels and table cloths among other supplies.
The Ricketts are making certain that Anguillian craft work is also among their stock. “What we want to do is to get as many Anguillian artists and artisans as we can” Mrs. Ricketts hoped. “This is very important to us and we ask that anybody who feels that they can do a very good product we would be very interested in seeing it.” She acknowledged some very up-market souvenir items from Bernice Fahie-Richardson which will be sold.
ZaZaa is managed by Anguillian Manager Kewanah Richardson of Swing High. “Now that we are all set up, I can leave her to it and get back to other aspects of the business,” Sue added. Probably something else in the west!
Mr. Ricketts had this to say: “It is the side benefits that we hope to promote – cottage industries in Anguilla that can supply goods for us to sell. It is a case where they scratch our back and we scratch theirs. We did that in the market at Ku whereby we are trying to encourage people to produce jams, liquor and various other things that are made purely in Anguilla.
Mrs. Ricketts had the last word: “I just like to reiterate the exact things that we sell so that people know. We have clothing, jewellery and accessories, gifts, arts, sundries, a lot of books written on Anguilla and we are encouraging people to come in and have a look.
“We have a special for residents of Anguilla. It is a 10 percent reduction on anything in the store. And, by the way, we also have a lot of Brazilian bikinis,” she laughed.
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Participate in some Anguilla retail therapy. Look no further than ZaZAA Boutiques located at Shoal Bay East, Lower South Hill and Meads Bay, Anguilla. Enjoy a fun, eclectic Anguilla shopping experience for clothes (beach, casual and elegant clothing), swimwear, hats and caps, , sunglasses, accessories, jewelry, art, gifts, books, Anguilla memories/souvenirs, Anguilla t. shirts and sundries from around the world. If you enjoy emporiums you will love these shops.