Andrea Wilson has been a graphic designer, a photographer, a television producer, and an advertising guru. She was born in Guyana, travelled to United Kingdom, and has worked on projects for clients in Africa, Germany, Switzerland and more. But, if you ask founder Andrea Wilson, she’ll tell you that Absolutely Unique really took shape on a sailing trip around the British Virgin Islands. With her background in graphic design and visual and multimedia communication, Andrea has spent years studying the way visuals can convey a message. Taking in the beautiful scenery of the BVI, she had visions of apparel, footwear and home accessories that would inspire BVI and Caribbean identity, while encouraging clients to embrace their own unique style.
Since its launch in August of 2015, Absolutely Unique has been a success. With the brand’s Facebook followers numbering well into the thousands, Andrea has now shifted her focus to developing her website, set to launch in October of 2016. The launch coincides with the Miss BVI Tourism World Pageant, where Absolutely Unique will also debut its first swimwear/beach collection called “The Islander.” Andrea anticipates The Islander will be wildly popular, appealing to both tourists and BVI locals.“Every piece in The Islander Beachwear Collection will remind visitors of their amazing experiences in the Virgin Islands,” she says. “They will also be proudly worn by Virgin Islanders because ‘Is We Own.’”
Absolutely Unique’s current bestseller? The Virgin Islands Map Cushion, or as Andrea calls it, “the little cushion that did.” Handmade in Tortola and featuring a map of the British Virgin Islands, the Cushion comes in all sizes and colors and has been a hit, especially amongst tourists. Other products such as hammocks, hanging chairs, and of course, the swimwear all feature BVI maps or scenery, staying true to the brand’s mission of being a love letter to the place that Andrea calls home.
Absolutely Unique’s other mission? Corporate social responsibility. Andrea is committed to making the brand fair trade, community-based, and environmentally conscious. In the works is the Absolutely Unique Factory and the Made In the Virgin Islands Training Programme, aimed at providing young people with the technical skills to produce quality products that promote the Virgin Islands. Combined with fair trade agreements with artisans and eco-friendly manufacturing processes, Absolutely Unique is a brand that the BVI can be proud of.