Tesoro has been a St. Croix business for eighteen years. We have the largest and most unique selection of Caribbean souvenirs in the US Virgin Islands, and are packed full of a variety of handmade crafts.
Our Haitian connection
We have carried Haitian art since the beginning of our store. My father began visiting Haiti in 1970 and had lifelong friends there. His connection with the people — from the oil drum artists to the cement bag Paper Mache mask creators — developed for decades.
In the 70s, my father lived and owned thirteen stores in Pennsylvania. Moving to St. Croix intensified his connection with the colorful art in Haiti, and in 1996 he opened Tesoro, reuniting all his old artisan friends and alliances in Haiti. He soon added crafts from Barbados, Trinidad, Jamaica, and the Dominican Republic.
Regional artisan collection
My dad never overlooked an opportunity to include new art in our store’s selection, and over the years we have added many unique keepsakes made by artisans throughout the Caribbean. Tesoro has a large selection of hand-carved mahogany salad bowls and platters. We also carry Caribbean hand-painted placemats and coasters to brighten up your dining or kitchen tables.
Hand-pounded, recycled Haitian 55-gallon oil drums transformed into works of art add drama to an empty space on any wall. We have unique oil drum Christmas angel trims which are perfect for the holidays and even for the ornament lover who “has it all.” Tesoro also carries classic coconut nativity sets which are delightful, quaint additions to nativity lovers’ collections.
Recycled art and jewelry
Tesoro carries numerous recycled artisan items, including Caribbean, recycled and costume jewelry that I make while at the store. The recycled jewelry is made from bottle caps, corks and pop tabs saved by workers at our neighborhood corner stores and taverns. Everyone contributes and loves the idea of helping recycle. Friends and family also save anything they think I can make jewelry from.
A family affair
Since the first week we opened our store, I was ringing up at the cash register. I was seven years old. My dad was more of the floor walker, talking to the people. Now I have been actively involved in the store for eighteen years and am the owner of Tesoro. My dad taught me the art of making people feel it is a warm, welcoming place to be. That was my dad’s style and I learned it from him.
I look forward to seeing you soon!
– Carla Russoli