“I love what I do! I use natural resources to create streams of income for myself.”
Orelia Bowe, Owner of Magnola’s Designs, is a handbag designer and craft specialist based in Freeport, Grand Bahama. Her product line includes intricately designed straw bags, picture frames and dolls all handcrafted and constructed with indigenous materials such as straw, conch horns and shells. Magnola’s Designs is both a wholesale and retail supplier of products and materials. In addition to creating products for sale, Orelia has a thriving export business which allows her to ship her line of craft products and raw materials to customers, artisans and craft-makers throughout The Bahamas.
The skill Oreila possess to make beautifully hand crafted straw pieces was acquired from her late mother Magnola Henfield, who taught and nurtured the gift in all of her children during their childhood in Rolleville, Exuma. Magnola Henfield did this to ensure that this Bahamian art form lived on through her children. When Oreila retired from her traditional nine to five job in 2014, this inherited talent quickly became her new source of income.
“After I retired, a friend taught me how to make contemporary high end straw handbags. I realized that I was a natural because my mother taught me the traditional straw techniques and I would make beach bags and straw dolls with Androsia Print for the vendors in the local straw market.”
Oreila named her business Magnola’s Designs as a tribute to her mother.