Jamaican Craft Pillows

Louise Gray Handmade Jamaican Craft Pillows: Uncommon Buy

For frequent travelers like me, details make a big difference when it comes to hotels. I mean, lots of hotels are nice, clean, and safe. To me, though, the best ones offer tremendous service, while also surrounding you with beautiful things sourced locally that are also emblematic of their destination’s history, culture, and/or heritage. Beautiful things like Louise Gray’s handmade Jamaican craft pillows.

Delightful Dancing Couple at Tensing Pen

I came across this one, entitled Dancing Couple, at Tensing Pen, the fabulous rustic-chic boutique hotel dotting the cliffs of Negril that, in part, inspired the birth of Uncommon Caribbean. I stopped in at TP for lunch in June 2018. It was my second time visiting, though I’ve yet to actually stay here.

There’s a lot about Tensing Pen that continually entices me to return and actually stay awhile. The fabulous location above and away from the touristy schlock of Negril. Uncommonly sexy bungalows. The thrill of leaping from this iconic bridge.

Now I have these fantastic Jamaican craft pillows to add to my list.

Louise Gray, Jamaican Craft Pillow Queen

They’re designed and handmade by Louise Gray. If you’re not from the Parish of St. Ann (a two-hour drive from Negril), or have never stayed at Tensing Pen, then you’ve probably never heard of Louise. Okay, I’m guessing that most Tensing Pen guests have never heard of her either. That is, unless they weren’t as enamored with her pillows as I was/am.

Louise, you see, isn’t some famous designer. She’s just a warm, humble, and proud Jamaican woman who has spent the past 30+ years of her life producing unique throw pillows artfully illustrating different aspects of West Indian life.

I have five or six patterns. Cart Man with Donkey, Dancing Couple, Big Market Lady, Lady with Baby Girl…

Louise’s voice trailed off as she listed her various patterns with me over the phone. It was very much like an older mother wistfully talking about her kids.

Handmade With Love

In true motherly fashion, Louise dotes over her pillows, painstakingly nurturing and crafting each by hand. Her method is Old School Jamaican to the core. So much so that she chuckled as she noted that young people today would never take the time to learn her time-honored technique.

It takes more than a day; like two days to finish [each pillow].

Thankfully, the great folks at Tensing Pen have patience…and great taste. They contracted with Louise some years ago to include her pillows in their decor. Guests loved them, of course. Louise soon started receiving orders from overseas, her whimsical throw pillows adding a comfy dash of Jamaican culture to homes around the world.

How to Buy Louise Gray Jamaican Craft Pillows…

If you’re keen on spicing up your home decor with Louise’s fantastic Jamaican craft pillows, you can call her at Tel: (876) 362-6159. Prices on her standard 16-inch square pillows, like the one pictured above, start at just JA$2,005. That’s less than US$14 in U.S. dollars – a STEAL and a half!

Louise takes custom orders too, and not just appeasing individual sizes either. If you have a particular message, image, or West Indian theme you’d like to see reflected on your pillow, she can work it out. 

So, call Louise today, and when you do, tell her Uncommon Caribbean sent you!

Last updated by Steve Bennett on .

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