About Us

Words by TROPSHOP’s Founder and CEO, Leah Marville.
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You know how they say pressure makes diamonds?
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Well, TROPSHOP came about after years of built up pressure in the Caribbean fashion industry and coincidentally, in my life at the time. My background is in Caribbean fashion; I have been involved in it for over 16 years. I started as a model and was an ambassador, coordinator and a facilitator over the many years, as the oppotunities would have presented themselves. During those experiences I realized how challenging sometimes it was to get access to Caribbean fashion and Caribbean fashion talent.
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In my travels as a model my wardrobe would consist of pieces by fashion designers from all across the region, from Jamaica, to Barbados, Dominica, Trinidad and Tobago, the OECS, and I would always encounter people who were interested in the pieces that I wore, and by greater extension interested in the Caribbean aesthetic. It would always be a very long, convoluted conversation about how to get the interested person in contact with the Caribbean designer, then get the money to the Caribbean designer and then get the product back to the interested person. This probably occurred more times than I can count in over 16 years, and the conversation hadn’t changed much up until recently.
   
 
There was a good enough pressure being built up in the pipes around me, but I would say that it was my personal life that catapulted me into the birth of thetropshop.com. I spent two years of my life underwhelmed by my legal career and needing to get back in touch with my passion. So after quitting my job, moving out of my apartment and spending months in isolation questioning and exploring what my purpose is in this world, I found my way back to my foundation as a model and in fashion. This time however, I wanted to give back something more than just my appearance in the industry, so I decided to focus on the area of fashion that I had always had questions about, which was the area of e-commerce. I have always asked, “Why don’t more designers take credit card payments?” and “How do we make designers more accessible to the world at large?” I could not stop thinking about it so I researched and researched until I could find the answers to these questions that I had.
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The problems that I needed to solve were clear. I had to give fashion designers and fashiontrepreneurs the opportunity to accept credit card payments from across the world. Simply put, and a story close to home for me, I wanted my best friend Shanika who is a tie-dye designer of resort wear, to be able to sell to an English lady sitting in her mittens and winter coat, drinking coffee trying to get warm, and in her search for warm thoughts stumbles across Shanika’s page wanting to purchase a resort piece for her trip to Bora Bora that she is thinking of taking to get away from the cold.
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I also knew that in providing this platform, I would have to solve the issues of shipping the items from the Caribbean to the interested customers around the world. More importantly, and I think this is the exciting part, I wanted there to be a place where that same English lady could return to to see what else there was in Caribbean fashion that she would be interested in wearing on her Bora Bora trip. So I created a one-stop-shop, department store to find Caribbean fashion brands in one place, thetropshop.com.
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TROPSHOP is a multi-purposed platform that caters to both fashion customers and the fashion merchant, and makes Caribbean fashion easy to find and accessible to all those who are enamoured with the Caribbean aesthetic, while simultaneously giving the designers, talent and fashionpreneurs the platform to create an e-commerce solution for their businesses, bringing them in-line with the way in which the modern fashion world is moving. In addition to that, we provide guidance to our fashion designers, assist them in marketing solutions to get the word out there and promote their brand.
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However, with the successes we’ve achieved, there have been some challenges. I will not lie to you and say that the upkeep of an e-commerce site of this nature is easy. As your parents would say, when you fix one thing, all of sudden a million other things need fixing. That is exactly what this journey feels like. We are constantly forced to adapt and problem solve the challenges of the lack of an e-commerce culture in the Caribbean. But it’s a challenge that my team and I have proudly accepted. With our “there’s always a way, no is not an acceptable answer” mentality and our relentless determination to move an industry forward, we will make thetropshop.com en par with international e-commerce fashion websites and by extension, it will take our people, our talent, our culture and our Caribbean flavour to the world!
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So guys, #KeepTropping.

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