St Croix Photographer – Nicole Canegata

10 Dec

Life travels like a film reel around us. At times we stop and are present in these moments. Some moments are rewarding and others we would rather not relive. These occasions, St Croix Photographer - Nicole Canegata and ib designs team up.
regardless of the outcome, linger and mold our character. As we age, we attempt to collect these instances and reflect on our purpose. Am I where I want to be? Am I successful? Am I doing what I want to be doing? Am I happy? Reflecting can be a catalyst for change or reassurance that you are exactly where you want to be. Regardless, one important message that ib designs represents and St Croix photographer, Nicole Canegata weaves through life and work is “feel good” in what you are doing.

Nicole Canegata | Food PhotographyNicole Canegata had this exact epiphany when she decided to quit her financial job of 8 years and pursue her love of photography. Her father who compiled an abundance of family pictures and photo albums inspired Nicole at a young age.  At age ten, her father handed her a camera to take a picture of him in his military uniform; little did the father and daughter know that as Nicole steadied her hand and snapped the moment, a seed would be planted. A love for photography was awakened. This seed lead to Nicole’s’s first solo art exhibit, The Traveling Lense, in January of 2011. A local art director, Francis Thomas Capone, invited her to show her work at his macheteMACHETE Art Studio. The show’s success catapulted her to quit her job and pursue her second degree, a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Professional Photography at Brooks Institute.

Nicole gains inspiration from the world around her. To date, she has traveled to six continents, 48 countries and 185 cities. She attributes herNicole Canegata | Cambodian Roots photo inspiration to her surroundings whether it be natural or urban – the ocean, sunsets, rolling green hills, full moons, dilapidated buildings, historic districts, industrial modern spaces; people from all walks of life, hobbies, food and traveling. While things we encounter in everyday life inspire Nicole, her work provides deeper meaning. Take for instance this image of food. Alone, a carrot, lemon, tomato and cucumber are delicious to eat, but in the image they are symmetrical and balanced. On first sight, the brightness of the fresh food might attract the viewer’s stomach. At the same time, graphically the composition is equally as powerful and deliberate. This balance and symmetry of the succulent vegetables gives the viewer a calm, Zen feeling.

In the second image of the tree, the eye is initially drawn to the texture of the photograph. A deeper study leads the eye to the sensual contours and curves of the tree. The roots resemble the torso of a female body. They emulate the s-curve of a females’ back and buttocks.  Upon a broader study, you realize you are looking at the roots of a massive tree in juxtaposition to ruins. So much about this black and white still life speaks and breathes life; thus, provoking a feeling from the viewer. In comparison, Nicole’s human black and white portrait lures the viewer’s eye to traverse the contours of the woman’s neck, shoulder, back and bottom. The smooth lines of the human skin and tree root not only create feeling, they also honor their subjects. These photographs serve as a direct tribute to the talent, soul, connection and eye for beauty of the photographer.

Nicole Canegata PhotographyNicole hopes to continue her dreams and create work that is “inspiring, beautiful, thought provoking and commercially viable.” She professes it is never too late to make your dreams a reality. Nicole explains “I want to inspire anyone who has a dream, to always go for it; nothing is impossible with hard work, vision, and perseverance.” Her proudest work to date is her black and white fine art nude images. She would love to be published by Architectural Digest, work for a renowned photographer where she can continue to be challenged, and, in her spare time, publish a coffee table book.

When you view Nicole’s portfolio, one can truly see her emotional connection to the picture being snapped. Her life’s journey combined with her Nicole Canegata Photographycraft sends a “feel good” message. She has refined her craft to move the audience, similar to ib’s designs. Strength. Harmony. Infinity. Virtue. Om. Unity. Balance. Life. Depth. Love. Culture. Serenity. Peace. Feel good. Words that hold small value individually, amount to a powerful representation and a mold for living your life. ib designs and St Croix photographer Nicole Canegata are inspiring representations of the ib motto “feel good” in everything you do.


Kimberly Hummers


Explore St Croix Photographer, Nicole Canegata’s Work: Blog, Tumblr, Commercial, Wedding



St. Croix Hiking – Off the Beaten Path

22 Jul

As children, snow globes hold a small fascination. For some, the allure is in shaking and watching the snow fall. For others, the appeal is the tiny world in the palm of your hand. As an adult, snow globes hold less interest. Until, you find yourself atop of a mount or hill looking on the small world below you. Absorbing the views, you feel like you are inside a snow globe. St. Croix is known for it’s exquisite white sandy beaches and depth of blue oceans. However if you take the time, and follow the trails, you can find yourself at the top of a hill where you will discover a new side of St. Croix. You are granted with a birds-eye view of the island. Enjoy our list of top St. Croix hiking destinations…

1.       Goat Hill

Goat Hill, St. Croix Hiking Goat Hill is located on the Eastern side of St. Croix, just past the Cramers Park entrance. Its peak is the second largest in St. Croix, towering at about 672 feet above sea level. Standing at the bottom of the hill, one can quickly view the clearly defined trail. The hike is approximately 4.5 miles. About ten minutes into the hike, you certainly feel the leg burn set in. While the actual path is not glamorous, the wait is worth the reward. Half way, there is a look out spot, which overlooks the magnificent south shore and serves as a teaser and a chance to catch your breath. After about thirty minutes you reach the top and are humbled by 360˚ views of St. Croix. Like a painting, the lush green foliage is contrasted against the varying hues of the blue ocean.


2.       Jack and Isaac Bay

Shortly after Cramers Park and Goat Hill, just before Point Udall you will find the winding trails of Jack and Isaac Bay.  On this adventure, you start on top and work your way towards stunning beaches. The bay faces the south shore and is lined with tall grass and Jack and Issac Bay, St. Croix Hiking
shrubbery.  The trail is easy to navigate, as the path is manicured from frequent hikers. One of the biggest draws of the hike is the view of the ominous ocean accompanying you the whole way. Pausing half way to overlook the bay, one can admire the clash of the Jurassic Park landscape and the crashing blue waves.

Once you reach the powdery sand, the wide beach stretches far left and right.  The first beach you reach is Jack’s Bay. Should you wish to continue, you can hike farther west to Isaac’s Bay. Both spots have magnificent snorkeling with tropical fish and marine life. Be mindful, both beaches are turtle nesting grounds.


3.       Willis/Annaly Bay and Tide Pools

Annaly Bay, St. Croix HikingNestled in the hills of the north shore lies Wills/Annaly Bay and Tide Pools. The 2-mile (each way) hike starts at Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort and ends with wet toes as you dip into the tidal pools. The challenging trek up the hill offers diverse scenery with tall grass, rocky beach and tropical rainforest. Hermit crabs and various birds accompany you as you navigate the trail. Eventually, you reach Annaly Bay, which boasts a beautiful ocean view of the north shore and rocky beaches. Absorbing the view, you catch the ocean mist on your face. The final leg of the hike, you will find yourself scaling rocks to seek the serenity of the tidal pools. The pools are sandwiched in between the jagged rocks, but are a welcoming site after a hot hike. One can cool off in the pools while staring out into the blue ocean.


4. The Lighthouse at Ham’s Bluff

First lit in 1915, The Lighthouse at Ham’s Bluff is a welcome sight after a brief, but steep hike. The lighthouse sits atop coastal hills know as Maroons on the north shore of the island. TheHam's Bluff Lighthouse, St. Croix Hiking uphill trail is partly forested and shaded. Once you reach the top, the view expands to the breathtaking sight of the north and west shores. It is easy to be taken back by the beauty of the ocean view paired with the rusted historic lighthouse. As the wind gusts the hair around your face, you can spot Renaissance St. Croix Carambola Beach Resort, Annaly Bay and Davis Bay. If you take the time to climb up the lighthouse, you are met with a wondrous perspective. Gazing out into the ocean horizon on a clear day, you are able to view other islands.

Winding your way up treacherous landscapes and sweating profusely are all forgotten  struggles once you reach the top. Shake up your world, go off the beaten path and peer into St Croix’s snow globe.

By: Kimberly Hummers


Stephanie Schoyer Inspiring the Eye

6 May

Kenan & WhealanClick, click. Now pause. A little to the left. Click, click. There! One picture that captures a moment becomes the cornerstone of inspiration for ib designs. In this moment, with the zoom of her lens and clicking shutter of her camera, Stephanie Schoyer captured a protective father holding his vivacious island boy. This image depicts a family full of love, life, joy and happiness. These are feelings infused into ib’s designs and Schoyer’s life work. Emotion is a part of human nature and connects us to each other. Through her lens in a moment of time, Stephanie Schoyer encapsulates a human emotion so pure it translates across cultures.

Stephanie Schoyer is a Bohemian by nature, self-taught photographer and artist by choice. She was raised in a wonderfully artistic household on St. Croix, where she lived, laughed and created art for 52 years. She is a proud mother of two sons and grandmother to, as she describes, “one of the coolest babies ever”. Her love for photography started as a school child. She was pulled out of class and asked to model at The Buccaneer Hotel for Children’s Vogue. She describes the day as one filled with laughter, playing dress up and frolicking on the beach with other children. Her beloved father, Toby, was also an accomplished artist. He would often encourage her to dress in costumes and pose as his subject in photographs and paintings. When she received her first camera in 1989, she was moved. At this time, Schoyer transformed from the subject to artistic creator. Her world inspired her to perfect her craft, which is reflected in her photographs.

The clicking shutter and knowledge she has captured that one special frame, exhilarates Schoyer. stephanie schoyer photographyShe gathers her inspiration from life and the world around her. Schoyer captures a sort of mysticism in her photographs. In the image to the right, one can imagine the life this house once had and the mystery as to why is was lost.  The beauty is in the details, the rust, decay and the chipping of the once vibrant Caribbean paint. In contrast, the house is surrounded by vine and flowers; by life. It has a magic, which creates palpable character from something nonliving. The third image uses the elegant curvature of the female’s back and neck to highlight the intricate necklace design. Whether she is capturing the style and grace of jewelry, the charm of an old house or emotions of people, Schoyer urges her audience to feel.

ib designs jewelry st croixSchoyer has recently relocated to the mainland US, however; her inspiration continues to blossom. She is looking forward to connecting with galleries and featuring her new creations. Some of her inspired ideas range from an Alice in Wonderland tea party, to models in ball gowns with teddy bear heads. She also has her sights set on recapturing the Jazz Festival in New Orleans. One can imagine the excitement, the rush of the crowd and exuberant patrons celebrating art.  The creativity is endless. Schoyer describes herself as being the happiest when she’s behind the camera or covered in paint, glue and glitter.

One picture taken many years ago intertwines two artistic stories. Stephanie Schoyer and ib designs’ both use life, emotions and feeling as their mediums. ib evokes a tangible feeling through jewelry pieces. Schoyer evokes emotion through a photograph. The stage and characters are constantly evolving, however; the celebration of life remains constant. They take their inspiration, convert it to art and leave behind their legacy for future generations. Schoyer explains it perfectly, “Do what makes you happy. Period.”

ib inspired;

Kimberly Hummers

Find Stephanie Schoyer at and instagram @schoyerphotography




19 Feb

When we’re not making beautiful jewelry, meeting our fabulous customers, or creating magical designs, these are some of the spots we like to explore on our beautiful island of St. Croix, the largest U.S. Virgin Islands:

Buck Island, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Buck Island Reef National Monument, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Sandy Point, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Sandy Point, National Wildlife Refuge, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Jack & Isaac's Bay, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Jack & Isaac’s Bay, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Dorsche Beach, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Dorsche Beach, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Davis Bay, The Carambola Beach Resort, St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands

Our creativity is inspired by our pristine environment and there is really nothing like putting your toes in some warm sand and floating away all your troubles in our warm waters.

Come play with us!

Peace & Love!