ib Summer of LOVE

12 Jul


Have you ever found yourself in a funk or a brooding mood and you come across someone who greets you with a warm, genuine smile? Perhaps they hold the door for you or offer you a kind, simple gesture? A small act of love can change the course of your day. Love comes in many forms; romantic, family, friends, community, activities, or self. Love is infectious and ultimately has a great influence over our happiness.  When was the last time you laughed, I mean really belly laughed, and the people surrounding you joined in the laughter at your pure joy in the moment?  Laughter and Love reminds us that happiness is in our core and can be obtained with the simple act of spreading LOVE.

We are celebrating a Summer of LOVE! Inspired by the desire to help elevate our shared human vibration, we decided to launch our Summer of LOVE campaign. Love really can change the world. Let’s give it a whirl! Each Friday will be dedicated to our campaign. Come in to be our featured post and bring friends. Participants have the chance to win a $100 gift certificate. The more the merrier! For those that can’t come join us in person, share on your Facebook page and re-post on Instagram with hashtag #ibSummerofLove. We will pick a winner at the end of the month.

Our message is simply love one another. And remember you are LOVED!




Adventures of Charlie

10 Dec

The sun crests through the branches of my home. The night sky is glowing with the start of the new day. I hear the chatter of my brood stirring and the territorial call from my neighbor. “COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO.” It sounds like Winston from Company Street. Over achiever, always has to sound the perfect first call. I stretch and sound the alarm, “Cock-a.” Still raspy. I think of my dear mother, who always told me just keep clucking and you will find your voice. She was a wise woman who was sadly taken from us by one of those rolling machines. Beware of the rolling metallic monsters! They never stop for my family or me. In fact, sometimes the machines speed up! But they, of course, stop on a dime for humans. Speaking of, here comes the first one of the day bobbing along under my tree. Time to start our daily search for food. “Cock-a.” Man, just keep trying I will get there.

I hop down from my tree and notice my clutch has gathered near the shiny cart on Queen Street. I shuffle my way down Strand Street and am enticed by the smell of FOOD. Food, “…doodle-doo.” I cross the street successfully and reach the sidewalk. I pick among the crumbs on the sidewalk when I see her. My Gertrude, shuffling proudly with our peeps in tow. I notice little Chik trails the rear of the line. As usual, Chik is one step out astray from the tidy line. Gertrude’s beak parts and she practically sings to me, “Good morning Charlie. Come on Chik fall in sync.”

Photo by, Nicole Canegata

I am instantly lured up the street towards her. Gertrude’s speckled brown beauty is radiant in the morning light and her ruffled plume is perfectly coiffed. I bow my wing closest to Gertrude as she approaches and begin to circle dance. We are deeply engaged in our courting before I am sharply drawn out of my trance to the sound of Winston barreling, “cock-a-doodle-doo” down the street.

Wait, this is my territory “cock-a-doo.” Still raspy.

Winston retorts in rapid succession, “cock-a-doodle-doo, cock-a-doodle-doo.”

He’s so cocky. Gertrude and the peeps gather around me. I square my chest up to set an example for my brood once and for all. This is my home, “cock-a-doo.” Suddenly, I am cut off by the sound of a screeching machine and to my surprise a human standing next to us hissing, “Shoo, shoo.” The machine wasn’t stopping for any of us “doodle-doo.”

We all dash up the sidewalk past the building with the plus sign and bells, where we come to rest in the bush. Gertrude is beside me clucking up a storm counting our peeps. She gasps, “Where’s Chik?” I panic “cock-a.” Chik must have gotten separated. Right at the moment when I thought my day couldn’t get any worse, I heard the growling. Dog. RUN. “A-doodle-doo.”

ib designsWe all get separated. I scurry further up the road. The dog lunges at my tail feathers and I dodge left onto Company Street. I hop, fly and find myself standing in front of a white door. The sign reads i.b. designs. My eyes wander up to the open window above. I fly and flap my way onto the sill. I pause to catch my breath and ease my panic “cluck, cluck, cluck.” As my clucks slow I look into the room from the window. It’s a workshop of some sort. I look further and I notice a human hunched, banging at shiny things with his claws. In fact, there are, a lot of shiny things glistening throughout the room. They are hung around the humans’ claws and ears. “Cluck, cluck.” The human turns in his chair and spots me. Oh boy, not again! The human doesn’t make any sudden moves. He reaches gingerly into a hidden space below him and pulls out something. I can’t quite make it out. C-O-R-N. Corn! FOOD! Food “cock-a-doodle.” He cautiously approaches me and pours a serving. The kind human slowly walks away and leaves me in peace. Ravenous from my traumatic day, I peck at the yellow morsels. Humans usually shoo my kind away. Maybe not all are as terrifying as I thought? Maybe this day will get better?

Too full to fly, I hop and soar down to the street. The dog is long gone and I determine it is safe to find Gertrude and shuffle home. I round the corner on Queen Street and I see her. My Gertrude, plume still perfectly coiffed leading our peeps in a tight line home. Chik is safely secured at the rear of the line in perfect formation with his siblings. I hustle to catch them. She smiles, “Hello Charlie”. Gertrude appears as relieved as I am to be heading home. We are paces from our territory when I hear the pretentious call “cock-a-doodle-doo.”

Winston. Enough. I about-face, square my shoulders, stand on the tips of my claws and bellow “COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO.”

Winston stops dead in his approach. I repeat “COCK-A-DOODLE-DOO.” Winston is cluckless. Gertrude snickers next to me and encourages us to continue home.

The night snuffs out the last bit of light as I nest in my branch. The brood is dozing safely beneath me. The day is done. I rest my beak on the leaves and reflect on my day’s journey. Sometimes a small act of kindness can be just enough to get you through your day. Acceptance inspired me with the hope and the courage to keep clucking. Strength allowed me to finally find my voice.

Written by,

Kimberly Hummers

Photography by,

Nicole Canegata



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