<b>Honoring Aruba’s Women Entrepreneurs! Happy Business Women’s Day 2016</b>

Honoring Aruba’s Women Entrepreneurs! Happy Business Women’s Day 2016

chryslerAs we find ourselves entertaining the real possibility of the U.S. electing its first woman President it is clear that women’s roles in business have finally reached a point very close to our dreams of equality. Women’s contributions in science, business, space exploration, and government , are undeniable with prominent roles open to women, in all aspects of our business lives. As my partner, also a woman business-owner, and I walked briskly down NYC streets yesterday on our way to a networking event I was struck by a thought. Aruba Trip Tips has had the good fortune to work with many talented female entrepreneurs and many businesses in Aruba are woman-owned.
This is clearly a trend in Aruba we’ve been observing more and more each year.
The women business owners in Aruba that we have met, share qualities evident in their success–having a vision, defining a need and having the courage to solve that need. At Aruba Trip Tips, our mutual goal has been to enhance the experience of travelers to the island through information and services that save time and increase your relaxation at the destination. This has been a joy and a journey and through this, we have found ourselves growing as well.
So, therefore….on today, September 22nd , we celebrate Business Women’s Day !

We can’t help but ackbusinesswoman-453487_640nowledge the wonderful, female entrepreneurs in Aruba whose contributions to the travel industry are undeniable. Their entrepreneurial spirit should be commended along with their commitment, professionalism, and sincere desire to help people. It has not only caught our attention but has allowed us to see that extra puzzle piece which lends to the Aruba Success story.

Aruba Trip Tips has been honored to work with two professional women in Aruba who while having very different businesses, offer valuable and well-needed services to vacationers. In the case of these business owners, they have made it their mission to the elevate your travel experience through their own global stories.
We wanted to learn more about these remarkable women and thought that it would be interesting to get insight into their backgrounds. As travelers, we interact with many different people often never really knowing who they are but are always grateful for their care and kindness.
That is why it gives us great pleasure to introduce to you:barbulet-concierge-logo

Freya Kraag,
Barbulet Concierge


lock-and-roll-aruba-logoLiliana Gracia,
Lock n Roll Timeshare Storage http://www.locknrolltimesharestorage.com/site/

They were kind enough to generously share some of their story of inspiration with us.
Today, September 22nd , Business Woman’s Day, is the calendar date which Honors women in Business and allows us to share with the world the recognition they deserve.

Freya Kraag, Managing Director,
Barbulet Concierge

freya-barbulet-concierge1. Are you originally from Aruba? If not, where were you born and what motivated you to come to Aruba?

I’m originally born and raised in The Netherlands, but both of my parents were born in Indonesia. So I’m not the typical blonde Dutch girl;) I came to Aruba 10 years ago after I finished the Hotel Management School in Maastricht.  During my studies, I did an internship at the Westin Resort (currently Riu Antillas) on Aruba.
I had an amazing time and learned a lot about the Hospitality Industry. I never been to the Caribbean before and I fell in love with Aruba during my internship because of the weather, the people, the ambiance and all the other reasons why people come back to Aruba. Since I did the Hotel Management School there were also a lot of job opportunities for me on  Aruba. When I came back from my traineeship I said immediately ‘when I graduate I will come back to work and live on Aruba’. Soon after I was graduated there was a job market from Marriott Aruba in Amsterdam where I got hired as a Vacation Planner. I packed my suitcase and went December 2015 to Aruba and never left.

2. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

I explained already a bit how I ended up in Aruba, but I will tell you a bit more about my myself. I have an adorable son Xennon of almost 10 years old and live happily together for more than 5 years with my boyfriend. I love to play beach tennis, go out for dinner, watching movies and the beach. Furthermore, I’m a person that is very social, enthusiastic, organized, focused on her goals and always looking for new challenges.

I’m in the hospitality industry for approximately 10 years. After working for a year as a Vacation Planner at the Marriott I was promoted to Executive Admin Assistant of the Marriott Aruba Surf Club and after 4 years I became a Front Desk Manager. I also worked for a year as Front Office Manager at an upscale boutique hotel, the Bucuti & Tara Beach Resort and currently I work full-time as a Quality Assurance Manager at the Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa, one of the most popular low-rise hotels on the island.

3. Was it your intention to ultimately to go into business for yourself in Aruba? What inspired you?

It was not my intention to go into business for myself in Aruba.

I enjoyed working in the hospitality industry and it was in my first job as Concierge Agent that I realized how passionate I was about vacation planning and assisting guests making their vacation an unforgettable one. I turned my passion into a business and today assist visitors around the world with planning memorable vacation experiences in Aruba.

Personalized service and responsiveness are really important for me and those two things will differentiate Barbulet Concierge from other businesses.

4. As a woman business owner can you share with us some of the challenges you have faced? And what would be your recommendation for others who might be inspired by you and want to pursue a business in Aruba?

To be honest I didn’t encounter many challenges being a woman as a business owner. All my clients and partners do take my business seriously and treat me with respect.

I recommend for other women to just being yourself and don’t become the person other people would want you to be. Be confident in yourself and your business, don’t listen to other people’s opinions. In the end, it’s YOUR business and you make the decisions.

It’s also very important to start a business because you love what you do or have a passion for it and not just for the money or status.

If you still have a full-time job and your dream is to have your own business one day. Work on your plan in your free time, read articles, books and educate yourself. Take baby steps and set-up your company while having your job to have financial security until your business is making enough money to stop working.

Dream It, Wish it, Do it!!!

5. Would you say that your efforts as an entrepreneur have opened the door for other females in business in Aruba? And do you consider yourself a pioneer?

I do believe the doors were already open in Aruba. However, another female entrepreneur is always an extra stimulation for the community. Aruba is doing well with their successful female entrepreneur’s for example in Real Estate, Sales & Marketing Businesses, Event Planning, Magazines, and Clothing Stores etc. I also recently went to a ‘Woman in Leadership Conference’ which motivated female entrepreneurs and leaders.

I do consider myself a bit of a pioneer since Aruba didn’t have a professional Personal Concierge business. It’s kind of new here in Aruba and I see some similar businesses coming up, but no real competitors as yet. There is a great market for this type of business especially because staying at secondary accommodations (vacation homes, apartment complexes, Airbnb) is getting more popular.

6. What life lessons have you learned as an entrepreneur?

I have learned a lot as an entrepreneur since there are coming so many new things on your pad.
For example, you need to have a plan to start a business, but your plan doesn’t need to be perfect in order to start. Your plan will never be perfect, just start with the basics and along the way you can fine tune it. This is exactly what I did by starting with offering the basic services on my website and bit by bit I added new services. This worked out for me.
I had difficulties to ask for money or to put a price tag on some of my services, I needed to do some more research or ask other business owners for advice. I was not used to asking money in return for my services so this was really new for me. Sometimes my prices were too low or too high but along the way you will find a balance and you can see what you are worth.
You also need to have a lot of patience since your customers need to grow with time. Don’t give up to soon. If something is not working be creative to find other ways that will work.

7. The name of your company is called Barbulet Concierge. Does Barbulet mean something in another language and why did you name your company that?

Barbulet’ means, butterfly in Papiamento, which is the main language spoken on Aruba. Papiamento was recognized as an official language in May 2003 and is derived originally from Portuguese and African and has influences of Dutch, English, Spanish and Indian. The business name Barbulet Concierge Aruba came from my love for butterflies and their symbolism, I also have a tattoo of a butterfly. They are deep and powerful representations of life.

8. What are some of your services that you believe that your customers seem to enjoy the most and why?

We offer a wide variety of Concierge services; however, our most popular services are hiring a Personal Chef and the Grocery Delivery Service.
Customers like the idea of having dinner in the comfort of their rental villa with family and/or friends instead of going out for dinner; it’s a different and unique experience.
The grocery delivery service is used a lot as well. Customers are saving their precious vacation time on doing groceries. They rather go to the beach and enjoy the sun instead of going to the Supermarket.

9. Do you have any long term goals with Barbulet on the horizon or additional services you plan on offering in the near future?

Currently I still have a full-time job as Quality Assurance Manager at Manchebo Beach Resort & Spa, however, my goal is to focus full-time on Barbulet Concierge and having my own office where I can receive clients. I would like the company to grow and hire staff, being able to accept credit cards and that everybody on Aruba is familiar with Barbulet Concierge. I also would like to be more involved with large groups/events.
I’m always looking for new services that I can offer to Aruba visitors and keep my eyes open for the needs of clients.
I recently started to work with a proposal planner and a photographer which are also services I’m offering but are not listed on the website as yet.

10. What is one thing you would like to share with our audience that many people may not know that you feel that you would like to communicate to new time vacationers or return visitors?

I would like to share that we have now Live Chat on the website. Please feel free to contact me about your questions about Aruba. We are looking forward to assist you!

Liliana Gracia, Owner and Founder,
Lock N Roll Timeshare Storage

liliana-gracia3501. Are you originally from Aruba? If not, where were you born and what motivated you to come to Aruba?

No, I am not I was born in Colombia, we moved to Aruba back in 1983, my mother, my brother and me.

2. Can you tell us a little bit about yourself?

> Since I came very young to Aruba I went to Brown School, then to University from Aruba, I have two kids a boy and a girl, and I am a proud grandmother of also a boy and a girl. I live with my daughter and granddaughter, we love to eat out, I love to dance.

3. Was it your intention to ultimately to go into business for your self in Aruba? What inspired you?

Well it is not a secret that I was in the hotel industry for more than 30 years, 23 of them at Renaissance, I didn’t imagine waiting there for a pension plan or getting older doing the same, I always said 25 will be the max, I was thinking about this challenge for a while, and I also think that is never late to start a new adventure, after all, this is a great and new service for Aruba.

4. As a woman business owner can you share with us some of the challenges you have faced? And what would be your recommendation for others who might be inspired by you and want to pursue a business in Aruba?

Well at first people said, people as a tendency to be pessimistic and say that Aruba is not going through the best financial stage, stores closing, higher rents, low occupancy etc…. I recommend all women out there to go for your dream, don’t let anybody tell you that you can’t, is always worth it to give it a try, there is nothing to loose, is better than having the regret of what could a happen if.

5. Would you say that your efforts as an entrepreneur have opened the door for other females in business in Aruba? And do you consider yourself a pioneer?

Jajajaja no I don’t consider myself a pioneer, I think my girlfriends do admire my courage, I hope they see my success and they’ll be inspired by me, I know many women with great ideas, they just need to start and make it happen !!

6. What life lessons have you learned as an entrepreneur?
A lot omg, working for yourself can be even harder at times, you are always busy thinking and planning , it’s responsibility , but all at your own time!

7. The name of your company is called Lock N Roll Timeshare Storage. Why did you specifically name your company that name?

I think it’s catchy, it’s like we lock your items and you roll safely home! Something like that, also that’s why the Aruba lock.

8. What are some of your services that you believe that your customers seem to enjoy the most and why?

The bin definitely, the facility of not having to take back all their stuff and the peace of mind that their things are safe and well stored. I am also starting with beach gear rental, chairs, umbrellas, ice jugs based on my own customer’s requests actually–they seem to like the freedom of borrowing/renting  and not buying.

9. Do you have any long-term goals on the horizon for Lock N Roll Timeshare Storage or additional services you plan on offering in the near future?

Well only God knows perhaps other islands, we can always change the Aruba flag lock to Curaçao or Bonaire flag!  For now, I will keep it to bins storage and the beach gear rental, but we are thinking about some others ideas but nothing concrete yet.

10. What is one thing you would like to share with our audience that many people may not know that you feel that you would like to communicate to new time vacationers or return visitors?

I wish everybody to know that I am here ! That Aruba has this service,that you don’t need to feel away from home while vacationing , that you can bring all those special items and make yourself as comfortable as you can be, that you can also explore our island taking our items around for your comfort and enjoyment.

In celebration of this day, both Aruba Trip Tips is honored to share with our readers a unique interview with both these courageous ladies. I would encourage everyone to click on their links above to learn more about who they are and the services they provide…that one click may be your one step to planning your next trip to paradise.

Concept/Writing/Research: Bill M. and Christina C.

Labor Day Travel Gear Picks 2016

Greetings to all our readers and yes the flight of time, our most valuable asset, has brought us to the Second Annual Travel Product Review for 2016! We generally choose to release our review just before Labor Day—why? We don’t know why!….well maybe it ‘s that with Summer winding down in the Northeast U.S. where we live, we are searching for a reason the get psyched about the next 7-8 months of cold temps on their way…..”Winter Is Coming”… Fly South my friends, Fly South! My more pragmatic partner would say it’s the Travel Gear primer to the high season in the Caribbean which is just around the corner. Either way, we hope you find it helpful—we’ve put these products through their paces and want to share with you what we’ve found. And with Hurricane Hermine looming on our doorsteps hence we unveil our “Second Annual Travel Gear Picks for 2016”.


1)  Vizers $19.99
How do you improve on the most basic of sun products—THE VISOR? Well the guys at “Vizers” have figured it out…one of the things fairly evident when using a cloth visor at the beach is that after a few uses it starts to grow a coral reef…lol! Seriously it gets damp and stained with salt & sweat & sea water and starts to loose some of its freshness and shape. The designers at Vizers have taken all that into consideration and created a lightweight foam visor that is comfortable, colorful, durable….it FLOATS! And best of all is easily washed with a bit of soap & water. What’s also exciting they’ve created a line of Vizers specifically being sold with Aruba emblems at all the “I Love Aruba” Stores.  Josh sent us his “ARUBA” designed Vizers and we’re sure you’ll agree they are adorable and practical, great for the Aruban “outback”!
One more sweet feature is you can customize your Vizers with “TOUTS” which are charms to embellish and represent your favorite sport from dive flag to Martini glass…
We feel it a great upgrade on a beach essential. Pack wells too! Adjustable for sizes from kids to XXL guys—hubby loves it!

Available on Vizers.com

2) Boyd’s Cosmetic Brush Travel Set $30.00
You’re going on vacation and while you can’t bring all your worldly possessions you don’t have deny yourself the basics if you have the right compact gear. From our friends at Boyd’s on Fifth Avenue in NYC we were able to test out their Renoir brand signature 7Pc. Sable makeup Brush set. The set is built for travel in a black PVC pouch with snap and holds 7 mini makeup brushes of the highest quality. Packs nice & flat with an extra pocket. What we like best is the fact that the sable brushes are luxuriously soft and do not loose bristles when used. A real winner from Renior by Boyd’s–a signature line from an NYC Cosmetic company for nearly 60 years.

Available at Boyds.com

3) Dynotag® Web/GPS Enabled QR charm Bracelet $24.95
My partner and I were having a conversation and he wondered if the QR code technology could be used in some way to store personal or medical information in a bracelet when you travel. Lo! and behold we found the DYNOTAG QR Smart Tag bracelets. They are called “passive response” and the way they work is you create a profile at their website adding medical info or ID info and just wear the bracelet. Should first responders need to assist you they scan the tag with the many scanner apps that are out there and pull up your profile on their phone.
Really cool is that they make the bracelet in a waterproof model with really cute tropical beach charms—so you disguise the ID bracelet as regular costume jewelry. Ingenious, my dear Watson!
Also shown is the orange web bracelet if charm bracelets are not for you. Dynotags are available for luggage, pets….and even kids! Cool uses for technology in travel.

Available at Amazon.com

4) SQUEEZE POD! – on-the-go natural toiletries $19.99
We love the name for this simple but handy little product that has so many applications—literally & figuratively…SQUEEZE POD! It’s a very neat, pre-loaded toiletry bag so it’s perfect for grab-n-go last minute travel. The clear toiletry bag comes pre-filled with individual, leak-proof, single-use toiletry pods which are both hassle-free and TSA compliant. Included are 2each: shampoo, conditioner, and body wash. Also 3 of each: facial cleanser, shave cream, moisturizing lotion, hand purifier, hair gel, & odor eliminator.
No time to fill up little travel bottles before the flight? Not prob just “SNAP. SQUEEZE.GO”
While I’m a bit of a tyrant with only using my hair products I would gladly use the body wash, hand purifier, and moisturizing lotion. Hubby will use the rest which includes shave cream.
Great item for camping, caravans and boats where storage space is at a premium! We like!
Available at 

5) Mosquito Repellents – the new necessity in travel!
Not gonna sugar-coat this but not an expert  on mosquito vectors either. As a kid, I remember spending late summer evenings playing Frisbee on the streets until midnight and realizing when I got home I had been a bug feast—bit up in 10-12 spots. Besides the endless itching & basting in calamine lotion, it was a harmless rite of summer and nothing to worry about.
This year things are more real and precaution isn’t a bad idea—this opine from the Frisbee free-spirit…we had some criteria in our search for the best organic mosquito products on the market!
1) the product must be organic and deet-free 2) travel well in a small bottle meeting TSA regs. And lastly 3) smell great!
We found two lovely products that make us feel good about applying essential oils to our skin and not harsh chemicals…..We liked Amrita Aromatherapy Lemon Eucalyptus Bugs Be Gone as it is safe for children & babies and field-tested in 4 oz. bottle. It repels mosquitoes, fleas, ticks & chiggers. Available on Amazon.com for $10.13

Whole Clarity states their mission is to “Raise the Vibration of the Planet through excellent health and wellness and mindful living.” such a beautiful idea, in its simplicity. The packaging is a clean design and states it repels mosquitoes, flies, gnats, and ticks. The bottle is 3.3 oz and we can’t stop enjoying the scent.
Available on Amazon.com for $14.97 or at wholeclarity.com (love their website!)
Better to be prepared from home as you may find repellent quite expensive to purchase when traveling. As a final thought…oils of lemon/eucalyptus are recommended as a repellent by the CDC http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/avoid-bug-bites

6) Bags for Travel Storage Within Luggage

Alku Travel Genuine Nylon Shoe Bags –$14.99
I’ve put them in supermarket bags, pillowcases and purses always wishing someone would design the right bag to store shoes in my luggage. The nylon shoe bags from Alku Travel are sturdy and elegant with space for up to 3 pairs of shoes in each bag. The floral logo adds an air of richness and flair to the bags. The product come with 3 drawstring stopper bags and I can think of many additional travel uses—laundry, toys , souvenirs…..basically, anything you’d like to separate and protect in your luggage.

Available at Amazon.com

UU Family Toiletry Bag Makeup Pouch – $6.50
This toiletry/cosmetic bag has 3 fab qualities!
1) It’s clear, so it’s TSA friendly….no unpacking, just pull out from your luggage 2) Cute, shiny patent blue leather-like trim is very stylish and VEGAN! and 3) It has a nice larger capacity, more than your average makeup case as we were able to fit quite a few extra items in the bag. It’s a great little bag! and also available on Amazon Prime. Lastly, we spoke with the owners who are the sweetest folks!

Available at Amazon.com

Disclosure: Some of these products were received as samples in exchange for an honest, unbiased, review. The reviews and or opinions on this blog are 100% my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsement and Testimonials in Advertising.

Product Reviews by Christina Canzoneri

Aruba Trip Tips 2nd Anniversary Giveaway

Aruba Trip Tips 2nd Anniversary Giveaway

We can hardly believe it! Aruba Trip Tips is turning two years old on June 25th.
In celebration of this special milestone we are having an Anniversary Giveaway.
Some cute Aruba/Beach prizes to thank you, our friends!

Here are our Anniversary Giveaway Contest Winners!


a Rafflecopter giveaway



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