A very simple, yet profound, mandate was given to me by my mother (and you always listen to your mother!)—to make a difference. Although a newly-formed entity, Udall’s DNA dictates that we always operate based on who we are, which is a business designed to make a difference, both near and far. When Udall Caribbean was formed on December 3, 2019, never could I have imagined that we would find ourselves in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Like many, I took several days to regroup and come to terms with our present reality.
As providence would have it, an opportunity presented itself, which forced me to lay my worries aside and...make a difference. Through a partnership with a Baltimore makerspace, we were able to secure and donate several protective face masks to a USVI healthcare provider. We also partnered with a USVI-based non-profit organization that offers mentoring, paid job training, education, and job placement for at-risk and high-risk young people in the USVI to provide food and face masks to Virgin Islanders in need. I was also able to personally support a Baltimore-based educational nonprofit organization that exists to "educate and inspire new and established artists, as well as promote metalsmithing and art jewelry to the general public through exhibitions, community and educational outreach."
I have learned from my mother (and my tribe of mentors) that the best way to overcome hardship is to look for ways to be a blessing to others—so that's what I did! Even in our infancy, I am humbled that Udall Caribbean can still play a part in helping to bring hope during a season of great challenge. Though our present circumstance may not be what we’ve envisioned, hope whispers to me daily that dark clouds will clear, harsh winds will calm, and joy will come again. Wishing you and yours good health, blue skies and a bright tomorrow.
Udall Caribbean’s visionary founder and chief designer, Ms. Ephra Graham, developed a deep love and appreciation for the craft of jewelry-making as a student at the Baltimore Jewelry Center in Maryland (USA). Coming from a long line of Caribbean artisans and entrepreneurs, Ms. Graham is an artisan in her own right. Her educational and professional background is in business (M.B.A. in Executive Management/International Entrepreneurship), communications, training and development, and retail sales (women’s apparel and fine jewelry). Born and raised in the U.S. Virgin Islands (with Grenadian, Trinidadian, Barbadian (or Bajans), and Guyanese heritage), she is passionate about the Caribbean, economic and social development, creative arts/design, quality craftsmanship, education, youth at risk, and marine conservation.