Crab Toes is a fashion brand that you need to know. This Caribbean based fashion brand caught our attention a few years ago via a business colleague based in the Bahamas. The brand owner and creative designer, Mardia Powell, carries one-of-a-kind handbags and fashion accessories that she personally handcrafts – so no two pieces are the same. She embellishes her fashion pieces with hard seashells collected from the shore. If you are into this sentiment, then her bags will bring you joy. Her designs are unique, eye-catchy, sophisticated, and truly a work of art.
The designs are great for all occasions, and a perfect finishing touch to a wedding guest outfit for a destination wedding on an island. We are sure you will find a piece that aligns with your personality. Now is a great time to indulge in a shopping spree by supporting this Black fashion designer during Black History Month, as well as all year round, but don’t be fooled into thinking Crab Toes only creates a holiday-only fashion trend. Crab Toes is helping to move fashion forward, so please keep them on your radar.
We spoke with the owner of Crab Toes about her brand, the fashion scene in the Bahamas, and upcoming projects.
Q: Can you please share with your readers your background?
I was born and raised on the island of New Providence in the Bahamas; it’s the capital city. I’ve always been involved in the fine arts from an early age. My degrees are in Art and Graphic Design. I’ve delved in a few different areas of the arts professionally. I taught art in both elementary and high school. I worked as a graphic designer at Georgia Public Broadcasting in the education and media department. Now I work full time as a fashion accessories and handbag designer.
Q: How did you get your start in the fashion industry?
I have always had an eye for fashion, but I’d say that it really comes from my mother’s eccentric flare and bold statements seen throughout her wardrobe, the way she’d wear her hair and makeup and never really caring what others thought (the Crab Toes brand pays homage to her).
Q: How have you been managing your brand during the pandemic?
Honestly, I’d really say I just kept going. I find contentment in just simplifying things when it comes to life’s challenges; and just working the best I can with the lemons handed to me. Living on a small island however allows that resiliency because of the small community. It really revealed that in tough times working together was our best foot forward. Which collectively in turn showed me in this season of small businesses, in order to attain certain levels of success helping others in the way you need
help will push us all to win inevitably.
Q: Can you describe the fashion scene in the Bahamas?
It’s a rebirth of our culture infused with mainstream styles. For example, I’d see fashion designers merge their haute couture looks paired with our Bahamian Androsia Batik fabrics… OR other street wear designers have started paying homage to our cultural dialect designed on graphic tees.
I’m in love with the fashion culture in the Bahamas presently.
Q: Where can visitors, as well as Bahamians, find the hottest fashion designs on the island?
Designers such as Theodore Elyett, David Rolle and Cardell J. McClam on the high fashion end. Then on the accessories and street wear scene you’d find Pursenal Paradise, “For Da Culture”, Fashan Savage & Styles by Kara / Pretty Persuasions (Stylist), Ken.Co.Via Jewelry, and Crab Toes of course, just to name a few.
Q: Have you experienced any setbacks as a Black fashion designer?
Living in the Bahamas the setbacks won’t be relative to being a black designer but more-so the areas connected to the development and support in the fine arts and design culture of the Bahamas. There’s still little to no focus on pouring into the design arena.
Q: Can you share some of your career highlights?
Crab Toes has/is carried by Bahamar Current Gallery and Albany Beach Boutique. Collection has been showcased at the Billionaire Roundtable, Government House, and Caribbean Fashion Showroom at Carifesta. Brand has been featured by The Tribune newspaper, Karibbean Kollective, The Rising Sun Morning Show hosted by Ianthia Ferguson and powered by BTC, and “The Rush” talk show hosted by V-Mac. Took part in Bahamas Trade Information Service Portal launch, and obtained Certification in Business Lab in Conjunction with the Young America Business Trust, Access Accelerator for Small Business Certification, and Bahamahost Certification.
Q: What advice would you give someone who is looking to become a fashion designer?
You will always win when you’re true to yourself by being authentic and keep integrity in your brand standards.
Q: The world will never be the same after Covid-19. How do you envision your brand during a post-pandemic world?
I definitely realize that I’d have to push my brand more in the digital direction.
Q: Do you have any upcoming projects you’d like to share with our readers?
I’ve just recently released the Winter 2021 collection titled “Dynasty”. Viewers are in for a great treat as I reveal new designs every other day. The Love Series is currently being showcased.
Q: How can people connect with you for business opportunities?
Sure! I can be reached via email at email@example.com. Website is shopcrabtoes.com.
Photography by George Jahraan Armbrister of Kapcha Photography