At the time of writing the overall import duties on wooden furniture in Barbados is 67%. I became aware of this the hard way after importing some items from the US to Barbados. The additional costs to clear the items through customs etc. were so exorbitant that the final amount paid was actually higher than how much the actual items were worth...needless to say, it wasn't worth it. This is the conundrum one would find in most furniture stores on the island....the final price tag is so hefty, you pay hard wood (mahogany, teak, etc) prices for something made out of comparably very cheap materials such as MDF, veneer or chip wood.
All is not lost as Barbados has a thriving small business economy and finding a trusted local furniture maker is a great option, both from a cost and quality perspective. Going the handmade route is highly recommended....
Handmade furniture is a testament to the craftsmanship and skill of artisans who pour their heart and soul into each piece. Unlike mass-produced furniture, these unique creations possess an inherent sense of artistry and attention to detail, making them truly one-of-a-kind. The care and precision put into crafting each component result in furniture that exudes quality and durability, ensuring its longevity and value.
It should go without saying that purchasing handmade furniture promotes sustainability and environmental consciousness. At rjmclean, for example, only locally sourced materials are utilized, reducing the carbon footprint associated with transportation and logistics. Additionally, the production process involves less energy consumption and avoids the excessive use of harmful chemicals found in mass-produced furniture. By supporting handmade craftsmanship, you contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly approach to furnishing your living space.
Each handmade piece carries a unique narrative, a story of the artisan’s inspiration, skill, and heritage. Owning handmade furniture allows you to infuse your living space with a distinct character and a touch of human creativity, creating an environment that speaks to your own unique style and values.
Whatever decision you make, we hope you at least explore the locally made furniture market and rjmclean is of course a great place to start.