What can I say about Blue Sky Concierge and Shanna Dickerson? She is our Mooncottages St John Villa Rentals Guest Concierge helping you have an ever a better time in St John.
Shanna is an athlete, world traveler and consummate professional when helping connect our villa guests to something they want to do while in the Caribbean. She is a driven business professional with a heart of gold and you will love working with her. She is upbeat, positive and truly a nice person.
Here’s Shanna’s story:
In 2010, at 30 years old, she was already having a midlife crisis and was considering a major pivot in her life and career. The recurring question she kept asking herself, “Is it more important to live where you want and find work, or stay where you are climbing a corporate ladder with the hopes of retiring to an amazing place when you’re 60?”
At nineteen years old she launched a career in the music industry after standing on the stage looking out at 30,000 people during a concert of Widespread Panic, access granted from her boyfriend at the time, whose dad was managing the band. Then and there, she decided that she wanted to be on the back end of the concert industry, bringing the biggest artists to people around the world. She then spent her twenties in Nashville promoting and working with such artists as The Rolling Stones, Fleetwood Mac, Kenny Chesney, Jay Z, The Police, Pearl Jam, Jimmy Buffett, Snoop Dogg, Stevie Wonder, Kayne West, Foo Fighters, Metallica and Tim McGraw. Her most fulfilling job during those years was as tour manager for Steve Winwood in 2004, spending months on the road with him and the band on a tour bus.
By 30, she had achieved her dreams in the music industry and decided it was time to go after another dream. Growing up in Charlotte, North Carolina, her parents often brought her and her brother to the Virgin Islands for vacations. This entrepreneur was craving an adventurous island life, and so, against the advice of her friends and co-workers, she sold all of her belongings, terminated the lease on her Nashville apartment, and used her remaining money to move with her yellow lab, Dakota, to St. John in the US Virgin Islands to start living a new dream.
St John vacation rentals owners’ and guests’ favorite gardener. Meet the irrepressible Josephine Roller and hear her vision about composting post storm organic materials instead of throwing them in the dump. We’ve had so much organic wood-based waste to dispose of after the Hurricane IRMA and she is very outspoken about what should be done. She has met with USVI Governor Mapp about this concept but has not received a green light.
Josephine’s vision is both philanthropic and environmentally correct. The Ball Field by the Moravian Church in Coral Bay has been the staging area for stuff that needed to be disposed. An ongoing movement, Josephine said she is willing to compost it all and give it out to neighbors.
I met Josephine 20 years ago when I was beginning to landscape at Mooncottage. She knows everything when it comes to plants. I call her “Doctor” … as she has a PHD in Agriculture and once ran the Dept of Agriculture facility here in Coral Bay. And, she’s enigmatic and energetic the proprietor of the only Organic Farm on St John. I asked her why vines started to grow right after the hurricanes. She said, “Nature doesn’t like to be naked, so they filled in temporarily.” (BIG laugh from her after). Classic Josephine.
Also seen on this video is her son Hugo Jr. He works on the farm. Their daughter Mimi was on the USVI Olympic sailing team. Both Hugo Jr. and Mimi are the most physically beautiful young athletes and nicest people you’ll ever want to meet.
Josephine’s Greens are famous here on St John and St Thomas and are carried by most all of the grocery stores, but you can always stop by their working farm to pick up eatables like amazingly spicy arugula, micro mix, spinach, tomatoes when in season, herbs, papaya, etc. … and beautiful plants and orchids for the garden.
We villa owners know Josephine very well, with her BIG laugh and BIG smile. She and husband Hugo have managed the Coral Bay Garden Center as long as I’ve been here and that was 1998. Her store in the valley in Coral Bay was pretty badly beat up in Hurricane Irma … but they are gradually rebuilding and are doing a great job. Stop in and see her.
When you come down for vacation at Mooncottages St John Cottage Rentals or anywhere else on the island, take a ride out to Mumbo Jumbo in Coral Bay. It’s in the same complex as Skinny’s restaurant where the famous burgers are are served. Vanessa runs Mumbo Jumbo in Coral Bay with great beach wear, spices, souvenirs, flip flops and the best of vibes on the planet.
I’ve personally known Vanessa and Larry Clarke for over 15 years. They have two amazing kids and work darn every day. Larry you can’t miss with a shock of blond hair–in fact, they ALL have blonde hair. Larry also has a trucking business in Coral Bay as is a fireman that lives often right at the bottom of the hill where our villas are and where the firehouse currently. Good guy to know for a lot of important reasons if you own or manage a rental villa 🙂
Open almost anytime you should be awake, Mumbo Jumbo has something fun and reasonable to please the kids or family in between going to the beaches on our lovely St John. We’ll write up something about Skinny’s another time, the venerable hamburger joint often with music on random evenings. Always fun to mix the two events–eating and shopping!
Stop in & tell ‘em we sent ‘cya.
When it comes to woodwork for St John Villa Rentals – Stephan Scholz is in a class by himself. Look how he man-handles these massive timbers into place by himself with only block and tackle out of the 16th century. Rock on Stephan!
Master woodworker from Germany, resident of St John and my friend for 20 years. Stephan is responsible for nearly all of the spectacular woodwork you will enjoy at both Mooncottage & Teahouse Treehouse. Including our cozy custom beds and the unique outdoor (under roof) kitchen at the Teahouse Treehouse. All built from Teak.
Stephan says, “If I don’t build it to last 100 years, it isn’t worth the wood.” We agree. Stephan and Elliot, (our iconic Coral Bay St John sailor) and owner of Silver Cloud brought our hardwood for Mooncottage up from South America in the late 1990’s.
One day, Stephan and I shared a few Becks, argued incessantly (as usual) and waxed poetic about the next cool thing to build. So, in 2007 I discussed a vision for the Teahouse Treehouse. Japanese-inspired small cottage combining Stephan’s engineering skills to withstand the the rigors of our Caribbean weather without hardly a nail or screw – “post and beam” constructed entirely. It’s amazing for all of you architectural lovers … or lovers in general.
Teahouse Treehouse … link to photos. The sliding Shoji screens adapt to any weather condition quickly. But, more importantly, half of the house opens to the splendor of Caribbean Sea for your enjoyment. (Very Japanese I have to say)
Educated as an engineer in Germany, Stephan Scholz apprenticed with one of the finest cabinet makers in Germany and learned his trade very well. St. John resident for many years he has a long waiting list of customers who want anything from cabinetry to custom woodwork to furniture to homes. But, he is really an artist and an individual. I simply love this guy!
Mooncottages St John Villa rentals favorite Pizzeria in peaceful Coral Bay is Pizzabar in Paradise. Potential guests always ask about how Coral Bay restaurants have recovered. Here is only ONE example how we’re doing great! The pizza crust dough is completely handmade daily. It takes 6-8 hours to rise properly. I’m not sure I want to try this at home. Would rather go to Pizzabar in Paradise.
Check out 3-steps on masterful pizza manufacture by Fabio master Italian chef.
Coleen is the gracious owner of Pizza in Paradise, a native Bostonian, she had a dream and here it is! When asked how this all happened, Coleen told me last night that she put a notice on Craig’s List for a master Pizza maker on St. John, USVI. Fabio happened to be working on the other side of the island at another restaurant. And – the rest is history. Pizzabar in Paradise was born a year ago last Friday.
When staying at Mooncottages St John Villa Rentals or anywhere in St John, stop by Coral Bay for the tastiest, most authentic pizza anywhere near Rome or the equator for that matter with a great local vibe and live music on Tuesday nights.
Charming hosts and the food is simply great. I like the Margarita Pizza with fresh tomato and basil … the best!
On your next stay at Mooncottages St John Villa Rentals, stop literally down the hill to pick up what you need at the Calabash Boom Market. The suave and kind Ali runs this very well stocked and clean family business with his wife Maria. Often they have local fish right out of the ocean from our local fisherman. But always a little of everything is available. Fresh sausage, steaks and chicken for the grill. Did I mention how well this Deli in Coral Bay was maintained and stocked? They are just the nicest people … and SO close to Mooncottages, just right down the hill.
This store is right on the way into Coral Bay and is a life-saver for locals as well as St John Vacation Rentals guests. Mustafa is the eloquent and articulate owner of Coral Bay’s venerable and extensively stocked grocery store since 2001 – Love City Market. When storms hit in September, he donated perishable goods to the community. When his generator power was finally back, they were providing sustainable goods to the community at all hours.
Now, that the clouds have cleared and our St John Villa Rentals are up and running and better than ever, guest and locals alike love … Love City Market. Open “early to very late” – 6:30AM – 9:30PM.
Mustafa is a very nice man but a very serious businessman and cares about his establishment. His son also works at the store “dawn to very late” with other employees tirelessly. Tremendous people. When you come to Coral Bay on your St John villa vacation, please stop at Love City Market and say Hi … and buy stuff. He’s been local resident on St John with family and friends since 1992 and is here to stay. When all else fails, these guys are usually open and always friendly with fresh produce, an extensive wine and liquor collection and anything else you might want.