Do you love island life? Are you ready to the take the plunge and move to Anguilla? Every issue of TRUE Anguilla magazine features inspirational stories from visitors who have become locals and made that dream come true.
Brandon and Tonya Rhodes from Pennsylvania have been coming to Anguilla for 13 years.
A chance meeting with Ian ‘Sugar George’ Edwards, who gave Brandon his card, told him Anguilla was special and encouraged him to try it out for his next Caribbean vacation – led to Brandon booking Spyglass Hill Villa for Tonya’s birthday. They came and fell in love.
Brandon said when he first saw the breath – taking views of the Caribbean Ocean from the villa he felt like, ‘God has sent a gift to me’. Tonya felt immediately at home, loving Spyglass Hill’s design style and the ‘gorgeous’ courtyard.
They began to explore the island and fell deeper in love, this time with the people, who they felt were service orientated and interacted with them ‘with so much dignity and respect’; and they also adored the natural state of the beaches and scenery. Each time they left the island they felt saddened.
Walking on one of their favourite beaches a few years ago, the two of them holding hands, Brandon turned to Tonya and said, ‘Let’s do this.’ Knowing just what he meant without him having to explain it further, she said, ‘Lets’. Perfectly in tune.
At that stage there was no plan. Just an understanding that they weren’t ready to retire, and that Anguilla was where they wanted to come to live their dream.
As Brandon had worked in fashion for 37 years (he was a buyer for Gianni Versace for a period of time) they decided to look into opening up a women’s clothing store.
After taking some time to conduct research on island, picking the brains of their friend Janine Edwards, receiving advice, and ultimately setting up an Anguillian company through Counsel Limited and commissioning Orrett Wynter of Cabarita Agency to create their brand and website, LodeVole (which means praiseworthy in Italian) Boutique was born.
The stylish store opened in 2022, and the couple now live and work in Anguilla for most of the year.
It’s a dream-team experience for a couple who have never worked together before but who both have a passion for fashion.