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Charlotte Amalie
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@Work: Colorful Corner

March 10, 2005 – The name says it all at Colorful Corner, located at the Bordeaux Overlook on St. John's Centerline Road.
The cozy store almost overflows with all sorts of decorating items all done in bright Caribbean colors that reflect the sea, sky and hills just outside the front door.
The shelves are filled with dishware, Christmas ornaments, notecards, tea pots, things to hang on the wall, interesting purses, magnets and much, much more. Some of the artwork was done by owner Mary Davis.
She said her best customers are folks staying for a week or those furnishing a vacation villa.
"And locals are finally finding the store," she said.
Davis took a roundabout route to Colorful Corner. Born in a small town outside Naples, Italy, called Cervinaro, she moved to New York while still in her teens to work as a tour guide at the United Nations because her father said she had to.
"My dad got it into his head to bring the family here," she said, laughing as she added that everyone in Italy believed that in the United States, money grew on trees.
She didn't speak English and came alone to live in a guesthouse across the street from the United Nations building. Davis quickly picked up the language and her family soon followed, but the experience stayed with her.
"It taught me to deal with situations," she said.
She worked as a tour guide for two years, moving on to a job as a bilingual secretary at the U.N. Secretariat. Marriage soon followed, and she and her husband moved to Hicksville, located on Long Island, where she raised her two children and took up tennis.
After a divorce seven years later, she packed up her children and moved to Fort Lauderdale, Fla., where she met her current husband, St. John builder Dan Davis.
Dan Davis had an art gallery, and he encouraged his wife's artistic endeavors.
She soon became an artist's representative, traveling around Florida in a van filled with their various works. A showroom followed. The business grew so big, she moved it several times. And Dan Davis closed his gallery to join his wife's business.
All that changed when Dan Davis came to St. John on what he thought would be a short visit to help a friend built his house.
"He called home and said 'we're moving here,'" she said.
The couple sold their business and moved to St. John in 1990. After seven months of relaxation, Davis started managing Simply Cotton at Wharfside Village. She soon moved to the Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas store, then on to the Pampered Pirate, Cardow, and finally to Colombian Emeralds, all on St. Thomas.
Finally, she got tired of the long commute from her home in Coral Bay to St. Thomas. When her husband found the then-empty store at nearby Bordeaux, she was ready to make the change.
Since she opened a little more than a year ago, business has doubled.
"It was something that was needed on this side of the island," Davis said.

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