In 1986, Sloop and Barbara set off on an open-ended Caribbean adventure that eventually landed them on the East End of St. John. They rented a beach shack, hitched rides to town and back (nearly impossible in this remote neighborhood), and set about building a business and life together on St. John.
With the 300 t-shirts they brought from Massachusetts, Sloop and Barbara started what is now an iconic St. John fashion line: comfortable, colorful clothing hand-painted in Sloop’s signature style. In the early days, carrying t-shirts with them wherever they went, they’d sell on the ferry boat to St. Thomas. And when they ran out of merchandise, Sloop and Barbara were happy to sell the shirts off their backs.
Almost three decades later, the Sloop Jones brand is a St. John staple, employing several special island folks year round. The one-of-a-kind pieces of clothing and wall art embody what so many people love about the Caribbean—the celebration of color, the stunning natural beauty, the soft trade winds’ breeze, the quirky characters, and laid back vibe— all those things that make island life enchanting.
In July 2014, Sloop lost his beloved wife and best friend Barbara after a brief battle with cancer. Every day she is deeply missed. But her spirit and energy remain on the little piece of paradise they created together through the flowers she planted, the kitties she cared for, and of course, the business she built with Sloop, her partner in all things.
Despite the great loss of their fearless leader, the Sloop Jones line of celebratory fashion and wall art continues to grow and thrive, and the team carries on in Barbara’s spirit.