Oct. 16, 2005 Merlisa George and Anna Hector have something in common. They believe that in today's society etiquette is important and shouldnt be taken lightly.
However, St. Croix residents sometimes don't notice this.
"Our community is based on extending great customer service and manners are not taken seriously," George says.
So the pair decided to do something to put manners in the spotlight. In September they opened the The St. Croix Etiquette Institute in a suite at the Village Mall in Barren Spot. The institute teaches courses in etiquette for young girls, teen girls, young boys, teen boys, adults, college students, as well as modeling courses and the "Business of Manners," which has been created specifically for the workforce.
The institute "gives us an opportunity to assist individuals who would like to achieve social and business success," Hector says. "To succeed, one must have an understanding of social skills and the ability to communicate these skills effectively."
Presently, they are doing all the work and the teaching with only the help of a part-time college student, but they see expansion on the horizon.
"We would like to extend this service to all segments of the community and to other islands," Hector says.
Both are longtime residents of the islands with lots of family ties.
Hector has worked in human resources, legal, insurance and customer service. She is currently employed by Kapok Management as their director of human resources and is co-owner of Special Occasions in Paradise.
George has worked at the Public Housing Authority, as an administrative assistant, in financial management and in customer service. Currently, George is the legislative assistant for Sen. Craig Barshinger.
"Our combined years of experience brought about the decision to offer the etiquette and charm classes in a formal setting with a structured curriculum with set hours," Hector says.
Hector is a certified wedding specialist and event planner. She says she "is definitely a people person and enjoys working with young adults."
George is a commissioned makeup artist and enjoys cooking and interior design. She volunteers her time to charities and for a little down time she loves to listen to 1970s, 80s and 90s music and watching movies at home.
Hector says she likes St. Croix because of its diverse culture and people. She adds that her best memories are the prosperity of the islands in the 1960s and 70s.
For George, her best memory of St. Croix was the day she landed here "and the beginning of my new journey."
What they do differ on is their favorite spot on the island. Hector likes the Frederiksted coastline at sunset, while George loves the boardwalk in Christiansted.
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