How our incredible journey
crosses paths with yours

It’s a story you couldn’t dream up, dotted with obstacles that would make most retailers turn back. Many of them did. But not Mr. Doulatram Boolchand Nandwani, known fondly to us as “Dada.” His amazing odyssey is 90-plus years in the making, and began with the opening of the first Boolchand’s store in Curacao in 1930 by his father, Mr. Boolchand Pessoomal Nandwani. This single location supported his family in India for over 20 years before Dada arrived, and helped him to re-brand, expand and grow the business – to Venezuela, St. Maarten, Bonaire, St. Thomas and Aruba. As the next generation joined the business to support this expansion, and the fourth generation later followed, additional brands came under The Boolchand Group umbrella, and new businesses were opened in St. Kitts, Miami and Puerto Rico. Today, the Boolchand Group employs over 250 people, and operates 23 retail stores in 7 territories, a distribution business headquartered in the Curaçao Freezone, and an e-commerce website that will enhance our journey into the 21st century.

1901

1901

Mr. Boolchand sets sail for Panama

where he begins working for an Indian business, Tarachand Bhojram, as a salesman. He is quickly promoted to the position of manager, and eventually becomes a working partner in the firm.

1927

1927

Mr. Boolchand leaves Panama to return to India

The vision to open a business begins, originally with a business partner, Mr. Parsaram Narwani.

1930

1930

The original Boolchand's store, at the time called Oriental Art Palace is opened in Curacao.

Oriental Art Palaces originates as an importer of fine goods from China and India. The original store sold oriental gift items including Ivory carvings, carved wooden tables and screens, brassware, embroidered table cloths from India and China, pure silk cloth and Japanese embroidered Kimonos.

1937

1937

Mr. Boolchand's son, Chuhermal Nandwani, falls ill of kidney trouble and must leave Curacao for Japan for treatment. He ultimately returns to India

1947

1947

Mr. Boolchand leaves Pakistan to Poona, only one month after India's independence day (August 15th).

1950

1950

Doulatram Boolchand Nandwani ("Dada") joins the family business in Curacao, after the passing of his father earlier that year.

The business was started by his father after a world-wide trip originating in Bombay on the Maluja Ship to France. Followed by another ship ride on the Queen Elizabeth from London to New York, through Kingston, Jamaica and finally to Curacao.

1951

1951

Dada buys an old building at Heerenstraat 4B, with the dream of eventually converting it into a three-floor retail store.

This dream is finally realized in 1969, just in time to facilitate recovery from a major disaster that year.

1952

1952

The Boolchand Group opens a second store – Cortesia – in Curacao, this time in Hanchi Snoa.

This same year, it also expands to Caracas, Venezuela, successfully opening a store under the Palacio Hindu brand name. In 1953, the original Caracas store is expanded into an adjacent space.

1963

1963

The Boolchand Group establishes its first store in St. Maarten on Front Street

Primarily selling linen tablecloths and blouses. The original glass storefront was imported from Puerto Rico as that size was not available in St. Maarten at that time.

1964

1964

The Boolchand group establishes a second store in St. Maarten

The store is called Taj Mahal, selling table cloths, jewelry, watches, liquor, tobacco, cigars and other tourist goods.

1966

1966

Ram Nandwani, Dada's eldest son, arrives in Curaçao from Tangiers to join the family business

1967

1967

The Boolchand Group purchases a lot with a small store in St. Maarten

In 1972, this house would be demolished and a brand new, 5,000 square foot store would be opened selling electronics, cameras, jewelry, watches and linen.

1968

1968

The Boolchand Group establishes operations in Bonaire

1969

1969

Riots engulf Curaçao's Punda district, burning the entire building at Heerenstraat 10

Riots engulf Curacao's Punda district, burning the entire building at Heerenstraat 10 (the original Oriental Art Palace) and all of the store's goods. With no insurance, Maduro & Curiel's Bank gives their full support so Dada can rebuild. The Boolchand Group relocates to the recently complete three-story building at Heerenstraat 4B and establishes new operations in the Curacao Freezone.

1970

1970

Boolchand's establishes an exclusive distribution agreement with Marks & Spencer of London

Throughout the early 1970s, The Boolchand Group grows the portfolio of St. Michael stores in Curacao, St. Maarten, St. Thomas and Aruba. Also in 1970, The Boolchand Group establishes operations in St. Thomas, selling tourist items and linens on the Waterfront, then relocating to 31 Main Street, where they begin to sell cameras and electronics as well.

1971

1971

Lachu Nandwani joins the family business to operate the Caracas business

In 1976, he would leave Caracas to join The Boolchand Group's St. Maarten operations.

1972

1972

The Boolchand Group's St. Thomas store is ruined by smoke from an adjacent fire

After reopening, another fire the following year causes a second "restart", followed by a theft within the store. The first several years in St. Thomas are challenging with several restarts.

1973

1973

Haresh Nandwani, Dada’s second youngest son, joins the company to operate the St. Maarten business.

1974

1974

The Boolchand Group opens operations in Aruba, expanding to 6 stores over the course of 20 years

1976

1976

The Boolchand Group expands the St. Thomas operations into the Havensight Harbour, simultaneously opening two locations there

Nari Nandwani, Dada’s youngest son, becomes the last member of the 3rd generation to join the company when he arrives in St. Maarten to help run the St. Maarten business.

1978

1978

Dada is appointed Honorary Consul of India for the Netherlands Antilles, covering Curacao, Aruba, Bonaire, St. Maarten, Statia and Saba

1979

1979

Lachu Nandwani leaves the St. Maarten operations to manage operations in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands

1989

1989

Boolchand's is offered the exclusive right to open franchise stores in the Caribbean under the Bye-Bye brand from Mexico

The Group quickly rolls out Bye-Bye stores in St. Thomas the same year, followed by St. Maarten, Aruba, Bonaire and finally Curacao.

1994

1994

The Boolchand Group launches a new branded store focusing on fine jewelry and watches, D'Orlahn

D'Orlahn opens stores in Aruba, followed by stores in St. Maarten, Curacao, and St. Kitts over the years. D'Orlahn was established to grow the branded boutique business with key luxury retailers.

1995

1995

Boolchand's is granted the exclusive right to distribute Ecco shoes from Denmark in the Caribbean. It also opens a standalone Ecco store in Curaçao.

1999

1999

Ravee Nandwani, son of Ram and grandson of Dada, joins the family business in Curaçao

The following year, Ravee is transferred to Aruba to run the local operations. This marks the official transition from a 3rd generation family business to a 4th generation family business.

2002

2002

Dada retires from the Honorary Consul role and Ram D. Boolchand is appointed to the post

The Boolchand Group exits retail operations in Venezuela, focusing on the core island retail and wholesale business.

2004

2004

The Boolchand Group becomes a distribution partner of Havaianas of Brazil

2005

2005

Working with the Minister and local government in St. Kitts, The Boolchand Group is one of the first island retailers to establish operations there, purchasing land and building five stores

D’Orlahn is the first Indian-owned store to be opened in St. Kitts. The Boolchand Group begins its relationship with Pandora Jewelry, starting in St. Maarten and expanding to St. Thomas, Curacao and Aruba.

2006

2006

The Boolchand Group becomes a distribution partner of Crocs shoes

Navin Nandwani, son of Nari and grandson of Dada, joins the family business in St. Maarten.

2007

2007

Jai Nandwani, son of Lachu and grandson of Dada, joins the family business in Curacao

2009

2009

The Boolchand Group deepens the collaboration with Pandora Jewelry

Launching the first Pandora concept store in the Caribbean in St. Maarten (the 30th Pandora retail concept store in the global network, which grew to over 700 by 2012).

2010

2010

The Boolchand Group establishes a second Pandora Concept Store in St. Thomas and a third in Aruba

In 2011, a second Concept Store in St. Thomas is opened as well as a store in Curacao.

2011

2011

The Boolchand Group expands operations, as a Pandora Partner into the United States

Opening a store in Miami. The Boolchand Group now operates 6 shop-in-shops and 6 concept Pandora Jewelry stores.

2012

2012

The Boolchand Group establishes plans to expand retail operations, as a Pandora partner

Into new markets in the United States and the Caribbean. The Boolchand Group, also, takes its 30-year relationship with Apple to a new level with the opening of a standalone Apple store in Curaçao. This is the beginning of the franchise relationship as an Apple Specialist.

2013

2013

The Boolchand Group launches two new Crocs concept stores in St. Maarten and Curacao

2014

2014

The Boolchand Group opens a Crocs franchise store

In the US Virgin Islands and open a New Havaianas Kiosk in the Paseo Herencia Mall, Aruba.

2015

2015

The Boolchand Group opens a new Pandora Concept Store at The Mall of San Juan in Puerto Rico

2015

2015

Additionally, they open a Corporate Office and Logistics Hub in Miami to support the growing business.

The Havaianas distribution expands to include the entirety of the Southern and Eastern Caribbean. Finally, Karan Nandwani, son of Nari and grandson of Dada, becomes the last member of the 4th generation to join the family company.

2016

2016

The Boolchand Group opens Pandora Brickell City Centre in Miami, Pandora Oranjestad in Aruba and Pandora Harbour in St. Maarten

All of these are second concept stores for the respective locations.

2017

2017

The Boolchand Group opens its first ever Havaianas store on the boardwalk in St. Maarten

2018

2018

The Boolchand Group launches e-commerce via boolchand.com with a focus on Pandora and Fine Jewelry

The Boolchand Group opens Pandora Sambil on Curaçao, the second concept store for the island of Curaçao

2020

2020

The Boolchand Group celebrates 90 years since the opening of their first store back in 1930

They also expand the launch of omnichannel across all locations via boolchand.com to include electronics and cameras.