What inspired you to start your business?
It was the birth of my daughter, Daye, who awakened within me the need to overcome the fears that were preventing me from pursuing my dreams. I was always petrified by the idea of giving birth, and when I first learned I was going to have a baby, I was forced to directly confront that fear. The more I learned about birth, I realized a lot of my ideas about it weren’t based in reality. I was able to unpack the truth of the challenge ahead and see that our bodies are actually designed for childbirth.
I ended up having a great birth experience, which made me wonder, What else could I achieve if I put my mind to it? What else am I blocking that I am actually designed to achieve? And what else could I achieve without letting my fears overshadow my desires? Incrementally, I started to dismantle these questions and realized that if I don’t go after my dream of starting Petit Kouraj, I would be living a life half lived and I would never be equipped to teach my daughter how to follow her own dreams.
It was on a birthday/research trip to Haiti that I discovered DOT Haiti, the workshop where I currently manufacture the handbags. Finding them in the middle of nowhere in Haiti’s capital with no road signs or internet service was certainly an adventure, but as soon as I got there, it was like the universe rose up to meet me and showed me the perfect, most meaningful way to start my business. It ticked all the boxes: I could design my bags in Brooklyn and have them made by wonderful artisans in Haiti, led by a female-founded operation. It aligned with my values and strengthened my resolve because I no longer was just doing this for my daughter and me. In my small way, I was now able to positively impact the people of Haiti.