If you are like us, then your 2017 came and went at lightning speed, so what better way to begin 2018 than with a little pause and self-reflection! We also owe all our fans, followers, and customers an update on our growth and on the work that we've been able to accomplish over this past year. In short, it's been a year full of new and exciting ventures as we created new products, began new partnerships, and on-boarded a ton of new hires to the Haiti Made team!
In a year full of change, 2017 began with perhaps the biggest change in our entire history, the separation of Haiti Made from the Hands and Feet Project, and subsequent creation of H.E.I, the Haiti Entrepreneurial Initiative. H.E.I is a for-profit entity that has the mission, vision, and heart to be an economic engine and a key part of the sustainable growth efforts in Haiti. As most who know Haiti Made already know, the history and story of Haiti Made had been one fully intertwined with that of the Hands and Feet Project (HAF). One of the founding pillars of Haiti Made’s mission was based on the essential need to assist and prepare transitional age children at HAF for life beyond the children’s village.
Between HAF providing it’s incredible circle of care around the children, coupled with H.E.I/Haiti Made being able to provide transitional young men and women an option for further growth, we now have a unique opportunity to help them start building their future and avoid the difficult economy and poverty cycles that exist in Haiti. As a permanent place of employment or just as a stepping stone onto other dreams and goals, Haiti Made is grateful to have filled in the gap this past year and hopes to grow in scope and scale to include other great organizations that are transforming the lives of countless individuals.
The H.E.I/Haiti Made mission and vision has grown into a much larger effort this past year. While Haiti Made continues to develop high-quality, handmade retail leather products for customers, we’ve also taken those same products to the custom and promotional world, having manufactured custom products for countless organizations, groups, and companies. We’ve also begun designing and developing one-of-a-kind leather products with other companies, production teams, where having a turn-key HR and manufacturing service are some of what we are calling the new frontier for H.E.I/Haiti Made.
This broader mission and vision will not only continue to empower the transitioning children at HAF, but also reach to empower as many Haitians as possible through sustainable and dignified employment. This has become our reality, as we now provide jobs to a significant number of local community members in the Gressier and Grand-Goâve areas. As we continue to grow, so do the number of opportunities. A Circle of Trade united around quality products, dignified employment, and grounded in a “hand up” rather than a “hand out” philosophy, H.E.I/Haiti Made will continue the fight in delivering sustainability to as many Haitian families and communities as possible.
As for the Haiti Made team, 2017 brought important change and growth that we were incredibly blessed for. We began the year with less than 15 employees in total, yet finished the year with over 60 full-time and part-time employees on the Haiti Made team. As we move into 2018 we hope to keep pace with 2017’s growth and continue to impact as many lives and communities as possible.
On the business side of things, 2017 was full of new and exciting ventures, creating new products, and beginning new partnerships. Overall 2017 was a year of considerable revenue growth, as revenue grew to 100% year-over-year from 2016.
New Haiti Made products created and re-created:
- Bel Tote Dark Brown
- Bel Tote Suede
- Brasle Wrap
- Chante Guitar Strap
- Dosye Portfolio
- Ekoute Earbud Case
- Kreye Journal
- Majik Laptop Sleeve
- Solay Sunglass Case
New Haiti Made retail and custom product partnerships:
- Alclair Audio
- Be The Change Youth Initiative
- Bryan College
- City On A Hill Studio
- Change Co.
- CommonGood Capital
- Ethical Trade Co.
- Give Joy Crate
- Global Empowerment Marketplace
- Orange - The rethink Group, Inc.
- Future Shirts
- LifeWay Christian Resources
- Mission Made Jewelry
- Pelli Golf
- Remy Black Coffee
- The Well Coffeehouse
We are truly blessed for the opportunities that 2017 provided us. We want to give a big thanks to all of our fans, customers, partners and most of all, the Haiti Made team on the ground in Haiti for making last year a very special year. Thank you all for your love, support, and hard work! We are forever grateful! Stay tuned in 2018, there are lots of new changes, products, partnerships, and initiatives yet to come!
Pou yon nouvèl ane plen ak bòn sante, pwosperite, lanmou, ak lafwa! (Here's to a new year filled with health, prosperity, love, and faith!)