Haiti Made Blog / Meet Haiti Made

Shop Small, Make a Big Difference: A job for one changes the lives of many in Haiti

Shop Small, Make a Big Difference: A job for one changes the lives of many in Haiti

 

Shop Small, Make a Big Difference: A job for one changes the lives of many in Haiti.

Since day one our mission at Haiti Made has been to develop quality goods made in Haiti, create dignified employment for Haitians, and promote economic sustainability in Haitian communities to end the deep-rooted cycles of poverty that have long existed in the country. Our mission focuses holistically on the big picture to elevate Haitians and Haitian families out of poverty in a long-term way that truly makes a generational and community-wide impact. Job creation, employment, and economic sustainability means the provision, stability, and preservation of families, and on a larger scale, communities.

In Haiti, a job is more than just a job. A job means hope, dignity, and an ever-present and tangible indication that the future holds incredible opportunity and possibility. A job in Haiti also means the provision, stability, and preservation of the family, as one job often supports up to ten others in a household in Haiti.

A job for one changes the lives of many in Haiti, and that is no different here at Haiti Made. With every Haiti Made purchase (big or small) you are not only helping create dignified employment and the ability for each Haiti Made team member to earn a living wage at Haiti Made, but you are also helping provide support, opportunity, and hope to each Haiti Made team member and their family.

Because of you, each Haiti Made team member makes a living wage that is at least 2-3 times Haiti's minimum wage, a living wage that goes far beyond the wage earner to support countless others. Your purchases at Haiti Made directly make a difference, and it’s because of you that our mission is possible. Thank you, we could not do what we do without you!

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Haiti Made from Start to Finish: The Story Behind Our Leather

Haiti Made from Start to Finish: The Story Behind Our Leather

What makes our leather goods different? From start to finish, our leather goods are proudly 100% made in Haiti. Not only are all Haiti Made leather goods thoughtfully designed and meticulously handcrafted throughout each step of production here at our workshop in Grand-Goave, Haiti, all of our raw leather materials are made in Haiti as well.

 

Since our founding in 2014, Haiti Made has partnered exclusively with Hawtan Leathers (Cuirs Hawtan) to supply all of our raw leather material needs. A premier international leather manufacturer and distributor based in Massachusetts and Port-au-Prince, Haiti, Hawtan has one of the largest tanneries in the Caribbean and has operated continuously in Haiti since 1970. Hawtan’s Port-au-Prince tannery and processing facilities employ 100+ Haitians and are large enough to process 700,000 square feet of custom leather and raw leather monthly.

 

 

 

Hawtan supplies leather to companies across the Americas, Asia, and Europe, and we are proud to be one of them. Being able to partner with and support a local Haitian business like Hawtan’s Port-au-Prince tannery, while they provide us with high-quality leather is crucial to the big picture of our mission which is to build and create a circle of trade centered quality goods made in Haiti, to create dignified employment for Haitians, and to promote economic sustainability in Haitian communities to end the deep-rooted cycles of poverty that have long existed in Haiti.

 

 

To get a great final product, you have to start with great raw materials. Our certified vegetable-tanned (veg-tan for short) leather from Hawtan is old-world saddle grade leather made from cowhides that come from certified grass-fed cows in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, and Iowa. Processed at Hawtan’s Port-au-Prince tannery, our certified veg-tan leather is made using a special process that utilizes natural tannins made from organic materials.

The veg-tan leather tanning process is slow and artisanal. Many other companies use chrome-tanned leather which utilizes chromium and is more quickly processed, but chromium is a heavy metal that is toxic to the environment and the workers processing it. Veg-tan leather might be a more expensive and difficult way, but to us, it’s the right way. In addition to it being a more natural and organic process, veg-tan leather is unique in that it has a distinctive “leather” aroma, rather than the typical chemical odor of chromium-tanned goods. With every Haiti Made leather product, you will touch, smell, and see the distinction and superiority of veg-tan leather over chromium-tanned leather.

 

 

 

After being artisanally processed at Hawtan’s tannery our certified veg-tan leather arrives at our workshop in Grand-Goave to be artisanally handcrafted into a beautiful Haiti Made leather product. Each leather product is 100% cut, stitched, and stamped with the Haiti Made logo by hand, and coated with neatsfoot oil to condition and further protect the veg-tan leather. Stitching by hand on veg-tan leather creates a stitch that is extremely durable, much stronger, and more elegant than a stitch created with a sewing machine.

 

 

 

Craftsmanship is what makes Haiti Made. Some Haiti Made leather products are made, start to finish, by one Haiti Made team member individually. Other Haiti Made leather products require a more collaborative production effort and thus have been touched and made with many different hands, each doing their part to get to the final product. The beauty of handcrafted means a part of each Haiti Made team member is imprinted on each Haiti Made product like a piece of art.

 

 

 

One of the best things about our veg-tan leather goods aside from their durability is the fact that you make them your own. The artisanal techniques used by Hawtan to make our high-quality vegetable-tanned leather means that instead of degrading and deteriorating, all Haiti Made leather goods will soften and develop a beautiful patina as they age. With day-to-day use over time, our veg-tan leather goods show their character with a strong leather patina, a.k.a the natural accumulation of dirt, oils, sunlight, and wear and tear that combines to create a darkened, sheened, and softened look. This look tells a story, and through everyday use, your own Haiti Made leather goods will develop a patina that will tell your story, a story that started in Haiti.

From start to finish, our leather goods are proudly 100% made in Haiti.

 

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The Meaning of Fatherhood featuring the Dads at Haiti Made

The Meaning of Fatherhood featuring the Dads at Haiti Made

As Father's Day approaches we are again reminded of our mission and the impact that we’ve made in the lives of not only our employees but their families as well. Currently, there are three fathers (Laurencin, Jean Sonet, and John Fendy) employed at Haiti Made. Like the mothers at Haiti Made, these dads are key leaders on the Haiti Made team.

In honor of this group of dads, we sat down to reflect and discuss the joys of fatherhood and what it means to them. Bònn Fèt Dè Pè! (Happy Father's Day!) 

 

Jean Sonet – Jean Sonet is the father of two young boys, a 3 year-old and a 1 year-old. To Jean Sonet, fatherhood is the biggest transition in a man's life and you must be there for your children in every way. As Proverbs 22:6 instructs us, correctly raising, providing for, and sufficiently being in the lives of your children enough is most important. One of his favorite parts of being a father is the feeling he gets when he returns home from work at Haiti Made and both of his kids run to him shouting daddy, daddy, daddy. There are so many other special moments that happen day-to-day.

 

John Fendy – John Fendy is the proud new father of a baby boy named Fenshee. Fatherhood to John Fendy means being mature and responsible in all areas of your life, your child comes first before everything else and you must plan accordingly. While there are challenges, he loves the changes that becoming a father has brought to his life, especially every moment where he gets to hold his child and share smiles.

 

Laurencin – Laurencin is the father of a 9 year-old and a 10 year-old. To Laurencin, becoming a father is a life-changing experience that changes every way you think and act. You must work harder than ever to not only provide for them but to also be there as a teacher so you can raise them and help them grow up to be the adults you want them to be. This is important for not only you as a father but for society as well.

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Mother's Day Celebration at Haiti Made

Mother's Day Celebration at Haiti Made

Since day one our mission at Haiti Made has been to develop quality goods made in Haiti, create dignified employment for Haitians, and promote economic sustainability in Haitian communities to end the deep-rooted cycles of poverty that have long existed in the country. Our mission focuses holistically on the big picture to elevate Haitians and Haitian families out of poverty in a long-term way that truly makes a generational and community-wide impact. Job creation, employment, and economic sustainability means the provision, stability, and preservation of families, and on a larger scale, communities.

As Mother’s Day approaches we are reminded of our mission and the impact that we’ve made in the lives of not only our employees but their families as well. Currently, there are eleven mothers employed at Haiti Made and we want to recognize and celebrate this incredible group of dedicated moms who are at the heart of the Haiti Made team. They are an inspiration to us each day, as they work hard supporting their families at home and perfecting their craft at Haiti Made. We hope you’re inspired by them as much as we are! Bòn fèt dè mè! (Happy Mother's Day!)


Cinelia – the mother of one boy, she has been with Haiti Made since 2017.


Denise – the mother of one girl, she has been with Haiti Made since transitioning from the Hands & Feet Project in 2018.


Fabie – the mother of one boy, she has been with Haiti Made since 2017.


Immacula – the mother of one boy, she has been with Haiti Made since 2017.


Madam Edon – the mother of two girls and one boy, she has been with Haiti Made since 2014.


Magdala – the mother of two boys, she has been with Haiti Made since 2017.


Mila – the mother of one girl and two boys, she has been with Haiti Made since 2014.


Mireille – the mother of two girls and two boys, she has been with Haiti Made since 2014.


Olga – the mother of three girls and one boy, she has been with Haiti Made since 2017.


Phara – the mother of three, she has been with Haiti Made since 2014.


Yppomène – the mother of three girls and four boys, she has been with Haiti Made since 2017.
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Introducing Haiti Made FC!

Introducing Haiti Made FC!

Haiti-Made-Soccer-Team-1-2Introducing Haiti Made FC! This past month we had the pleasure of organizing a Haiti Made soccer team for a local soccer tournament headed up by Pastor Lex at Mission of Hope in Grand-Goâve. The team sported AC Milan-esque uniforms which feature a color scheme and style similar to Haiti's historic red and black national colors. The team performed very well, achieving a final record of 3-1-2 and making the top 8 in the tournament before losing in the knockout round.

 

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Peterson and Claudeson served as the team's coaches. The team itself consisted of Jonas, Fendy, Wodlin, Romy, Michel, Parker, Jameson, Louines, Avril, Luckson, Erick, Etzer, Schnayder, Eberson, Filius. Haiti Made's Haiti Operations Coordinator, Parker Touchton also pitched-in and played a few matches too! We are very proud of how they all performed together, with a high level of fair play and teamwork. We can't wait to see how they'll do at the next tournament!

Like almost everywhere else in Latin America and the Caribbean, soccer is the most popular sport in Haiti. So the next time you are in Haiti, make sure you know a couple of soccer related words in Haitian Creole!

Here's a small cheat sheet of soccer related words in Creole for you!

    • Soccer = Foutbòl
    • Game = Jwèt
    • Field = Teren
    • Ball = Boul
    • Goal = Gòl
    • Kick = Choute
    • Kick the Ball = Choute Boul La
    • Pass = Pase
    • Pass the Ball = Pase Boul La
    • Coach = Antrenè
    • Player = Jwè
    • Forward = Avannsant
    • Midfield = Milye Teren
    • Defense = Defans
    • Goalkeeper = Meyè Gadyen
    • Team = Ekip
    • Win = Genyen
    • Lose = Pèdi
    • Champion = Chanpyon
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Meet Our Team: The Haiti Made Portrait Series

Meet Our Team: The Haiti Made Portrait Series

For us, one of the things we are most proud of is that we have such a diverse team who come from all walks of life. Some Haiti Made staff are mothers and homemakers, others are young adults transitioning from Hands and Feet to the workforce at Haiti Made and studying at university, and some are just seasoned craftsmen and craftswomen who’ve spent most of their working careers using their hands to create beauty in one way or another. Each staff member has their own unique story and life experience. From this, the wide range of talents and abilities that each staff member brings to the team is truly one of our greatest strengths.

Most who have followed us since the beginning or have visited us here in Haiti already know many staff members, but with 50+ staff on the team now there are likely many who you have not met nor know by name.

We want to change that.

This June we will be starting a portrait and interview series that features all current Haiti Made staff. Follow the series on any of our social media accounts below.

We invite you to meet the team and to get to know us all better!

A special shoutout to Nathan Piper and Zach Shores for the photography on this project!
 

   

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I Made Your Clothes: Meet Luc Sony

I Made Your Clothes: Meet Luc Sony

In the spirit of Fashion Revolution Week 2018, we'd like you all to meet one of Haiti Made's longest tenured employees and one of the backbones of our organization, Luc Sony.

Luc Sony Haiti MadeLuc Sony is one of Haiti Made’s longest serving employees, having worked with Haiti Made since its founding in 2014. A Grand-Goâve native, Luc Sony is from a family of 4 (mother, 2 brothers and 1 sister). Before working at Haiti Made his family had some financial struggles, but upon his new employment with Haiti Made he was able to begin helping support his mother and sister, as well as assist some of his closest friends.

Not only has the income and financial benefits of working at Haiti Made helped Luc Sony, but the professional skills, training, and craftsmanship that he has learned has inspired him to attain a university degree while continuing to work at Haiti Made.

As Haiti Made has grown since 2014, Luc Sony has grown right with it, taking on more and more duties and responsibilities. Along with Sova, one of our other most tenured employees, Luc Sony has become an experienced leader and mentor for numerous other staff.

Luc Sony is committed to the growth of Haiti Made and he hopes to play a critical role in its future. He envisions a bright future where Haiti Made can eventually employ many more Haitians in both Grand-Goâve and in other parts of Haiti!

Stay tuned to the Haiti Made blog as we will continue to introduce you all to more and more Haiti Made team members and their stories! To find out more about Fashion Revolution and the #FashionRevolutionWeek initiative, please visit www.fashionrevolution.org.

I Made Your Clothes Fashion Revolution Week

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