I was a well-behaved student in primary school; my only concern was getting high grades. This is the aim in all Haitian households. This dictum resonated every day in my neurons. ( Annevalentine il faut avoir de bonne note a l’ecole). I transitioned to high school academically brilliant and a fast learner.
When I graduated High School, I frankly did not know precisely what profession I wanted for my career; given the fact I was always good with money since childhood, I used to sell my peers handmade Barbie clothes and Accessories; I considered Entrepreneurship as an attainable choice of occupation.
I distanced myself from engineering school, which would have been an adequate road, due to the fact both my father and older brother are engineers. We talked about it as a possible choice; I am grateful none of them pushed engineering on me.
I enrolled in Business Administration for the Fall Semester 2006 at UNIBE; the courses were more hands-on projects for future Entrepreneurs; during the next four years, I learned how strategically to solve difficulties a company could encounter.
Between the last semester of Business School and my thesis submission day, I was deliberating my career future, should I pursue my professional studies or follow the passage my father always dreamed for my older brother and l, to work at his construction company as a team to execute projects and to partake to the development of Haiti.
I moved back to Port-au-Prince, after the devastating earthquake and oversaw a multi-million dollars’ worth company at 23 years old. I was vacationing in Haiti when the earthquake happened; the aftermath is the reason that convinced me to set aside my desire to create my path. I could not refuse my father now, especially given the circumstances.
On July 17th of 2010, I celebrated my graduation day, the next one I was back in Haiti, partnered with my father and older brother. I became the Director of acquisition and human resources and managed millions of dollars in medium-scale construction projects; my responsibility was the centerpiece of the logistics from the headquarters office in Petion-Ville to the various location projects around the country.
I was efficient at my job, I am a savvy businesswoman, I can read a room and negotiate with anyone in front of me. I know I was allowed a lifetime opportunity to manage such a company; After my degree, I went from being a party college student to being the Director of one, if not the most prominent, construction firm in the country. My negotiations and risk management skills pivoted into a solid organizational culture and leadership delegations.
My father started his company in his early thirties before my birth; we share many similarities in our personalities, which can have a good and downside effect. This part is very complex, and I will need to write several blog posts to describe my father and I relationship; I have enormous love and respect for my father and reflect more maturely today; there are conversations I would have discussed differently with him.
I grew up knowing good and bad, my father integrated fairness and honesty, among us. He is a true Haitian patriot (Haitien De coeur). Looking back, I am proud we delivered on all our projects from A to Z; his mission was a better Haiti, and our joint objective was to execute the construction site designated.
I have so many memories of this period of my life; the most important to mention is our determination to salvage each project. Many called us crazy and dumb. We faced so many challenges and stressful moments, not getting paid, bank interest, being held at gunpoint, site incidents, environmental impact, Haitian government malignancies, a lot happened, but and this is a huge but, we survived it all and proudly saying all the sites as well.
I was frustrated, our efforts were ridiculed because we decided to do the right thing, there is so much I could say, first I would have to ask my father for permission to disclose some information if I ever decide to write about this trauma, which I sincerely believe most Haitians and foreigners are conscious of the situations. We all can see the honest citizen is predominantly poor or sent to his grave, and the corrupted one is rich. So, what did I take with me?
SHOP THE LOOK
I gained project management experience, becoming a problem solver, I can work in remote and stressful circumstances, I can manage people and money, and I visited every corner of Haiti.
During those seven years, I was doing what I was supposed to do, not what I wanted to do; the burden of working in a family environment was present because we all lived and worked together. So, I took the risk to follow what my instinct was telling me for a long time.
I quit EVERYTHING, my job, the toxic relationship I was in, moved out of the family residence, and decided to take my life in charge. It was a terrifying time; I am an introverted person and highly private in expressing to people what I am going through; nonetheless, I needed to move on alone.
I had spent so many years focusing on others, I had forgotten myself, I have considered going back to school, but it would have taken asking for help, so I paused again to further my education and started to develop my first startup.
I had a little bit of savings and I know the island terrain, so I engaged in many research and decided to open a beauty supply store in Haiti. It would have been easier to invest in the Dominican Republic, nonetheless, staying in Haiti was symbolic.
Coincidentally, I opened my beauty supply less than 200 feet where my mother was buried and the same street as my father’s headquarters office. On inauguration night, my father and brother were present to support yours truly; and that is when I embarked on the Beauty and Fashion industry.
I have been candid about my lack of knowledge in technology, one regret I have was not to have my business online. Haiti is a very complicated country and while I oversaw making decisions for my business, I started to understand some of my fathers. I will furthermore describe my start-up journey in future blog posts as well, so for now I will continue my decision of going back to school.
I always had going back to school in the back of my mind even though I was in business, therefore I engaged in doing research and visiting campuses. I came upon NYU three years ago; I even participated in their orientation class for the master’s program in fashion; this master’s is the last stop of my education pyramid. I need to begin at the starting line to position my career in the Fashion and Beauty Industry especially in New York City.
I came back to apple city just before covid. The pandemic circumstances challenged everyone. I have considered taking online courses; unfortunately, after many attempts, I am among the group whose online studies drive us to sleep. So far this is not for me.
The white booties are a vibe this Fall
I could not study online, and the campus was closed, therefore I took the opportunity to read and do some more research, The Fashion and beauty industry is vast, there are so many ways one can express artistically, and build a career. After all those years of indecision, confusion, I am finally in the right direction.
I started taking in-person classes at FIT this Fall and started my Fashion and Beauty blog this year; I cannot put a finger right now on the direction my Fashion career will set in the next year or ten years. Still, one thing is for sure; I will give myself all the chances and work as hard as I know for my path.
This blog has taken me the longest to write; I wanted to resume my ten years career journey leading to my decision to go back to school without being too off subject; I omitted a few tasks, not they are less critical, which I will also post in the future about them.
Every experience, frustration, success I engaged in the last ten years has been a lesson for me, puzzled to the professional I aspire to be. Some know from the start, for others it takes them years.
Thank you so much for reading and remember is it never too late to follow your dreams.