Photo Credit: TN
Haiti is exciting, scenic, and memorable. It stands apart as an independent and progressive Black nation that harmoniously blends the cultures, traditions, and beauties of the Old World and New. The Caribbean country experienced a devasting earthquake in 2010 that left many people dead, injured and displaced, and a great deal of property and land destroyed. CEO and co-founder Yve Car Momperousse created Kreyol Essence in 2014, with the goal of providing jobs and revenue that would help Haiti’s people and economy rebound from this catastrophe.
“I had a vision to stimulate economic activity in Haiti, but it was clear that the Haitian community needed help and emergency care, and so I thought of taking the activist route,” she said.
“Then my mom said to me, ‘Now more than ever, our people will need jobs and a way to be self-sufficient. When the donations stop, how will the country survive?’ This question fueled me to create Kreyol Essence and contribute long-lasting help.”
A social entrepreneur, Yve Car holds a bachelor’s degree in Urban Studies from Rutgers University, started her master’s at the University of Pennsylvania, and completed her degree at Cornell University majoring in International Development with a focus on Rural Agriculture. She has experience in fundraising, business consulting and managing relationships with boards of directors, staff, and volunteers.
Yve Car knew what type of brand she wanted to create from her experience dealing with a different type of catastrophe. After each damage to her natural hair, she would ask her mom to send her a bottle of Haitian Black Castor Oil.
“After a specific hair disaster, I went to natural and West Indian stores in Philadelphia in search of the Haitian Black Castor Oil, and to my dismay, no one had the organic oil available. That’s when I decided that I was going to make the oil not only accessible to me but accessible to anyone else who needed it, and Kreyol Essence was birthed.”
Kreyol Essence is the first Haitian company to bring natural and ethical hair, skin, and body products from Haiti to the world. The brand’s eco-friendly formulations are made from pure and natural ingredients with a special focus on dry hair and skin. For scalp and hair health, Kreyol Essence offers original Haitian Black Castor Oil, commonly known as lwil maskriti, also available in organic essential oil blends of Lavender Hibiscus, Rosemary Mint, and Mango, Payaya & Coconut.
“Our signature Black Castor Oil is the liquid gold of the Caribbean. It’s known to promote the growth and thickening of hair, eyebrows, lashes, and healthy skin. It’s also known to soothe muscle aches and fade stretch marks. No other oil has 80-90% ricinoleic acid, which is the key to its ability to carry moisture to hair, skin, and body.”
Kreyol Essence offers a wide range of products for hair repair, hair styling, dry and aging skin and hair vitamin needs, and body and dermatitis treatment.
The company’s top four best-sellers are the Original Haitian Black Castor Oil, the Rosemary Peppermint blend of the Castor Oil, the Moringa Oil, and their Multifunctional Hair Mousse. The beauty product of the season, the mousse is the perfect stand-alone product for all your hair needs: summer protective hairstyles, wash and gos, braid-outs, twist outs, locs, you name it.
But not only is the brand benefiting people through its natural products; Kreyol Essence is achieving its goal of creating jobs to aid in the self-sufficiency and revival of Haiti’s development. With its partnership with Ulta Beauty, the company contributes to the economic development of Haiti through its six goals:
Economic development and women’s empowerment have always been and remain at the forefront of Kreyol Essence’s mission and goals. These are important causes Yve Car champions through her brand for several reasons.
“Women are the backbone of Haiti and as a Haitian-owned social business, I understand that every social issue starts with financial problems, therefore we focus on the root to get to the heart of changing lives. I know what poverty looks like and that’s what fuels my obsession with economic development and empowering women because I know that every purchase of Kreyol Essence products helps change a family’s life. Even while being victims of gender-based violence, I want to bring hope to women, which is why 90% of the Kreyol Essence staff are women.”
Kreyol Essence is looking forward to adding new partnerships with various content creators, and having more fun with the brand while deepening its partnership with Ulta Beauty. You can follow the company on Instagram and TikTok to stay connected and sign up for the mailing list.
“We frequently go Live and talk beauty and wellness. We do giveaways, collabs, and overall post entertaining content everyone can relate to.”
You can also follow the founders, @yvecar and @sjeanbap33, and watch a clip of their Shark Tank episode here.
Yve Car would like to share the following recommendations and travel information for those interested in visiting Haiti:
Specific Places to Travel to Haiti:
Haiti’s second-largest town, Cap-Haitian, is tranquil, open to tourists, and absolutely worth a visit. You can get there via plane directly from the United States to its own airport, the Hugo Chavez International Airport, or via boat. Many Royal Caribbean cruise itineraries make stops at Labadee Beach. With the average daily cost ranging from $20 to $250, you can discover local food spots such as Cap Deli, Boukanye, and Kokiyaj Bar & Grill just to name a few.
A few historical sites and architectures that can’t be missed include Citadelle Laferrière, Palais Sans Souci, and the Cathedrale Notre Dame. After visiting sites, Cap Haitien offers many easily reachable beaches to cool off at, including Cadras Beach and Île à Rat Beach, Paradise Bay, and Rival Beach.
What’s a fun trip without fun looks? These Kreyòl Essence essentials are easy to pack, TSA-approved, and will have you looking your best!
Overlooked Travel Items You’ll Need:
Related: Haiti Should Be Your Next Island Getaway, Here’s Why
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Photo Credit: TN