Posts tagged #Friends

From Dust to Jewelry

Our vision for Cedar and Cypress Designs became clear to us over a year ago. Still living in Haiti, but preparing to leave. I knew I had to do something to stay connected to the tiny island that means so much to me.

Living in Haiti it is easy to see poverty and a reason for God every day. Every where you go and in everything you do. Slums, hungry kids - pain is everywhere.

"You make beautiful things out of the dust." The lyrics of this Gungor song are easy to relate to when walking the dusty streets of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. There is a place called Papillon Enterprise in Haiti, where these lyrics seem to ring especially true as they unfold right in front of you. A place where beautiful jewelry, pottery, and many other products are made. A place where moms and dads make a decent wage, have healthcare and share lots and lots of laughter. Where beauty is made out of the dust.

Papillon Enterprise was founded by Shelley Clay, a woman who's strength and courage is inspiring. She is a mom of four and employer to over 250 artisans. She runs a boutique, a cafe and of course a major company - oh and that four kid thing again.

Shelley has a heart for moms, moms who have babies and toddlers and 12 year old's. She thinks those mom's should keep their kids and I happen to strongly agree with her. Papillon is a way for families to stay together. By purchasing from them or other companies (like ourselves) who sell their product, you are playing a part in keeping those families together.

We are so excited for our spring line, much of it comes right from Papillon and is full of color! The Papillon slogan, "Beauty is changing lives" is a motto to remember. When you get dressed in the morning and pick out your accessories, your shoes, your purse; think about the story they tell. You have the chance to change lives with the beauty you put on every day.

This jewelry is made out of dust and clay. Like us, it is transformed into something more beautiful.

If you happen to find yourself in Haiti, you must ask to stop by Papillon Enterprise for a tour and some shopping, while you are there get a burger and seasoned fries at the restaurant located above the boutique.

Papillon Enterprise
14 Rue Cassagnol Prolongee
Delmas 75, Port Au Prince, Haiti 6110

Shelley and the rest of the Papillon team, thank you for letting us be a part of your journey - it is an honor.

"Dreams don't work unless you do."


An emotional being

If you know me well then you know I am an emotional being. At times I feel my mind is spinning, a web that goes in 50 directions at the same time.

As I prepare to return to Haiti tomorrow for the first time since I moved away last June, I find the simplest things bring me to tears. I started Cedar and Cypress Designs in part to stay involved in Haiti-if the foundation of your business is based there, then it is pretty imperative to stay involved.

However when you leave a place, you do just that-you leave. I used to get asked why I lived and stayed in Haiti so long. The answer is simple; community, the people. In Haiti I lived out everyday life with an amazing community. But then I left that community and it has been one of the most difficult transitions of my life. Here I am eight months later and still struggling, still hurting, still transitioning.

I cried a little this morning; overjoyed because I get to go home tomorrow, even for just a taste, but I am also mourning. Mourning that some things are different, life is never the same today as it was yesterday. Rarely will you be in a room with the same people again as you were. Treasure every moment, every person, every friendship.

This is not the first time I will return to a place where the relationships and friendships are different. When I left for Haiti six years ago, I left a world and a community that I also loved something fierce. I have navigated life and the differences in those relationships as I will navigate these now. This life I get to live truly is something special and the people with whom have crossed my path today, tomorrow, a year ago, five years ago-you are gems, each and every one of you and you have shined brightly in my life. Thank you for that.

To this gem...I love you friend...

To this gem...I love you friend...