Something very exciting happened last week. My friend Shannon went to Haiti with her daughter through their church
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.
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."
Well we had a great four day show last weekend. Everything we made at the show and then some is coming with us on our trip to Haiti next week. We are traveling to Haiti for one week to catch up with friends, celebrate some birthdays and buy buy buy our new spring line! Leaving MN in February, it was still very cold, but here's to hoping that when we return March 3rd the ice will have started to go out!
Thank you for everyone who came out to support us in Bloomington at Southtown Center and for 2 Harts Promotion, great work on a successful first show! It is so much fun to talk about why Cedar and Cypress started and what it means. Haiti is a huge part of our hearts and the decision to return to America doesn't seem to get any easier, but Cedar and Cypress allows us to continue our involvement there and that is why we do what we do.
We met the grandmother of a friend who we met while in Haiti and made some new friends with vendors.
Now we are in Florida taking a little break from the cold, soaking in some much needed vitamin D and doing some work on the website!
Stay tuned for lots of exciting posts while we are in Haiti as well as some exciting news from up in Minnesota!!!
Thanks for stopping in, we hope you have some sunshine in your life wherever you are.
Partnership is a great thing; in business, in life. But investment, that is where the good stuff is. When you take the time to invest in something-not with your money, but with yourself-beautiful things happen.
As a teacher, I was able to invest and pour into my students. Sometimes it was with tough love and other times it was a hug or honest conversation and advice. When you take the time to invest in some one or something, it becomes woven into your fibers.
When I was in high school myself, I remember some of the people who invested in me. My art teacher, Mrs. Yahner for one. Mrs. Y let us take over her room in the mornings before school started, tolerating at most I am sure our teenage issues and chatter. She let us eat our lunch, leave our bags and just be who we were. She invested in us in a way that made an impact. When I became a teacher in Haiti I often though of those days in the art room.
When I go home to NY I get to see Mrs. Yahner. She is a good friend of my moms and although has since retired from Marathon, she is still doing what she loves. When I was home over the summer, I suggested to her that we might partner in some way. I am so excited to be working with some one who as a teacher has taught me so much. (Her work is beautiful and you can check it out on Facebook at Frosty Morning Jewelry. If you are in Ithaca, NY at the farmers market, be sure to find her!)
I don't think I would have had the confidence in myself now as an artist if Mrs. Y had not been such an excellent teacher, both in skill, but also in many other ways.
This spring I am releasing a new "Joy" collection and many of the pieces are from Mrs. Yahner. Metal stamping, well that's a skill I learned in High School from you guessed it, Mrs. Yahner.
Next time you have a conversation with some one about your skill, or give advice or take in a mentee, know we are all our here in this together, trying to get by and have a little joy while we do it. What you do now can have a major impact on some one later.
Love well and invest in others.