Something very exciting happened last week. My friend Shannon went to Haiti with her daughter through their church
About two weeks ago we returned from an eight day trip to Haiti. Our favorite part about Cedar and Cypress Designs is the partners we get to collaborate with, both in Haiti and here in Minnesota. Our goal is to be relational, sometimes that isn't so easy when you live across the sea.
However, when we get to visit Haiti we get to be intentional with those relationships and our partners. I seem to have an affinity for friendships and hugs. On our recent trip to Haiti, a coffee date with a friend lead to collaboration with a new one (thanks Lexie). We met Jess from Sa-Voix towards the end of our trip, and short of extending our visit, we did our best to work with her as much as possible before we had to leave island life behind once again.
Sa-Voix is also relational and we are encouraged with our new found friendship we were able to cultivate in the short amount of time we were able to spend with them. It is clear that the team at Sa-Voix is a family.
Through the use of art, Sa-Voix is a vehicle to create a safe space for women to explore theirvoice. Sa-Voix is empowering and giving women a voice and a future. The products are Sa-Voix are made by first hand painting the fabric and then sewn into beautiful hand bags and headbands.
"Sa Voix exists to help young women in Haiti find their voice through the arts.
- We Foster Creativity
- We Cultivate Community
- We Equip Holistically
- We Speak Tangibly"
We were able to see the Sa Voix workshop and spend some time with Jess and Reinese, one of two Haitian seamstresses. Their space is light and inspiring, it fosters creativity and joy-exactly the kind of space I like to work in. Sa-Voix is in it's infancy, but you can tell they have a bright future ahead of them.
Join me in watching them learn and grow. We are so excited about our new partnership with Sa-Voix and are working to get back down to Haiti to spend some quality time with them very soon in hopes to encourage them in their creativity and designs. We look forward to cultivating and developing that partnership and the relationships with their team.
We are blessed by our many partners in Haiti, if you would like to partner with organizations like Sa-Voix please reach out to us. Whether you buy a product, donate to their cause or have the chance to visit their quaint space some day-how you choose your voice will make a difference. We all have a voice. It is up to you how you use yours.
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."