2018 Year in Review
Happy Birthday to us!
In December, we celebrated one year since we officially opened our studio doors as Mama Zwazo. Our first official year in business brought us wholesale customers in Haiti and the US, private label partnerships, and the most obvious change, a new name. Like any small business, we’ve experienced growing pains, but we’ve also experienced deep joy.
From October 2017 until now, our team has crafted over 11,800 products. Each one tells the story of our team of tenacious artisans choosing determination and hope. Every single product represents a new way of moving forward in Haiti: stable employment to empower instead of handouts to enable.
Some days, the complicated layers of working in the developing world leave us desperately laughing and even more in awe of God’s faithfulness to our team. For every difficult day, we see more reasons to keep moving forward. Last summer, Haiti experienced fear-filled days of mass rioting. Our first day back to work everyone greeted each other with hugs, laughter, and a few tears. This is a fair snapshot of our work: determination in the face of seemingly insurmountable struggle.
In our first year in business, we’ve watched as our team uses their income to assist family and friends. Bledine pays for her little brother to go to school, and is also using her income to advance her own education. At our celebration dinner last weekend, Bledine shared that she’s proud to be able to come to work and make products that are truly the best quality around.
Bertha helps her cousin with school expenses. Looking back on the last year, she shared, “When I first came, I didn’t know how to do this work (small batch dying), but Dani worked with me and helped me have patience. Now I can dye things better than she can.” We’ve seen Bertha’s confidence in her work grow over the last year, and we know this translates to her life outside work as well.
Rose Mirtha, whose fingers can whip up the prettiest jewelry around, helps her family members with living expenses, and has gained her own financial independence. She shared that she sees God in Petite Palm because we are all committed to paying attention to details.
Perhaps this is truly biggest take away for our entire team over the last year: when we say “yes” to the small things, God comes through in big ways. We know this little dream that has blossomed into Petite Palm is only moving forward because of his grace.
As we look forward, we thank you for being part of this community. Without you, Petite Palm can’t move forward. Thank you for each purchase, “like” on social media, and all the times you’ve shared our story with friends. You make our work possible.
In 2019, we’ll continue to rely on your meaningful partnership. Many of you have already given to our New Year, New Home Campaign. Thanks to your generosity, four of the spaces in our new studio are fully funded. When you give to our moving costs, you’re making sure our 2019 Year in Review is full of even more proof that God is in this work.
“Mesi anpil!” (Thank you so much!), from our entire team, for all the ways you’ve supported Petite Palm over the last year.
Cheers to the year ahead!
Love + Caribbean Light-
The Petite Palm Team