Celebrate Haitian Tradition Through Beauty
Mothers and Grandmothers play one of the most important roles in Haiti’s vibrant culture. As the pillar of families and the global economy, they're not given the honorable title of Poto-Mitan for no reason. Their strength, tireless work and compelling beauty secrets have been historically passed down by through the ages, deeply rooting them in culture and tradition.
For Haitian Heritage Month and Mother’s Day, we are proud to pay tribute to them though story. We invite you to pass down these cherished tips with your very own and indulge in our pure and authentic Haitian products made by Poto-Mitans of Haiti with love and care.
Q. How has your Haitian Heritage influenced you as a mother?
At the age of nine, my mother along with her siblings, moved from Haiti to be raised in Brooklyn, NY. Youngest of five siblings, my mother grew up sheltered and overly protected from her older siblings. At the age of 22, she brought me into the world. My mother passed on some typical Haitian traditions but other traditions faded away as she became more “Americanized".
The top values that my mother passed onto me that I still hold true today are my spiritual-relational belief system, morals, having a heart to serve, career choice (yes, you guessed it, I’m a nurse), and being devoted to my family. I am truly grateful of all the sacrifices that she made for my sister and I to ensure that we are set up to have the best opportunities in life and how to deal with life lessons.
Q. As a professional, is it hard to balance your work and being a mom?
I am a family nurse practitioner. My sister, whose also is a family nurse practitioner, and I are co-owners of our own private medical practice, called MariCare Wellness, servicing the DC metropolitan community. Since I, with the assistance of my mom, purchased my first car, I always had at least two jobs.
Yes, “at least.” In undergraduate school, during my sophomore year, I had four part-time jobs with a 16-18-credit hour load, was active in community service, and had time to hit the clubs to party on the weekends! Crazy, right? I carried on having a large workload after I got married and had children (minus the partying.)
I believed that since I have 24 hours in the day, I would maximize my each hour by doing everything that I could possibly squeeze into a day just for the satisfaction of “feeling accomplished.” Nevertheless, as I got older, I slowly realized that I did not have the same energy as I did in my younger years. So eventually, I crashed.
Yes, I moved up the career latter quickly but I had hit a brick wall, called exhaustion. I had a much-needed awakening that I had to choose to not sacrifice my family for career success and ‘living the good life.” Yes, we had the money, house, and luxury cars but what is it worth if you cannot enjoy them with your loved ones?
With the assistance of my husband keeping me accountable, I created a work and home life balance. My first priority is that I grow and develop a healthy individual spiritually, physically, mentally, and socially. I had to train myself to be intentional as a wife and parent.
Now, instead of sacrificing most of my time to help an unknown person get richer, I transfer my energy towards my family business and leaving a legacy. My time now is flexible and I now have more opportunities to create more memories with my family and friends.
Q. What do you want for your kids more than anything else? What aspect of Haitian Heritage do you most want them to know?
I have several aspirations for my children. As Dr. Tony Evans wrote, I want to honor my kids by “placing a high enough value on them to warrant the time and energy needed to parent well.” I want to transfer my faith to my children so that they may have a strong personal relationship with their savior, Jesus Christ, wisdom with intelligence and common sense, and for them to continue the legacy of my ancestors.
I also want them to know their own family history, embrace their Haitian heritage, and be proud of their brown skin and curly hair. I’m fully engaged in my children’s education and world knowledge because “my people parish for the lack of knowledge.” I want my children to have knowledge and desire to continue seeking knowledge and clarification in all that they do.
Q. What is your favorite Kreyol Essence product?
My favorite Kreyole Essence product is the Haitian Black Castor Oil orange flavor. I love the euphoric citrus aroma and every time I use it, I have someone following me, asking what hair product am I using. I’m eager to expand out of my comfort zone of products and try new hair, skin, and body products in the near future.
Q. What do you remember most about Lwil Maskriti / Haitian Castor Oil growing up? Do you use this traditional oil in your family?
I have one burning image about Lwil Maskriti/Haitian Castor Oil in my mind, and that is running away from it! Oh how I hated the smell on me or anyone who used it! It was (and probably still is) every older Haitian go-to solution to any health problem. You have an issue, lwil maskriti will solve it! I was happy to finally find a castor oil that has a beautiful welcoming aroma and now I am more encouraged to use it. My children do not run away when I rub them down with Kreyole Essence’s Haitian Castor Oil, they bathe in it when I’m not looking!
Q. What did your mom, grandmother, aunt/mother figure instill in you that could almost bring you to tears?
My mother, grandmother, and other strong female figures instilled in my life is the transferring their faith and having a personal relationship with God and knowing the Word of God for myself. That is the cornerstone of my life and who I am as a woman, wife, mother, sister, and friend. My prayer is that when people see my character, they will see a reflection of Christ, that creates a positive change. My mom always told be, “Make at least one positive impact in someone’s life daily.” I still try to uphold that standard to date – let me know how I’m doing.