By NAN Staff Writer
News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Thurs. Mar. 18, 2021: Haiti may be in turmoil politically but a Haitian-owned brand this week quietly made history by becoming the first Haitian brand to appear on QVC.
On March 16th at 10 p.m. EST, Kreyol Essence, LLC. made its historical debut on the shopping channel that reaches approximately 85 million American homes.
The offer included the Kreyol Essence Haitian Castor Oil Scalp Care three-piece kit featuring oil, shampoo, and conditioner.
The company was founded by Yve-Car Momperousse, who appeared on the QVC promotion and told viewers about her own personal story of Haitian Black Castor Oil that her grandmother and aunts all used on Saturday mornings on her hair.
The creation of KE was also fueled by Momperousse’s vision to stimulate economic activity in Haiti. According to the KE website, Momperousse as a long-time activist in the Haitian community, saw that the people of Haiti needed jobs instead of aid.
So on Jan. 12th, 2010, after the devastating earthquake hit Haiti, Momperousse said to her mom: “We should put the business idea on hold and focus on providing emergency care.”
But her mom disagreed and told her “Now more than ever, our people will need jobs and a way to be self-sufficient. When the donations stop, how will the country survive? I need you to persevere in making this dream a reality as the lives of many are
It is with the livelihood of others that KE was birthed.
The company’s founder last year appeared on Shark Tank and agreed to give “Shark Tank” investor Kevin 5% equity for a USD 400,000 investment and a 25 percent royalty on every item sold in perpetuity.
“I walked away with an understanding that we have so much more work to do to get folks to understand the value of businesses like mine in indie beauty, clean beauty and inclusive beauty,” says Momperousse. “I also walked away with a sense of accomplishment because Kevin O’Leary is not a shark who gets involved in a business from an emotional standpoint. He gets involved because he’s looking at the business merits.”
Securing a deal on “Shark Tank” was a big win for Momperousse and her husband StephaneJean-Baptiste, but its not been an easy road.
Kreyol Essence kicked off as a bulk ingredient seller and, in its first year, generated $135,000 in sales. Two years later, a major client stopped ordering, and Kreyol Essence’s sales sank to $40,000.
Momperousse and Jean-Baptiste considered shutting it down but kept going.
Kreyol Essence rebounded by pivoting away from a bulk model to selling products direct-to-consumer and via retail.
In 2017, its sales hit $327,000 and, a year later, they reached $1 million. In 2019, Kreyol Essence surpassed $2 million in sales. The brand’s assortment spans 35 stockkeeping units.
Accounting for 50% of sales, Haitian Black Castor Oil products are Kreyol Essence’s bestsellers via Amazon and its website.