Yve-Car Momperousse remembers waking up on Saturday mornings dreading to get her hair braided by the next door neighbor. However, she loved having her mom wash her hair in the kitchen sink. Whenever Yve-Car’s hair was breaking, mom pulled out the magic oil that seemed to solve everything for everyone in the house.
Like most girls, Yve-Car wanted to be seen as beautiful. She did all types of things to her hair to make it look good: chemical straightening, weaving, and braids, to mention a few. Over the years, Yve-Car did lots of damage to her hair for the purposes of style. After each “haircatastrophe”, she knew exactly what to do to regrow and repair her mane— call Mom and ask for a bottle of Haitian Black Castor Oil.
In 2008, after growing her hair naturally, Yve-Car went to a hair dresser and asked to have her hair pressed. The Hairdresser took one look at her enormous afro and said “I am going to need significant heat to straighten that hair.” It turns out that the beautician burned Yve-Car’s hair by using an iron that was too hot.
Once again, Yve-Car needed Haitian Black Castor Oil, so she went to natural and West Indian stores in Philadelphia in search of the product. To her dismay, no one had the organic oil available. Yve-Car decided to make sure that she, and anyone else who needed the oil, could have access to it by creating Kreyol Essence (KE).
The creation of KE was also fueled by Yve-Car’s vision to stimulate economic activity in Haiti. As a long-time activist in the Haitian community, it was clear to her that the people of Haiti needed jobs instead of aid. On Jan. 12th, 2010, when a devastating earthquake hit Haiti, Yve-Car said to her mom “We should put the business on hold and focus on providing emergency care.” Her mom said to 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 at stake.”
It is with the livelihood of others that KE was birthed.