The Envelope, Please!

Posted by on

After a long day at work, my friends and I went out for a gorgeous dinner to discuss how we might increase our commitment to increasing our use of Haitian suppliers. (Sadly, we must sometimes source from off the island, due to a lack of local resources.) Ideas were tossed passionately about, frustrations were voiced, napkins were scribbled upon.

After an hour or two, we were ready to return home, when I realized that I had barely touched my meal, so engrossed in the subject at hand, had I been. (Though many refuse to take home food from a restaurant, our experience with hunger in Haiti prevents such conventions.) I asked to have my food packaged to take home, and was duly presented with my well wrapped Mahi Mahi. Nice bag. Good paper. Sound form. Who makes these? I asked. Reginald Laviolette, they answered. I would be in touch with him, I knew.

The next day, after much needed rest, I called Mr. Laviolette, and asked him about his bags. Was he busy? Could he manage our orders? Should he like to? How many people did he employ? When could he start? Could we meet? When? And so forth. (My apologies to this patient, talented, and kind man.)

Oui. Oui. Oui. Deux. Demain. Oui. Demain.

Reginald Laviolette is 53 years old, married with 2 children a boy 15 and a girl 7. He lost his house during the earthquake of 2010. He also managed from his house a small bakery. He had to start over and reinvent himself to survive with his family. He found refuge in his father’s house where he still resides and makes brown bags. He started small selling bags to street food vendors and eventually offered shopping bags to stores. One client led to another. Reginald Laviolette makes his lovely bags by hand. Every. Single. Piece.

His dream is to become the largest brown bag seller in Haiti because as he puts it "that way people will use less plastic and that will help the environment". Reginald shares one of Simbi's greatest missions, which is to reduce the impact of our existence on this beautiful earth.

It was done. Mr Laviolette would now produce our gorgeous packaging, and we would be accomplishing just what we had wanted at that fateful dinner: more jobs created in Haiti, by Haiti and for Haiti.

We tend to celebrate women at Simbi. Today, we celebrate a gentleman.

Happy weekend!

Blog Highlights News

← Older Post Newer Post →