Bon jour! I’m Yve-Car Momperousse, Founder and CEO of Kreyol Essence. I’m a Haitian girl born in Brooklyn who lives between Florida and Haiti. When I am not running a multinational company that is focused on making its mark in the beauty sector while bringing value to Haiti’s people and economy –my favorite things to do are complete a challenging CrossFit workout, spend time with friends and family preferably on one of Haiti’s beautiful beaches, salsa dancing – and most importantly –watching This is Us with my hubby, Stephane.
What ignited you to start Kreyol Essence?
I started Kreyol Essence after having what I call a “hair-catastrophe.” After straightening my hair at a salon, my hair fell out due to damage caused by a hot iron. After crying, I remembered there was an oil my mom used that solved all our problems. She told me the name of our liquid gold is Lwil Maskriti, known as Haitian Black Castor Oil in english.
I ran to the store in Philadelphia, where I lived at the time, and was unable to find the authentic black castor oil I was accustomed to. I begged my mom to send me Haitian Castor Oil from her “Haiti stash” and jokingly said perhaps I should start a business that ensures the oil is accessible, not only for myself but for others as well.
As mom and I talked, we thought about the fact that I would have to work with farmers, female producers, and would have to export the product- all activities that stimulate economic activity in Haiti.
On Jan. 12th, 2010, when a devastating earthquake hit Haiti, I said to my mom “We should put the business on hold and focus on providing emergency care.” My mom reminded me .“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 and launched in 2014.
What’s the best thing about working with your partner Stephane Jean-Baptiste?
The best thing about working with my life partner Stephane, is that I trust him. I am fortunate to work with someone that has my best interest in mind as well as our baby’s best interest- the baby is Kreyol Essence by the way 😉
Stephane also brings unique skills sets that are crucial to the business such as marketing design, ability to manage logistics, and calmness when I become anxious. I am extremely blessed to have Stephane as a life and business partner.
What are your top 3 hair tips for women with curly hair?
- Give your hair and scalp a pre-poo (pre-shampoo) treatment with Haitian Castor Oil (only oil with 90% Ricenolic acid), Haitian Moringa Oil (filled with oleic acid), before you wash your hair. This will help to treat the scalp, soften hair, and reduce breakage.
- Your hair needs protein to be strong and healthy. You can use
- Aveda’s damage remedy treatment
- Opt for a homemade protein treatment: eggs, mayo, Haitian castor oil, and olive oil
- Henna treatment.
- Your hair will grow with patience, consistent care, and regular trims.
What are your top 3 hair tips for women with straight hair?
- Give your hair and scalp a pre-poo (pre-shampoo) treatment with Haitian Castor Oil (only oil with 90% Ricenolic acid), Haitian Moringa Oil (filled with oleic acid), before you wash your hair at least 1-2x a month. This will help to treat the scalp, reduce breakage, reduce frizz, and give hair a natural shine.
- Regular trims not only keep split ends at bay, it gives hair bounce and life.
- Do not over do it with heat. Roller sets, braids, and rod sets all add body without heat.
Favorite city in the world?
This is tough. I would have to say it’s a tie between Paris, Wuxi in China, and Cap Haitian in Haiti.
Teetotaler or something stronger? Glenlivet, Whiskey please.
Most recent indulgence?
For New Years, a couple of friends and I rented the most beautiful house nestled in between mountains and built right on beautiful green blue waters in Labadie Haiti. We indulged in Haitian cuisine cooked by an amazing staff, my favorite cakes (I have a real sweet tooth), laughed, played with the kids, and the three dogs at the house. We went to the beach daily, played board games, and barely had access to internet. I indulged in the beauty of nature, gained perspective by slowing down, and really enjoyed being present with Stephane and amazing people.
Walk, bike or drive? Walk! I’m an avid walker. It’s a great opportunity to problem solve, clear my mind and to put things into perspective. I think I get this love for walking from my father who still walks miles when he’s in Haiti’s countryside.
Who is the one person in the world you would like to sit beside on a long flight and what would you ask her or him?
Right now, I would have to say Marcia Kilgore. Besides asking her to mentor me and let me shadow her for a month, we would talk beauty, business, and I would want to know her spiritual practice? What she is grateful for? Life intentions? And other questions that come from me watching too much Super Soul Sunday by Oprah.
You are a big voice for women, particularly in Haiti who need to be heard, any thoughts of running for office one day?
Ha, funny you would ask that. My early professional aspiration was to be a US Governor. I was elected to the state democratic committee in Philadelphia and have done some work with the Young Democratic Committee organizations. As a young community organizer in New Jersey, I saw first-hand the resources available to impact and break the cycles of poverty for constituents. I now see that I can create change by creating work and building a successful social enterprise, but this early ambition may make sense a few years from now.
Best advice for a woman considering becoming an entrepreneur?
Confidence is an important weapon. Build your support network early and often and develop a practice that keeps you mentally and physically fit.
I have so many unique quotes that are powerful, and yet, I always go back to the simple well-known serenity prayer: “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; courage to change the things I can; and wisdom to know the difference.”
Madeline Albrights controversial (not too me) quote are also words to live by
“ And just remember, there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other”.
Last book you read?
Soar, TD Jakes
Give Work: Reversing Poverty One Job at a Time , Leila Jana
Favourite cause, group or activist?
YWCA Haiti which I was introduced to by the amazing Tamara Barrau. The work YWCA does with young women from challenging parts of the country ranges from financial education to gender based violence. I think it’s extremely important to have these trainings and conversations with young women.
The other is Prodev which is under the direction of Maryse Penette Kedar. Prodev focuses on education in Haiti and was recently featured on Conan.
****Links to your
Web site www.kreyolessence.com
Favorite cause https://www.facebook.com/ywcahaiti/