Bringing natural and ethical beauty products from Haiti to global markets

Yve-Car Momperousse launched Kreyol Essence to introduce black castor oil to the US market. She had realized, to her dismay, that the oil–her mother’s go-to remedy for hair and beauty woes–was nowhere to be found in the US. She believed in the product and knew that an export market for black castor oil could create substantial employment for Haitian farmers across the country.

Yve-Car’s determination hardened after witnessing the devastating effects of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. She saw first-hand that international donors and development agencies were not creating the employment opportunities that poor Haitians desperately needed to lift themselves from the cycle of poverty. Haiti needed talented entrepreneurs like her who could help build the economy from the ground up.

Kreyol Essence succeeded in introducing Haitian castor oil to the American market, and has expanded its offering of eco-friendly beauty products, all sourced from Haitian farmers. The company’s products are found across the US at retail locations like MOM’s Organic Market and Whole Foods. Yve-Car’s idea has blossomed into an engine for social and economic impact, creating more than 350 sustainable jobs and planting 100,000 castor trees in Haiti.

“We would be the first company in Haiti to achieve this level of success as a vertically integrated cosmetics company, especially since we are headed by a woman of color and focused on social impact.”