In the spring and summer of 2008 I sat down with a big “how-to” book on starting a nonprofit and wrote the bi-laws and incorporation documents for Apparent Project: a non-profit that I cofounded with Marilyn Monaghan and Corrigan Clay with the purpose of orphan prevention by providing skills and creating jobs for at-risk parents in Haiti. For the next three years, everything that we dreamt Apparent Project to be became a reality. Marilyn was stateside support, Corrigan was doing media work, and I was working with the ladies on jewelry techniques and sales.
After the earthquake, and as interest in Haitian handmade grew, it became obvious that we would not be able to grow at the rate we wanted unless we established ourselves as a formal business in Haiti. I decided to call that business Papillon Enterprise.
Papillon means butterfly.
We were all collectively being transformed into something we never expected and so I felt that it was a good representation and brand for the company. Under Papillon, we were able to be a legal business in Haiti, pay taxes, pay our employees social security, open a bank account in country and do everything a good business should be doing. We also were able to represent ourselves at trade shows as a Haitian artisan company, create a brand, focus more on the market (and how it would create more jobs through sales) and continue the vision of Apparent Project but with a new brand that would allow us to be unlimited in sales opportunities. We began to grow faster through the wholesale market than we thought possible! By 2012, Papillon was a stand-alone sustainable and non-subsidized Haitian business. All of our efforts had been realized. Job creation was working. Kids were going to school and moms were raising their children with dignity.
In 2013, I realized that I was stretched way to thin trying to be the CEO of both Apparent Project and Papillon Enterprise. Non-profit world has a life of it’s own and many legal parameters that needed to be led more stateside in order to be in compliance with non-profit law. Because of this and the ever increasing leadership needs with Papillon Enterprise, I chose to step down from any leadership or compensation role with Apparent Project and focus solely on Papillon and the growth of the artisan export business.
Today, Marilyn Monaghan is the CEO of Apparent Project and she heads up the party sales, fundraiser boxes, computer training center, daycare, and further job skills development. She is also my mother. Here we are together with my four children.
My role is to continue the efforts birthed out of Apparent Project by being the CEO of Papillon Enterprise. I was part of the founding of Apparent Project and continue to play a role in marketing and promoting it, but have no other formal role with AP. Instead, I focus solely on creating jobs, expanding markets, and developing marketable products for our artisans as Papillon.
At Papillon, we currently have 170 steady employees on payroll that work in house, pay their taxes, have bank accounts, and are able to take care of their children. We also have about 130 artisans who work offsite as needed depending on orders.
How can you help? Will you help me promote Papillon as a brand! My name has in so many ways become synonymous with Apparent Project and it has been such a positive thing to be able to tell the story over and over about how we are working towards orphan prevention in Haiti through the non-profit, but if we are ever to become a permanent and sustainable solution for parents in Haiti, the business name and brand needs to get out there and be known as well! Like and share our Facebook page! Spread the word about our website papillon-enterprise.com and let people know that Apparent Project has multiplied and a butterfly has emerged! Thank you!!