July 2010 Group 9 – Mickeline Cocmar, Lovelie Occéan, Fabienne Saint-Juste, Ludenie Pierrot, Guerline Timau
The women in group 9 are friends studying at a local university on 22nd street. They were recommended to us by Antonio Louis, a board member for Espoir Haitien. Their businesses seem to have a clear customer base of teenagers. Guerline Timau is the only woman we interviewed who makes, packages and sells a product. These women are still young and not strongly interconnected as family or neighbors, but they are energetic, educated, and focused on success.
COCMAR, Mickeline – Mickeline, 26, is a clothing reseller. She purchases items by the dozen from the Dominican Republic weekly and sells them from her house. She purchases juniors clothing and stylish pieces making as much as $800 H ($100 US) profit from $2500 ($312 US) investment. She works closely with her cousin sharing the time required to be at home selling. She would like to diversify and sell sandals as well. Mickeline is in her 3rd year at the university and has 1 more year to complete. She lives with her cousins (38, 24). One cousin is an electrician the other is in the loan group (Fabienne Saint-Juste). Mickeline’s parents used to pay for school but now she is responsible to cover that cost. She also gets some financial support from her boyfriend who works at a bank.
OCCEAN, Lovelie – Lovelie, 22, sells products from the Dominican Republic such as eggs and detergent directly to 9th street vendors. She travels to Dajabón twice a month to purchase inventories. For an investment of $2500H – $3000H, she hopes to make about $400 H to $500 H profit. She’d like to expand to carry new products; the vendors are asking to purchase chips, macaroni and soda. Lovelie has completed 3 years at the university and has one more to complete. She is dependent on her business to afford school. She lives with her cousin, 40, cousin’s husband, and their two daughters (7, 9). Lovelie’s cousin sells mattresses and her cousin’s husband is a teacher. Lovelie has a boyfriend who provides some financial support.
SAINT-JUSTE, Fabienne – Fabienne, 24, sells jewelry from her home that she has purchased from the Dominican Republic. For an investment of $1500 H to $2000 H ($187 – $250 US), she estimates a profit of $300 H to $500 H ($37 – $63 US). She and her cousin often help each other with their businesses so that they both don’t have to be home selling at the same time. She’s been running this business since October 2009. Fabienne completed her first year at the university and has three more. She would like to be an accountant. Fabienne pays for school herself and does get some financial support from her boyfriend. She lives with two cousins (Mickeline Cocmar, in the group) and her cousin who is an electrician.
PIERROT, Ludenie – Ludenie, 27, sells high end purses and sneakers to a network of teenagers. She goes to the depo very early on Saturday and Sunday in order to get the items she knows are in high demand. She and her sister make telephone calls to buyers and sell her inventory pretty quickly. She estimates by spending $2000 H to $2500 H ($250 – $313 US) she can make a profit of $500 H ($63 US). She would expand her business by buying more designer purses and handbags. Ludenie is in her 3rd year at the university, with one more to complete. She hopes to work at a bank or continue her business after graduation. She lives with her sister and sister’s family. Ludenie’s sister works at the bank, her sister’s husband works for an Italian company that builds roads and they have 3 children.
TIMAU, Guerline – Guerline, 26, makes packages and sells a hair treatment. She purchases ingredients at the market and purchases small glass containers from the Dominican Republic. She has a local printer makes labels with a color printer that she tapes to the bottle. Guerline sells to vendors and to 3 beauty salons, who purchase the hair treatment by the case. She estimates that once a week she invests $2000 H ($250 US) in materials and makes about $300 H ($37 US) profit. Her growth vision includes buying a grinder ($400 US) so that she can grind carrots in greater quantity for the hair treatment. This microloan isn’t enough to purchase that grinder so she will continue to expand her business and put money aside for the grinder. Guerline has completed 2 years at the university and has 2 more until she’s completed her degree. Her boyfriend, who provides some financial help, lives in Fr. Lauderdale and they plan to get married in 2011.
 Within this subculture of young single women, getting some support or monetary gifts from boyfriends is common but it is also something they jest about among themselves.