V . A . K (VALè Atizan Kreyatif)
Led by: Michel Ange Joseph
Speciality: Beadwork Jewelry
Team Members: 9
Location: Milot, Haiti
"SI YONN PA LA, LOT 2 PA KA SEVI"
"If we are missing one, the other two cannot function".
Michel Ange entered Haiti Design Co-op's bead making class back in 2013. She had left her small village outside of Cap Haitien and moved to Port au Prince in search of work. She started with simple fabric beads, and then was given the opportunity to learn more specialized beadwork techniques from a jewelry designer in the states. She picked up the craft very quickly and we came to see Michel Ange was a leader with a passion for design and job creation for women. She was then promoted to the head manager of our jewelry program. She had a dream of going back to her village to provide opportunities for the women by teaching the same skill-set she had learned.
In 2015 this dream became a reality- Michel Ange moved back to her small village called "Grand Pre", trained 8 women in beadwork techniques, and launched her business "Atizan Lakay" Atizan Lakay means "home artist". To Michel Ange this represents artisan products coming out of her hometown. Michel Ange's business motto is based off of an old Haitian phrase that says "Si yonn pa la, lot 2 yo pa ka sevi", which means "If you don't have one, the other two cannot function." This phrase is known within Haiti to describe the three rocks needed to hold the big pot when cooking food in the countryside. To Michel Ange this phrase represents the importance of everyone working together. She says for Atizan Lakay to function, she must have her team, Haiti Design Co-op, and the customers. All three work together to make the vision come to life.