Daphne Karen Floreal is founder of Bijou Lakay, a fast-growing jewelry business which she started as a side job. Previously she was Director of a popular private bank in Haiti.
Daphne turned Bijou Lakay into a real business when she realized the overwhelming interest which people took in her designs. At her humble beginnings, she would give her designs out for free to people who liked them.
“Firstly, it was just a way to have my pocket money. It became a real business when I realized that all the designs I created for myself drew a lot of interest from people around me. So I understood there was a need and interest for this type of creation,” she told Haitian platform 4better.
For Floreal, it was a dream come true as she’s finally a full-time designer in spite of her initial apprehensions about its prospects of making a decent living from it in Haiti.
Her breakthrough came during the inaugural Artisanat en Fete – a craft Trade Show which gave high visibility to the country’s artists and artisans. The platform gave her exposure and helped her gain more customers.
Dare, Innovate and Recycle” are three words which best describe Floreal’s line of accessories. She shares that they account for her ability to transform the dormant Haitian fashion industry. “I employ the best industry standards. When we decided that Bijou Lakay will be an international company, we understood that it meant respect for standards, application of rules, and communication with our customers. For the creative part, we do research before launching a collection, innovation is at the centre of work, and of course, we improve our branding regularly”.
In the next decade, Floreal, who has a bachelor’s degree in Management, sees Bijou Lakay becoming the dominant brand on the market. “We want to lead in the culture and crafts sector of Haiti, and to help in its proper structuring,” she says.
“It is something I really want to do because the need is there. There’s a real waste of talent, business potential, and artistic skill. With those strengths, Haiti should be rich by its cultural heritage.”