Haiti Made is a handmade leather goods social enterprise that empowers Haitian communities through dignified and sustainable employment.
Haiti Made was founded in 2014 as part of the Hands and Feet Project (HAFP), which cares for vulnerable children in Haiti, and was started by the Grammy award-winning rock band Audio Adrenaline. The band — composed of Mark Stuart, Will McGinniss, Ben Cissell and Tyler Burkum — wanted to use their platform to make a difference in the world. Haiti Made was born out of their deep desire to see the Haitian people empowered by sustainable and dignified employment as a part of a larger effort to promote economic growth and keep families together. In 2017, Haiti Made became a for-profit business to increase its sustainability and visibility, with band member Will McGinniss as the CEO. Today, Haiti Made helps HAFP students transition into employment once they turn 18. The program is designed to be a source of training, a way to fuel their dreams and an income to support themselves and their extended family.
Haiti Made is united around quality products, dignified jobs and economic sustainability in an effort to diminish the poverty cycles in Haiti. More than half of Haiti’s people live on less the $2.50 US daily, and the orphan and child slavery crisis in the nation is largely fueled by a lack of economic opportunity. Job creation has proven to succeed where perpetual aid measures have failed. Employment means the provision, stability, and the preservation of family. Haiti Made’s hope is to see the Haitian people holding the keys to their own economic recovery, empowered to envision a brighter future.
Haiti Made is committed to paying a living wage. On average, their workers make 2.5 times the national minimum wage and have the opportunity to climb the ranks in the organization, becoming middle and upper managers. Their employees come from a variety of backgrounds, including women transitioning out of human trafficking, young men and women who were a part of Haiti’s orphan crisis, families seeking to provide for their children and Haitians from many other walks of life who are eager to provide for themselves. Employment at Haiti Made means a path to sustainability and an economic engine for all to live and thrive, not merely survive.
The products themselves are hand made with love and prudence, each its own unique art piece. The leather is saddle grade, top-grain, certified Vegtan and sourced from a tannery in Port au Prince, which supports another 126. At Haiti Made, they believe the leather tells a story, as each “side” is special and unique and has its own history and character, just like their many employees.
To learn more about Haiti Made, check out their member directory profile.