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Tuesday 19 September 2017
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Haitian Woman in Business: Carline Smothers

Carline Smothers is a wife, a mother of three and a fierce entrepreneur making waves in the business world. Carline was born in Miami but raised in Lakeland Florida. She is the brain behind Zoe Beautee apparel line. Carline recently released her  latest project which is a children’s book which you’ll learn more about in our chat with her below. As Haitian Woman in Business, Carline is paving her way to success.

Introducing Carline SmothersHaitian Women in Business Carline Smothers

 

What motivated you to start you business?

What motivated me to start ZOE BEAUTEE? Well, there’s quite a few things. I would like to change the negative misconception of Haitians and our culture. I want to empower our youth and adults, to be proud of their Haitian culture. I want to share our beauty with the world. I decided to start a children’s book series in hopes to bring more cultural diversity in children’s books. Also, to promote self love, respect, and confidence to our youth.

 As a Haitian woman in business, what are the challenges you faced as a business owner and how do you overcome them?

I was laughed at by a few people. I’m often asked questions or get comments like… How are you going to design cloths, you’re not a designer? How are you going to have a fashion show, you don’t know anything about fashion? So you’re a writer now? Did you go to school for business? I have come a long way with my business. I am in a process of building my brand. I no longer allow negative energy or people detour me from my purpose. When I visualize something, I make it a goal that will be accomplished. I make it happen one way or another; I may have to do research to gain more knowledge on a project and some things take time. There’s no amount of schooling or certificates that can tell me what I’m qualified to do. If it’s something I’m passionate about, I go for it. I strive to inspire and uplift. It’s impossible to do that with negative thoughts. I work countless hours, and it’s amazing to see the positive outpour I receive from my family and supporters. It keeps me motivated.

 How does your business relates to the Haiti or Haitian community? 

My slogan is “Expressing Beauty Through Language”. Growing up Haitian was viewed negatively, with awful stereotypes of the Haitian people. My family and I would get bullied often. I created ZOE BEAUTEE as a brand that would share our pride and beauty to the world. I also strive to bring pride and self love in our community. I created various t-shirts with phrases written in Creole and English. Customer favorites are Bèl Fanm (Beautiful Woman) and Zoe Proud (Proud Haitian) fashion tees. I also started an annual ZOE BEAUTEE Fashion Shows to showcase Haitian talents. I decided to start a Haitian book series called Little Readers that would be relatable for anyone who’s Haitian or loves the culture.

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 In your opinion, why is it important for the Haitian community to support Haitian owned businesses?

If we do not, who else will? Of course financially it’s impossible to support every single Haitian owned business, but what I try to do is share Haitian owned businesses on my social media for others to see. Or instead of buying a dress from large established corporations, I prefer to support a Haitian self owned business. We all grow as a community when we support one another.

 

We are proud to have such inspirational woman among the Haitian Woman in Business.

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