Fashion designer and lifestyle brand owner Gayel “Cutiega” Pierre created her first business while she was still taking undergrad courses at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. She brainstormed the concept for Living Hart, an expo that would bring Haiti’s creatives together to promote their work.
This year alone, the fashion-entrepreneur has had not one, but two editions of Living Hart. Hundreds gathered in Port-au-Prince for both editions, and they came from all walks of creative life in Haiti: painters, singers, stage actors, graphic artists, photographers, deejays, writers, among other fields. The colossal job of bringing all these creatives together belonged to the entrepreneur herself. So, how did she manage it? And what was the outcome. Let your curiosity get the best of you, and read on.
Kreyolicious: Due to tremendous demand, you did the first and second edition of Living Hart within just a few months of each other. Do you have any regrets?
Like you mentioned, [the] first and second edition of Living Hart were put together within just a few months not only because the public wanted another edition, but also because it was within our plan to do them within just a few months so it becomes something regular. We thankfully got lucky. The crowd showed its appreciation, and always looked forward to a next edition.
Kreyolicious: When you compare the first and second edition, what did you notice in terms of talent and participation?
Obviously, the second edition was better organized because we had the opportunity of having the first edition [as a precedent to refer to]. Therefore, it was easier to fix little issues that we encountered in the past! In terms of participation, the second one also had a bigger audience. The artists, who by then had experimented [during] the first edition, were even more excited.
Kreyolicious: What was it like planning an event of this caliber this time around?
Less stressful than the first time but still incredibly challenging. we had to deal with more participants and plan for a bigger audience. Furthermore it was also challenging because we had our own expectations to surpass.
Kreyolicious: What advice would you like to give to those living in the USA who’d like to hold events in Haiti?
Arm yourselves with determination, patience and consistency. The public is different. the service is different and sometimes you might end up being on your own and unable to rely on other due to the fact that you’re a “foreigner” but as long as you keep on your head high it will all turn out great!
Kreyolicious: I once watched an Ava Duvernay interview and in it she said that Oprah told her that when bad things happened, when obstacles tumble in, to think of the obstacles and terrible moments as things that happened for her, not to her. It’s a rather interesting perspective. What do you think?
Personally, I am someone that loves when thing work out just like I plan them. The industry proves [to] me everyday that Oprah is right. Sometimes, things go wrong and not always according to our plan, but it is important that we think of them has opportunities and not obstacles so even though I love always being in control I do understand the importance of obstacles and partial setbacks.
[Main photo Credit: Elmas Flaco]