TWENTY-EIGHT-YEAR-OLD Daphnee Floreal is a young jewellery designer with the flair of an artist and the touch of an entrepreneur, who launched her first collection to critical acclaim in 2008 ? and has built on that reputation ever since.
The motto of her business, Bijou Lakay, is ?Recycle, Innovate and Dare? and Floreal does all three. She produces jewellery with a strong Caribbean accent, around 40 percent of which is already being exported, particularly to the US ? which Floreal believes is the key to international recognition.Her primary material is bullhorn, but she also works in mahogany, fine stone, luffa, and surgical steel. As a result, she says, the material costs are modest.
Once the design work is complete, the manufacture is contracted out to artisans whose workshops she collaborates with regularly, and who receive 50 percent of payment up-front.Exports tend to be handled directly, and online sales are growing every day. But Floreal?s jewellery can also be found in three carefully selected up-market boutiques in Petion Ville and another in Delmas ? and word-of-mouth has been hugely important as fans recommend her to their friends. Floreal also believes in giving back to the community.
She regularly talks to local schools about what it means to be entrepreneur. And because she?s always been a keen reader, she donates five percent of sales to the purchase of books for first-level schoolchildren.