How it all began
“I don’t want a bottle of water. I need a job.”
As an earthquake responder, Julie Colombino-Billingham came to the Island as a volunteer, but found the perseverance of the Haitian people to be her lasting truth and the catalyst for creating the company.
Living amongst the devastation, she felt a strange distance, almost like an out of body experience to the chaos around her, however there was also an intimate connection to the people.
The first days after the quake were the most difficult. When feeling most lost and hopeless amidst the dire level of devastation, she prayed for guidance and felt called to "do less and listen more." And so she did.
Not long after, while doing food distribution in a tent camp, a woman told Julie, "I don't want a bottle of water. I need a job." This was the message she knew she must listen to, so Julie decided to sell her home in the states, quit her job, and move to Haiti permanently. She set out on a mission to create sustainable jobs and beautiful products to share with the world.
By making setting up a 100% solar-powered, women-owned factory that produces ethical and environmentally friendly sandals and fashion accessories, she was able to do just that. Ensuring that the story of Haiti, would be filled with pride and determination as her early experiences dictated.
This became the intent and story behind every Deux Mains product.