Petit Kouraj is a luxury bag line launched in May 2019 by Nasrin Jean-Baptiste (pictured). The name is Haitian Creole for Little Courage.
Beginnings and Growth
Jean-Baptiste was born and raised in London. Her parents are Haitian immigrants to the UK. She has more than a decade’s experience as an international fashion stylist moving to Brooklyn, New York in 2012. Worth noting is that Jean-Baptiste is a former Alicia Keys stylist.
In 2018, she made a trip to her native country of Haiti. This trip and the birth of her first child, inspired her to start her own creative venture. In that same year, Jean-Baptiste embarked on the conceptualization process of her collection of bags which she named Petit Kouraj. The result was macramé-fringed style carryalls in an array of colors.
Petit Kouraj bags are handmade in Haiti. To make this happen, the company has partnered with D.O.T. Haiti, an organisation led by women which works closely with local artisans to create opportunities, provide education and vocation training. In addition, the organisation is credited with protecting Haitian Arts and Culture.
Petit Kouraj bags are made using responsibly sourced materials. Raw materials include organic cotton net bags, 100% leather handles and rayon fringe. Each strand of fringe is individually sewn 656 times to create the large bags and 342 times for the mini ones. It takes approximately 8-12 hours of manual labor to finish making a single bag.
In May 2019, Jean-Baptiste officially launched her venture with a special pre-oder sale on Moda Operandi in conjunction with Haitian Heritage Month which runs the entire May. In a 2019 interview with Vogue during the launch week, she confesses to working from her home studio in Brooklyn and is still a stylist. Every year, Jean-Baptiste travels a few times to Haiti.
Sources: Company’s website and Vogue
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