In honor of Haitian Heritage Month, I’ve been highlighting Haitian-American apparel and the designers and stumbled upon some of the cutest Haitian flag designed toms by Joanne Bacourt.
Hi Joanne, can you introduce yourself to the readers.
Hi, I was born and raised in Florida to two parents that were born and raised in Haiti. As a child I was surrounded by the Haitian community and as I grew that became less and less. As an adult I want to keep the legacy of the Haitian culture going for individuals that don’t have the opportunity to learn about it in the fullest extent.
How did you come up with the idea to start doing producing these shoes?
I started by painting a pair for a friend who knew I ‘ve painted backpacks for myself and wanted me to customize a pair of shoes for her. She absolutely fell in love with the finished product, thus it began; friends of friends wanted a customized look of their own and I was happy to assist.
What has been the response of the Haitian community?
The Haitian community has been the most supportive. They support me because I think my shoes symbolizes where we began as a culture and community. It really brings a smile to my face because no matter where I go or who I meet there is a connection to my culture that is undeniable.
I don’t only paint TOMS but I do paint a lot of them and absolutely love the company. They stand for a unifying mentality of providing jobs for millions and helping people in need at the same time. In the future I would hope to have a company that can assist individuals in need from all walks of life.
Toms have a collection which is produced by Haitian artisan in Haiti, Have you seen them?
Yes, I have seen them and applaud them in finding ways to appreciate the brilliance of an influential culture as Haiti and they provide income for those artist and furthers the art community with new styles, techniques, and artist.
What makes your shoes unique?
My shoes are unique because they are all hand-painted and can be customized to the buyers preference.
How long does it take to make one?
This is where the love comes in; painting a pair of customized shoes can take anywhere from 1-8hrs+ depending on what the customer is looking for. Of course designs that are realistically detailed like portraits or encompass the entire shoe take a lot long and explains why they are priced the way they are.
How long does it take to ship then out?
To get them shipped out can take anywhere from 1-2 weeks, however there is an exception if a customer is willing to get them overnight, or next day. I work around the clock to bring smiles to faces.
Do you plan on making more designs?
Yes, I’m constantly creating new designs and love when people input design aspects that mean something personal to them.