HB: How did you come up with the idea “Haitians Rock”?
RT: The idea of Haitians Rock came about after the Earthquake of 2010 in Haiti. When I went to visit Haiti with my son after the earthquake, I was amazed at the positive attitude and passion Haitians still had after such tragedy. They still had the spirit to live and enjoy life with great pride of being Haitians.
HB: What is the goal of the “Haitians Rock” logo?
RT: The goal of the logo is to allow the brand to represent Haitians: their culture and pride through merchandise such as t-shirts, sweatshirts, hats etc. that everyone wants to wear, or in other words, that people want to “rock” ergo the phrase “Haitians Rock”.
HB: Are you going to expand on your goals?
RT: Yes, I have plans to expand on my goals as well as branch out.
HB: What impact do you think you have made with your merchandise?
RT: The fact that a lot of us who grew up here don’t know the impact of Haitians’ history throughout the world, or our influence as a powerful people is changing. Those who happened to grow up here sometimes denied the fact that they were Haitians and not knowing their history is totally wrong. Haitians Rock is trying to bring back the fact that back in the days and still now we are a force to be reckoned with.
HB: Are you satisfied with the support you have gotten so far from the Haitian community?
RT: Yes, I’m satisfied with the response of the Haitian community and I can’t wait for its reaction to other projects and merchandise that I’m working on and coming out with in the future.
HB: I have seen many celebrities wearing your products, including Garcelle Beauvais, how do you get celebrities to wear your products?
RT: To me everyone who wears my products is a celebrity in his/her own right. We as Haitians have such a wide range of celebrities among our ranks.
HB: What merchandise do you offer right now?
RT: I offer a wide range of merchandise: T-shirts, hoodies, bracelets, mugs, tote bags, hats, tanks for men and ladies, children’s t-shirts and I have a host of other products that will come out in the future.
HB: What new products should the public expect from you in the near future?
RT: Working on other items, such as shorts and towels, onesies for babies and toddlers.
HB: What have been your biggest challenges so far?
RT: There is a high demand for the merchandise and I have such a variety of products in limited quantities, my challenge is keeping the merchandise in stock.
HB: What has been your biggest success so far?
RT: When I am out and about, seeing people where my merchandise.
HB: What are your future plans?
RT: My future plan is to continue to help reunite Haitians throughout the world (as folks wear the merchandise, they tell other Haitians, “I am one of us”) and promote Haiti as a nation to be recognized and respected.
HB: Any new ideas you are working on?
RT: I have several new ideas and projects in the works, but they’re in the early stages and I am not at liberty to provide more information at this time.
HB: If someone wants to buy your product, where do they go?
RT: They can go to my website www.haitiansrockapparel.com or they can call me directly. I also attend Haitian events in the New York City area.
HB: Do you plan on opening a physical store?
RT: I would love to do that one day but for now I am focusing on the merchandise and branding.
HB: Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
RT: I see myself growing and keeping the Haitians Rock and Haiti Rocks logos and brands moving forward.
HB: Any parting word?
RT: We are such a rich nation, in so many ways. Haitians Rock is about our history, our pride, our culture, country and about reminding the world of all that Haiti has offered and will continue to offer.
It’s not just a t-shirt, it’s a run the world t-shirt.