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  • growing up.

  • I just always wanted to do the right thing.

  • I was the only girl out of six kids, and my parents expected a lot of me.

  • And my dad used to always say to me, Melody, don't be a sheep.

  • Don't follow the crowd.

  • I speak French.

  • I was fascinated by the sound of the language.

  • I had a wonderful teacher in junior high school, and my parents had gotten me a book when I was a young kid called The Slave who freed Haiti.

  • So I think the fact that that was somehow embedded in my consciousness and the sound of the French language and my love for the Caribbean I'm a swimmer, I said.

  • That's it.

  • I'm going to go and live in Haiti.

  • I landed there and I was in shock that I couldn't use my French too much because the the official language is French.

  • But the people speak Creole.

  • I think the people who hit your wonderful they're very, very sweet, their humble, they're accepting of their plight.

  • I learned that everybody says hello and goodbye and how are you before they start talking?

  • This is going to be hard for me to talk about my daughter because I love you so much.

  • I had wanted to have a child and because I'm independent, I didn't care if I was married.

  • I had done an unsuccessful in vitro.

  • And then I told the doctor, friend of mine, a Haitian doctor friend of mine, that it didn't work.

  • And he said, So are you ready for Haitian, Baby, I said, I just want a baby.

  • And, um, within two weeks we found a beautiful Haitian peasant woman who doesn't want the baby, and it was almost like it was meant to be.

  • So I can I tell my daughter, Rachel, I've known her longer than she's known me.

  • I saw her first.

  • The name of my store is the lady from Haiti.

  • At first I was thinking about changing that name because Haiti was getting so much bad press at the time that I decided to begin a store.

  • But then I got my daughter, and I decided I'm not changing that name.

  • She's actually the lady from Haiti.

  • This is now her definition in Naples.

  • The little girl doesn't have a daddy got a white mommy.

  • She's gonna be different.

  • The lady from Haiti is Rachel.

  • When people come into my store, I hope that they they feel happy when they see the artwork.

  • The Haitian spirit shows through in most things.

  • People are happy to see unusual things, unique things and expensive things.

  • I like people to smile when they come in here, and it happens.

  • I lived in Haiti for six years during nine different governments.

  • I would love people in this country to understand that Haiti has so much more to offer all the different things that people that aren't in a big rush, to get somewhere fast and achieve and to grab more and more for themselves.

  • Ah, lot of the things that we don't experience so much in our country anymore are still present in Haiti.

  • I admire Mother Teresa and people that can give up everything, all the comforts of home and their background.

  • I know I can't be like Mother Teresa, but I want to have the kind of impact I many people that I've had on my daughter.

  • Sometimes I think I want to go to the Middle East and help the kids and the refugee camps.

  • They can't be happy people in their lives if they don't learn somehow that there is a thing called happiness.

growing up.

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