ALTAGRACE

The Potions Vendor

The winding, tented market where Altagrace Moise works provides a much-needed respite from the hot Haitian sun. Her corner stand is a prime piece of real estate, situated in the cool shade of the blue tarp that covers the walkway, right along the main thoroughfare filled with bustling shop-owners, patrons, and children. But Altagrace seems unfazed.

As she shows us her stand of herbs, spirits, and potions, she tells us how she started out selling her products for medicinal and magical use up the street in the open-air market. But with a loan from Accion partner Sogesol, she has moved and doubled her stock. Her products help people with anything from skin rashes to chemical burns. She likes being her own boss, she says, and tells us proudly, “As long as I’m on my feet, I will work.” She gets her inspiration from her mother, a nambo, or servant of the spirits – and we get our inspiration from entrepreneurs like her.