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Yes, it’s true. Strange as it may sound, you can now wear and elegantly carry those busted-up umbrellas you see blowing down the street and deposited in trashcans on rainy, windswept days. You will also be doing your part for the environment by recycling what was once considered trash, thanks to Brooklyn-based, HIMANE, Inc.
Designer, seamstress, patternmaker and HIMANE owner, Catherine Edouard-Charlot, scours the neighborhood for those castaway umbrellas and recreates them as ‘60’s vintage eveningwear, jackets and handbags among other items. Those reconstructed products are the start of her emerging earth-conscious line of clothing which includes recycled shirts, jackets and pants. She also produces fashion items from more traditional fabrics like cotton and silk.
Originally a clothing designer and business owner in Haiti, Edouard-Charlot was experiencing a little success with clients from afar as The Netherlands. She emigrated to the U.S. when she was 28 years old and undertook studies at the Fashion Institute of Technology to complement her degree from Haiti’s Verona Alta Costura School of Fashion. She then started a home-based business producing custom-designed wedding dresses, and doctors and nurses scrubs, in addition to pattern- and sample-making services. But she never seemed to be able to grow the business beyond her one-person operation.
That was until she visited the Women’s Business Center of Brooklyn’s Business Outreach Center Network. The WBC, funded by the U.S. Small Business Administration, provides free usiness counseling to nascent and existing entrepreneurs. In Edouard-Charlot case, the WBC’s Liliana Blanco helped her commit both a business plan and marketing plan to paper. “Those are the plans I needed to strategize the growth of my business,” said Edouard-Charlot. “I can’t even find the words to describe how much Liliana and the other WBC counselors helped me.”
Working from her business plan, Edouard-Charlot moved the business from her apartment into a more convenient space in downtown Brooklyn, so that she can fill larger orders. As her business continues to grow, Edouard-Charlot looks forward to the day when she can start her care center for young ladies. “I see these young girls hanging out on the streets after school and it breaks my heart. I would like to create a center where these young girls will come after school and learn a trade such as sewing, crocheting, pattern-making or even candle making.”
Edouard-Charlot named her business, HIMANE (pronounced ee-mann), after her late mother. Himane means “believe in” and “faith.” The only question remaining to this story is, ‘who will be the first celebrity believing in, and decked-out in, that four-dollar umbrella you tossed away?’ HIMANE can be found online at www.himane.com
Defense Alliance of Minnesota has been named the Minnesota Veteran Small Business Champion of the Year for the U.S. Small Business Administration. The Defense Alliance is staffed by Paul J. Wagner, Founder; Commander Chip Laingen, U.S. Navy (Ret.), Director; Kathryn A. Neumann, Veterans Liaison; and Patria Lawton, Facilitator.
The Veterans Small Business Champion Award is presented annually in each state to individuals who have fulfilled a commitment to advancing small business opportunities for veterans of the U.S. armed forces.
The Defense Alliance of Minnesota is an independent organization founded in 2004. The mission of the Alliance is to network and expand Minnesota’s defense and homeland security industries, to create and retain high quality jobs, and to further promote the state’s important contributions of our men and women of the armed forces.
Integral to that effort is totally free support for:
- Veteran-owned business coaching and education on government contracting
- Job placement and search for Veterans
- Direct support to agencies and organizations dedicated to Veteran business and social services.
- Local and national advocacy for Veteran business and social services.
The Defense Alliance is an independent organization entirely funded by Minnesota Wire & Cable Co., and through fees at quarterly events. There are no membership fees for individual or corporate membership. The Alliance staff includes full and part time employees of Minnesota Wire & Cable Co., and volunteer “Facilitators” from outside the company. It is not a profit-making venture; as such, any excess revenues gained from events are used for service member support causes.
Within the two years of its existence, the Defense Alliance has grown to include over 200 registered small, medium and large businesses including dozens of small Veteran-owned businesses, state agencies and nonprofit organizations (including all of the state’s prime defense contractors such as Lockheed Martin, Alliant Techsystems and BAE Systems), and a wealth of high-tech, low-tech, manufacturing, academic and service members. The Defense Alliance has an additional affiliated 175-plus businesses and organizations and 2,000-plus individual members.
The operations of the Defense Alliance include quarterly membership events, such as a Veterans Business Resources Seminar to bring awareness to the many local and national resources available for Veterans in business, or who are planning to start one. They also produce a periodic electronic “Industry Brief” that includes new member highlights, industry trends, event notifications and defense and homeland security contracting awareness and education.
The Defense Alliance of Minnesota takes enormous pride in its overall mission of networking the state’s defense and homeland security industries – but most especially in its passionate efforts to support our nation’s Veterans, the businesses they run, and the non-Veteran businesses who employ them.
Mary Ellen Trevino, President/CEO of P3S Corporation is our 2010 Small Business Person of the Year. Congratulations to Ms. Trevino as she has been recognized as the local, state, and national Small Business Person of the Year for 2010.
P3S Corporation is at the forefront of new and emerging technologies when and where it matters most!
In November 2010, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), San Antonio District Office accepted a sole source 8(a) set-aside offer from the Department of Health & Human Services, Center for Disease Control & Prevention for 8(a) firm, P3S Corporation. The Recovery Act project award, earmarked at $332,095 for one base year, will provide technical support service management, collections, evaluation, and data analysis for meningococcal and pneumococcal vaccine effectiveness and other vaccine-preventable diseases. The contract allowed the initial creation of 4 new jobs with potential for more in optional years if funding continues.
P3S Corporation, a firm specializing in Information Technology, Program Management, Financial Management, and Security services, recognizes the need for responsive, skilled and regulatory-compliant human resources to meet the growing demands of the federal government. In business since 2005, P3S Corporation is located in San Antonio, TX, with offices in Atlanta, GA and Dayton, OH.
“The SBA programs and services are working as intended, and have opened many doors for P3S Corporation,” Trevino said. “The Recovery Act will allow for us to help the Center for Disease Control meets its mission to improve the healthcare of the American people. P3S Corporation is honored to be a part of this mission-critical program.”
The firm was founded to allow government clients to obtain quality services necessary to meet their organizations’ missions and objectives. With the federal government’s increasing dependence on contracting out its services, P3S Corporation has become an expert in facilitating client transitions for ineffective or obsolete processes to cutting-edge solutions and technologies necessary to help the government meet its mission and function. This firm’s outstanding performance can be seen in its successes and support of a wide variety of government agencies, to include the Department of the Air Force, Department of the Army, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Interior, National Institute of Standards & Technology, and the Department of Labor, among others.
P3S Corporation, with its core values, abilities and commitment to success – grew from 1 to more than 350 employees in 29 states in last five years, despite the recent economic downturn. The company is also testament to the effectiveness of the 8(a) Business Development Program, which P3S Corporation has been a part of since February 2006.
The success of P3S has afforded the opportunity to give back to its employees and the community. In 2009, Mary Ellen Trevino received the Minority Small Business Person of the Year during Minority Enterprise Development Week.
Ms. Mary Ellen Trevino
P3S Corporation, 13750 San Pedro, Ste. 640
San Antonio, TX 78232
Phone (210) 496-6934