Today we’d like to introduce you to Will Hilaire.
Will, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I immigrated to the United States from Haiti in 1993. My father came to the United States in 1981 looking for a better life to support our family, I was only 5 years old when he left. My dad did not have an easy life in the US. He experienced detention for several months. Then after his release, he rented a room, found two jobs to support himself and send money back to us in Haiti.
During my father’s absence, my mother raised us on her own. We had a difficult life but that did not stop her from teaching us the value of honesty and being strong, caring, appreciative and embracing life. She taught us to be happy with what we have, and enjoy life. She also believed in education and strived to send us all to school. That’s how I learned the value of education, and we promised that we would finish our studies, no matter what.
While my father was away, there was political instability and a worsening economic situation in Haiti, we began to fear for our lives. My father petitioned for us in 1989. Fortunately, my father was able to finish the paperwork and then we moved to the United States.
Arriving in the US, I thought we would be able to lead better lives, but I was wrong. There were fights in our neighborhood between Black Americans and Haitians, and there were fights in our school, too. Even so, I remained positive and kept attending school, as part of my promise to my mother.
Two years after arriving in the US, I found my first job; I have worked steadily for the past 22 years. Over the years, I built a career in retail and gained invaluable experience in buying, merchandise planning, and apparel. My job has been good and now I’m at the managerial level.
After 11 years I was able to buy a house, have two beautiful children, and my fiancé and I have been together for 20 years.
My family is my biggest supporter. They believe in me and our business, and without them, I would never have been inspired to build and grow Hilaire Productions.
I want the kids today to be inspired by the experiences that I have endured. I would like the youth to see that if they could stay focused and motivated then they, too, can make a better life for themselves.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
What influenced my life the most are the challenges I had in childhood because of the violence I faced in Haiti and in the US. From this period of my life, I learned a lot on how to build my confidence and belief in myself and my own capabilities. Right now, my biggest challenges are business related but I am being tenacious in always gaining new knowledge and finding ways how to best manage my team.
Looking for funds to support our business is my main challenge right now. At the moment, the funding for Hilaire Productions comes from our own pockets. Establishing a brand, meeting or exceeding the competition and keeping the business profitable are all challenges.
Work Life Balance
Running a business with a full-time job and still spend quality time with my family is also a challenge. But managing time efficiently, prioritizing tasks and delegating them really helps.
I received a lot of rejections along the way. It was, of course, disheartening but then when I look at my family, I remember that I need to go on. Also thanks to my critics, I learned to control my emotional reactions and turn all criticisms into lessons. The best feeling was when I got my first sale! Now I am seeing my efforts bearing fruits, we are more motivated than ever!
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Hilaire Productions story. Tell us more about the business.
We specialize in beach towels that have hidden water resistant pockets and drawstrings. This product aims to help people have a place to keep their cellphone, wallet, or other belongings with them while at the beach, gym or spa, without the fear of theft.
We also have other products such as Luxe (super soft!) towels for those who don’t want pockets, and luxe fleece blankets and wrap throws. We constantly introduce new and innovative products along the way that we are sure people would love.
What we are most proud about in our business is our teamwork. Our team works hard to implement our strategies and innovative ideas. Though these are baby steps, we are proud to be moving and for sure we will eventually reach our goal.
Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I believe that hard work and determination are the key way to success. Throughout my life, I tried hard to create my own luck and build opportunities for myself and my loved ones.
- Embrace Collection Beach Towels USD 35-65
- Embrace Collection Blanket USD 69-139
- Embrace Collection Cocoon (USD 16.25) wholesale only
- Address: 800 Boylston St. 990936 Boston, MA 02199
- Website: HilaireProductions.com
- Phone: (508)510-6224
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/hilaire.productions/
- Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeamHilaire