What inspired you to open your latest store?
One day I felt like Fe Noel needed to come offline. We’ll keep our online [store] of course, but I want people to experience what this is in person, because we’ve been talking about this for so long. The vibe of Fe Noel, more than anything, it’s a feeling that it gives people. I wanted a physical location in the middle of Brooklyn that can do that, where people can experience that. And I’ve created it so that even if you’re not shopping the brand, you’re still getting to experience the brand. And to me, money can’t buy that.
Can you explain the environmentally friendly elements that will also be a part of the boutique?
We are growing our sustainability efforts. We use our scraps, we morph them into something else. We create one-of-a-kind pieces. Now, that’s going to be on 100. We are going to be using all of our dead stock fabric. The special thing is that you have to come to Little Caribbean to buy from Fe Noel Little Caribbean. It’s not going to be online. You can’t get it in our showroom [in New York City]. You have to experience the neighborhood to experience Fe Noel Little Caribbean.
Why was it important to you to open your boutique in Bedford-Stuyvesant, a predominantly Caribbean neighborhood?
That’s part of the reason that led me back here. There’s so much movement happening, there’s so many things changing. A lot of first-generation Caribbean Americans grew up in this neighborhood. And there’s so many of us that [are] staying.
It was important that my voice be a part of that, especially since I spent so much time building up my voice, so much time talking about the Caribbean. [I realized] I need a place. I need to actually really be physically there and showing people that this is where Fe Noel is. This is where it started. And I wanted to put something really beautiful in the neighborhood that people could continue to experience, that could be a representation of what the neighborhood has created.