Tété Lage

My name is Djenane I was born in Haiti, Grew up in Brooklyn- Crown Heights. I was surrounded by cultural influences and have always been creative. I’ve always worked in the hair and beauty industry but was never quite fulfilled. I worked for brands such as Mac, Sephora and Aveda. One thing I really enjoyed was customer service and bringing service and knowledge to my customers. So, you can say I love people but always felt like I needed to be working for myself.

In 2018 I was really focused on having a baby, this would be my second child but the first with my husband Alejandro Torres. My daughter’s: Sam who is 15, and my 17-month-old Zoe are my most precious creations. But pregnancy was really hard and postpartum was even harder. I was much younger when I had my first child, so I was able to bounce back quicker. But this time around it was really difficult, and the pandemic made it so much worse. Looking for an outlet to relieve my anxiety I started wrapping crystals.

Crystals have really been a huge part of my life. They bring calmness and open my chakras when I feel blocked. I purchased a Lapis Lazuli crystal and instantly started creating and felt inspired. One of the first earrings I made were a pair of breast hoops which I call Tété Lage, in creole this means breast that hangs. I remember not being happy with my breasts, I could never breastfeed. Second go around with Zoe I tried so hard to breastfeed, but it was so difficult and I just pumped for the first 5 months. It was also painful, so I felt a disconnect with my breasts and that is how I created my first piece.

I remember having a lot of mixed reviews thinking it was a bit too quirky, but I managed to make it a classy hoop. I created a lot of other pieces but would never thought that my boob earrings would be my bestseller on Etsy. As a new Entrepreneur, I am learning a lot about branding and how to run a business, but I must say that meeting other women who are amazing and supportive has been the best! I remember first creating my IG page for Eclairejwls and the very first interaction I had was with another woman owned brand! I had won a giveaway for being the 1000th follower- that was incredible and solidified that I was at the right place at the right time. So thankful for the olive branch and the safe spaces being creating; a space to build other new women entrepreneurs like myself.

My brand’s image is all about inclusion and body positivity. Reminding people especially on social media, that all boobs matter! Whether they’re lop sided, hanging to your knees, suffering from post-breast cancer surgery… all breasts matter and that we are all strong women. Even women in transition, our bodies are special and do amazing things!

‘Round Midnight Dinner

When I made up my mind that I wanted to quit my office job I told a few colleagues the news. Most people met me with excitement, others had a look of concern or worry on their faces. The question that I was asked most was “what are you going to do next?” or “what are you going to do to survive?” I gave most people the same answer, partly because I was still figuring out what I was going to do. I responded, “I am pursuing my artwork full-time” I figured that was a big enough statement that encompassed everything I was doing at the moment.

I began to write down all of my wants if money wasn’t an issue. I felt like I’d done that exercise before, but I forced myself to do it again. I found that I wrote down a lot of things that had to do with hospitality. I liked to host and cook for people, that has always been a constant. There are quite a few people that can attest to the monthly parties that my best friend and I would host years back. I used to spend hours on what I now call “mise en place” and we partied just because it was another day that we all woke up. Some of my best moments in life, are moments when I’m bringing people together, and feeding them a meal they thoroughly enjoy.

As I began to write down ideas of hospitality, I also pondered on a thought that I had at 16 years old. I had an idea to open my own lounge. As I got older the idea changed to creating a rhythm and blues lounge that represented African American culture in the Bay Area. I realized that the only thing that kept the idea as a thought, was that I had been working in an environment that was not in line with my goals.

I started on my google keyword search again, this time typing every combination for cooking/ culinary school. I first came across a 10 week Food Business Entrepreneurship workshop that was being offered for free by the Small Business Development Center in Oakland, CA. It was like the sky opened up and dropped information into my lap. The workshop started in 1 week, and I signed up immediately. I also discovered Laney College offered a degree in Culinary Arts and Restaurant Management. This would be the beginning of my new resume. I was getting ready to pursue my artwork full-time!

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Black Card Revoked

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How does colorism affect our community?

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Why do women struggle to support other women?

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Archives Hair to Toe

Tété Lage

‘Round Midnight Dinner

What’s The Tea?

The Magic Is In The Moss

Tasty Tings

Reach One, Teach One

Bodhi & Lace