What's in Your Hand?
Founder and Artist
Denise Goodale is the founder of Jacmel Bay and an artist for the company. She also teaches the Jacmel Bay artists their craft.
Denise was raised by her mother in Southampton , NY. Her mother, Marion, could make anything into art. Trips to the local land fill were common as the family searched for treasure. Christmas trees were decorated with seashells and pine cones. For Denise, working with sea glass is a natural progression. It is all about using what is available. It’s all about “What’s in your hand”. (Exodus 4)
Denise has been married to Steve since 1974. They have lived on the Outer Banks of NC since 1995. They have three grown daughters and eleven grandchildren.
There are also eight children in Jacmel, Haiti who call Denise "Mommy Nana". Her daughter and son in law Gwenn and Nick Mangine spent seven years in Haiti caring for these children in a foster home setting. That is where Haiti stole her heart.
Having worked in Postal Service for twenty six years, Denise retired in November of 2011 and is enjoying the next chapter of her life where she hopes to make a positive impact on both the Deaf in Jacmel and the greater Jacmel community.
Veillard Sicot -Junior is a lead artist with Jacmel Bay and he is the oldest of the group. We met in Jan 2011 when Sicot showed up with his girlfriend Gerzy to watch her work on necklaces. The rest is history. This 29 yr old deaf man took very quickly to the art and touched my heart when he gifted me his very first necklace. He and Gerzy were married in October of 2012. They welcomed their first baby, a bouncing baby girl in October of 2013.Sicot became deaf at five yeasrs old from a fever.Sicot works in construction when there is work available. Sicot partents died in 1995 and 2006. Sicot is a committed Christian man with a very strong work ethic and kind heart. His work is excellent and creative. He is a leader and a teacher among his fellow artists.
Meet Magalie! Jacmel Bay artist Sason Magalie is 26 years old. Raised in Jacmel, Haiti Magalie went to a school for the deaf in Port Au Price. There were 3 deaf in her extended family but sadly sign was not used in her home.
Magalie is a natural business woman possessing confidence and humor. Besides making necklaces she is also a seamstress. One day Magalie dreams of being married and raising a family but would also like to run a hair salon AND drive a car. I have no doubt that with faith, determination and hard work this beautiful, bright young woman will see her dreams fulfilled!
Meet Jacmel Bay artist Orilus Nadeige! Twenty two year old Nadeige was raised in Jacmel and went to school in Port Au Prince. Being deaf in Haiti limits the already scarce job market. Nadeige is happy be making necklaces as she does not have any other work. This quiet young woman lives with her parents dreams of being able to continue her education and becoming a teacher for the deaf.
Meet Simeon Gerzy! Gerzy like most of the Jacmel Bay artist was raised in Jacmel but traveled over the mountains to Port Au Prince to attend a residential school for the deaf when she completed the 6th grade. She was born the oldest of the four children in her family. .
Gerzy works part time as a teacher's aide at PaZaPa school.
As an artist and a woman Gerzy has flare. She loves bright colors in her necklaces and her clothing (including her colorful hats!) She has a beautiful smile and a quick laugh.
Gerzy and Sicot were married in October, 2012. Gerzy is now a wonderful mother to a beautiful baby girl who was born in October of 2013. Gerzy has taken the role of mother on with grace and beauty. Her baby is thriving! The family lives with Gerzy's mom as they are saving money to complete the home they are building.
Be sure to go to Jacmel Bay links to see video of the artists at work!
Meet Friiaza Marie! Fritaza Marie is the youngest of our Jacmel Bay artists. She is 20 yrs old and is just finished attending school at PaZaPa in Jacmel, Haiti. Fritaza Marie who was born deaf was orphaned at an early age and has been raised by her grandmother. Still somewhat reserved she has grown in confidence over the years.She looks forward the day when she can not only support herself but also help her grandmother.
Recently Fritza became engaged to Nesly. A 2016 wedding is planned.
Meet Jacmel Bay artist Cyprien Nesly. Nesly is 25 yrs old. He is the oldest of five children in his family. Like most of the Jacmel Bay artists Nesly is deaf and attended school in Port Au Prince and conpleted 5th grade.( Education for the deaf in Haiti only goes until 6th grade at best.)
Nelsy has very good attention for detail and I can always tell which necklaces he created.
Nesly recently became engaged to Fritza. A 2016 wedding is planned.
Farisien is one of three artists who began making sea glass necklaces in January 2011. He learned quickly and began working independently in a very short time.
Farisien is a 29 year old young man of character and integrity. Like most of the artists making necklaces for Jacmel Bay in Haiti, he was born deaf.
Farisein is from the mountain town of Cap Rouge. He attended CHCS residential school for the deaf. He moved to Jacmel in 2004. When work is available Farisein works in construction. He dreams of being able to continue his education and to establish a trade school for the deaf in Haiti. He has a strong desire to help those who are less fortunate especially within the deaf community.
In December of 2013 Fraisien married Laura Rose another Deaf artist who has just started to work with Jacmel Bay
Laura Rose is new to Jacmel Bay. She finished school at PaZaPa and works as a cleaning lady in a local orphanage.