For Business

Founder story: Papa Rozier

This beauty and skincare brand is building a better future for Haitian children.


It was a Tuesday like any other for Rubens Amedee. He worked for Goldman Sachs at the time, and he was sitting at his desk on a Wall Street trading floor. The crowded, bustling space was filled with hundreds of TV monitors above, blasting news from the financial markets. Rubens remembers what happened next very clearly: It was January 12, 2010, the day a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck Haiti.

“One by one, the TV screens started to change until every single station was covering the earthquake,” he says.

The devastation was overwhelming. More than 200,000 people died, and even more were injured or displaced. The Caribbean nation’s capital, Port-au-Prince, was leveled and much of the infrastructure was left in ruins. It was one of the deadliest natural disasters in recent history.

“Everyone around me was looking on in complete shock, but for me, it hit a bit differently, because it’s the country that I was born in,” says Rubens, who was born in Haiti but raised in the US.

Rubens may have been thousands of miles away from the quake but he felt shaken to his core. Getting to Haiti was all he could think about. His sister, Fredeline, who lived and worked in the US as a chiropractor, felt the same way.

A school with a life-changing mission

The pair wasn’t sure what would come next, but they knew that they wanted to help. They were on one of the first flights allowed into the country.

“At the bare minimum, we could speak the language and knew we could help translate for aid workers on the ground or help organize,” Rubens explains. “Beyond that, we were thinking about how we could use the skills and resources that we gained from living in the US to help people in Haiti.”

He thought about what separated his path from those who remained in Haiti, and he realized that education was the differentiator.

“Everything starts and ends with education. In Haiti, people can be born into circumstances where they can’t control the level of education that they receive. The kids in Haiti are no different from the kids in the US—they just don’t have the same opportunities,” Rubens says. “My sister and I were lucky enough to receive our education in the US, which helped give us the lives that we have today. From our experiences, we knew that the rebuilding of Haiti needed to emphasize the education of its children.”

Soon after, the idea for the BATI School was created. The mission of the school is to enrich the local community by providing free K-12 education. In the mountainous region of Saint Michel in Haiti, Rubens and Fredeline constructed school buildings and began hiring teachers and staff. But something was missing: How could they make the school sustainable and ensure it would be around for future generations of Haitians?

To help fund the school long-term, the pair launched Papa Rozier, an all-natural beauty brand.

A brand to fund free education

Founded in 2010 by Rubens and Fredeline, Papa Rozier produces handcrafted oils, serums, and moisturizers for skin and hair. The 52-acre farm in Haiti is on land Rubens and his sister inherited from their grandfather.

“The brand Papa Rozier is named after our grandfather,” Rubens says. “He was a farmer his entire life, and this is what he left behind for us.”


Papa Rozier’s most popular products are moringa oil and castor oil, with the seeds organically grown on the farm. The seeds are handpicked, washed, and sun dried before being shipped to a Brooklyn facility to be cold-pressed and bottled.

The brand soon amassed a following due to its unique production process. And people in the US and around the world began to discover the benefits of Papa Rozier products, using them to add luster and shine to their skin or reduce the appearance of wrinkles.

On the brand’s Instagram, which now boasts more than 186,000 followers, you can find Rubens on the farm in Haiti carefully explaining how the team nurtures and harvests the plants used in the products using traditional methods that are native to Haiti. This transparency helped to inspire trust in shoppers.

“It’s hard to find another company that does what we do, and that’s what differentiates us,” Rubens explains. “You know exactly where the seeds are coming from. You know where they’re grown and where they’re processed. We let people peek under the hood, and people appreciate that.”

Trust and transparency through ecommerce

Rubens was looking for ways to further build on the trust and transparency that draws shoppers to Papa Rozier. That’s when he discovered Buy with Prime. He added Buy with Prime to his two best-selling products. When Prime members see the Buy with Prime button, they trust that they’ll get the seamless, secure checkout and fast, free delivery that they love from Amazon.


“Buy with Prime was just the next step in us building out a true ecommerce distribution platform,” he says. “We had a physical storefront, but COVID-19 forced us to speed up our ecommerce business.”

Rubens adds, “It’s been great for our customers, and we’ve heard from the customers themselves about the ease and convenience of it.”

The brand has rapidly grown in the past decade—and so has the school that it funds. The BATI School, fueled by profits from Papa Rozier, now has more than 140 students and employs 30 locals. But this is really just the start for Rubens. He wants to build an additional facility that would allow the BATI School to double its enrollment.

Rubens spends a lot of his time thinking about the future—of Papa Rozier, of the BATI School, and most of all, Haiti. He feels blessed that he can devote his life to ensuring that the future of each of those things is filled with possibilities.

Eligible products from Papa Rozier are available for fast, free delivery for Prime members who check out using Buy with Prime. Discover other brands offering Buy with Prime.

Anita Little