We had the good fortune of connecting with Sahgee McQueen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sahgee, why did you pursue a creative career?
To be honest, growing up I always wanted to do things that were creative, but my parents had other ideas. Whenever anybody asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up, my response was always: everything. As early as 2 years old I was already singing, dancing, and even cooking. I found beauty in every aspect of life, admiring every detail, and desiring to do it all. But my parents would always have something else in mind, wanting me and my siblings to focus only on our academics. Our family comes from Haiti and they came here to the US with nothing but the clothes on their back and a passion in their hearts to start a new, better life for their growing family. They did not see value in the arts, because it was not a guaranteed sustainable way of life in their opinion. They only saw value in that which was concrete and strictly logical, such as the Sciences which is why they now have three children who are all in medicine. Flè Solèy reignited my passion for the arts. I found that for so long I kept this vibrant side of me dormant to the point where the creative spark in me was almost snuffed out. I’m in this creative career now to show the you do not have to live your life inside of a box, as it is definitely more fun and colorful on the outside of it (no matter what job you do, and no matter how “professional”.) You have the right to be and do whatever it is that you want in this life and more. And when in doubt, just look at me: a black female doctor in training by day, that gets to craft with beautiful flowers and luxurious oils by night, all while creating imaginative content.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Flè Solèy (pronounced Fleh Sol-Aye, translating from Haitian Creole to Sun Flower in English), is a luxury, all natural, self-care collection. This is a 100% black owned business, by two Haitian-American sisters who are also in medicine: one is a board certified physician and the other is a medical student. We have been featured on BallerAlert, used by Amara La Negra and Skincare by Hyram, and are only growing from here. We are firm believers that Black Royalty would moisturize their rich skins with only the purest and best oils under the sun, and so we at Flè Solèy harken back to such times of luxury and exuberance, offering the same experience through our handcrafted products. These are artisanal products for head-to-toe pampering at www.flesoley.com where we specialize in expertly selected, exotic oil blends from around the world: from Kenya, to Chile, to Australia, to Haiti, to Spain, to India, and so many more! Not only are our products a global experience, but they’re also a homeopathic and holistic one as well. We only use premium botanicals (natural flowers and herbs) with known medicinal properties to not only add additional potency but also natural beauty. Our Complete Care Oils, or as we call them our Belle Bokals (Beautiful Jars) come in a unique, globe shaped jar so that you can swirl the botanicals in the opulent oil and indulge in your personal, luxurious beauty snow globe- a bouquet in every bottle. We also offer ornate botanical infused waters that act as skin toners and hair leave-in treatments. They both come in globe shaped receptacles as well, with vintage misters so that you can make even your most abundant fantasies a reality. Everything at Flè Solèy is also natural, whether the ingredients are wildcrafted, organic, or vegan and hand-picked. All our product names are also in Haitian Creole to add our own personal and unique Haitian twist to it all, and show the world that products with ingredients from Haiti, made by Haitian hands can be high quality and as grand and vibrant as our culture.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If we are in Atlanta, we would definitely have to check out the Slutty Vegan and then take a walk around the Beltline Trail where were we will undoubtedly run into some type of fun whether someone is having a block party in the park, a festival is going on, or if people are cosplaying and enjoying the sun too. It is always a fun place to be! Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Where others told me, “No.” in regards to a creative career, there were those in my life that did say, “Yes!” My mother’s cousin, who has earned the title of: Sahgee’s Second Mom, was apart of my upbringing since the day that I was born. She instilled in me the beauty of imagination as she would always sing to me, dance with me, and cook with me. She opened my eyes to a whole new world, and reminded me that it is ok to go against the tides and be creative. When she passed away this past year due to Covid-19, I was devastated but comforted in knowing that I had gained a new ancestor to guide me. She ultimately is the seed that bore Flè Solèy because shortly after her transition, I was visited by her in a very vivid dream, where she outlined the details for what needs to be done in order to make the budding family empire that is Flè Solèy. Upon waking, I drafted an entire business plan and presented it to my family that day and my sister, a family physician, believed in me, my vision, and my dream enough to invest in this creative endeavor. Now, I act as not only creator and co-owner to the Flè Solèy, but I am the Creative Director. I not only handcraft every product, but I get to imagine the vision and message behind each detail from the exotic oil blends, to each delicate petal, to every social media post, picture, or advertisement. Flè Solèy is truly my creative child, one that is growing and starting to show itself to the world. I am grateful for this opportunity to not only allow the world to see my creation, but also for this opportunity to be closer to my family as we all work together to keep this creativity afloat.
Other: TikTok: @theflesoley www.pinterest.com/theflesoley
Katelin Kinney for the last 5 images.