shirley menard haitian entrepreneur
Shirley Menard (right) showcases her Le Beurre products to customers. (Courtesy: Le Beurre Shop)

NEW YORK – Shirley Menard never imagined that a brick of shea butter from Ghana, gifted to her by a colleague more than 10 years prior, would turn into a beauty business. But the gift inspired her second go at entrepreneurship, following her years managing artistic talent, including the legendary Boukman Eksperyans. 

“I’ve always kind of been on the entrepreneur track, and during my legal days, I branched out,” said Menard, 53, an attorney by trade who resides in Great Neck, New York.

“That was really cool, you could do these drumming workshops, or you can talk about Haitian history,” Menard said, recalling her time in artist management. “For me, it was kind of like presenting my culture to the world.” 

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Sam is a reporter for The Haitian Times and a 2020 Report for America corps member. He has covered Haiti and its diaspora since 2018. His work has also appeared in USA Today, the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review and Haiti Liberte. Sam can be reached at or on Twitter @sambojarski.