Carole Delinois came to New York from Port-au-Prince, Haiti in 1974. She said she and her sister, as little girls, were compelled to leave the French and Haitian Creole-speaking Caribbean country, because they were fearful of being forcefully removed from their home, where they lived with their parents. At the time, she said, the military had taken over the country and was “causing mayhem.”
On arrival in New York, Delinois said she and her sister were taken in by an undisclosed “loving, rich woman.” She said they cooked, cleaned, and did odd jobs. Later, Delinois worked at the Joint Diseases Hospital and with the New York City’s Health and Hospital Corporation.
But she said her love for hair propelled her to enter into the hair-styling business and she started to work at the Bellerose Unisex Salon in 1990 and bought the business eight years later.
Delinois said she had vowed to help all in need. She said even though she lives in Central Islip, New York, she goes to work at her salon in Bellerose on her days off to “give free haircuts to the elderly and handicapped.”
She said she helps young women to “get off the streets by letting them use” her shop to “dress / wash for job interviews.”
Delinois said she has a very good relationship with the Bellerose Community, including the churches.
“They have a lot of respect for me and my fellow merchants,” she said. “I hope to be around for another 27 years.”
Delinois said she was inspired by her mom to work hard and to help others.
“That is why I hire and train many kids in high school; some of them have their own salon,” she said. “My motto is: If someone’s hair looks good, and they feel good, my day is perfect.”
Delinois says she is “so thankful” and “honored” to receive the Caribbean Life Impact Award.
She disclosed that she had requested copies of the paper, so she can give copies to residents in the neighborhood.