Shortly after Carl Edouard Roker was born, his parents brought him from their home in Haiti to Queens, NY.
His mother, Marie Josephine, was a seamstress who made clothes for her children and also taught the craft of sewing to others.
Sadly, his mother was stricken with cancer and died when Carl was still a boy, so other family members raised him to his teenage years. After graduating from Bayside High School for the Arts, he found himself on his own.
Like many young men in that situation, Carl made many mistakes in his youth, mistakes that became valued life lessons as he slowly discovered that he might have a higher calling: to become an entrepreneur.
CarlMarie Clothing Company started with an idea of carrying on his mother’s work as a seamstress; with the dream came the inspiration to incorporate his mother’s name with his to establish the brand. In describing his clothing line, he seems to describes his own personality.
“I make comfortable clothing for the everyday person who likes to put on a shirt or T-shirt with some jeans or pants and goes out to tackle the day. I design and make dresses also that fit comfortably and can be worn for any occasion. So we basically make casual clothing like T-shirts, polo shirts, jackets, hats, pants and dresses.”
As owner and entrepreneur, Carl works with a talented graphic designer who brings Carl’s ideas into reality, translating a vision onto clothing like a painter to a canvas. And, since Marie Josephine died before she could pass on her own expertise and talent to her son, he bought a sewing machine and has been teaching himself how to sew ever since.
The results speak for themselves: his dresses, men’s outfits, even pocketbooks—nearly all incorporating his iconic flamingo logo.
Why the flamingo?
Flamingos, he says, are sociable, loving, and nurturing creatures. Their flocks number in the millions, and without their flocks, the birds seem unable to live: if separated, they die. Flamingos come in many different shades, from the palest pink to deep orange-red (reflecting their diet).
“I feel like humans are the same exact way, and carry the same characteristics even though we are taught differently,” said Carl. “We need each other regardless of creed and color to survive and thrive on this planet. The Flamingo signifies the very same characteristics that make us human, beautiful, loving and nurturing.”
With the help of a close family friend whom Marie Josephine raised, Carl is learning the clothing business and all the physical labor that comes with being an entrepreneur—including plans to have a full thread-to-garment line in the near future.
For more information, please visit www.carlmarieclothingco.com