Tuesday, November 22, 2011

New Social Store on Facebook

Elevita is happy to announce our new Social Store on Facebook!  Now customers can purchase items directly from the Elevita Facebook page.  Click here to check it out!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Elevita Welcomes A New Volunteer

Malia Littlefield is a photographer and graphic designer originally from Hawaii.  Now she resides in Singapore with her family, where she continues to develop her impressive photography and design portfolio.  When Malia approached Elevita with a willingness to volunteer, we were thrilled!  We already had a tremendous need for someone with her talents and experience, so discovering Malia was truly a godsend.  Malia will help Elevita by designing artisan cards that will accompany the products we sell.  She will also help us pursue consistent brand imaging across our social media outlets.  A big "Thank You" to Malia for joining the Elevita team!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Building a Hostel for Rural Girls in Keru, India

Because Elevita's management is entirely volunteer, we are able to donate the net profits from our sales to support humanitarian projects in the developing countries from which we source products.  Our current project is to build a hostel in the village of Keru, India.  Because of long distances to school, and because of safety issues along the roads, girls who live in this rural area of Rajasthan India, have no opportunity to attend Secondary School unless they have a hostel in which they can stay while attending their courses.

Elevita has undertaken this project in conjunction with an existing local group, His Highness Maharaja Hanwant Singhi Charitable Trust.  Together we are working to raise funds to complete the hostel as soon as possible.  The cost for the ground level of the hostel is approximately $31,500.  This is a project being undertaken in bits and pieces, as funds are available.  As of the date of this posting, we have raised nearly half the money for the ground level of the project.  We are working diligently to raise the rest, because as soon as this phase is complete, girls will be able to start attending and working on their secondary education courses.

Below are the blueprints for the hostel.  If you feel you are able to donate to this project, please click on the "Donate Now" button to the right.  Giving these girls an education will help them improve their lives, and subsequently the lives of their families and villages.  It is an investment that will pay dividends for generations.


Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Filipino Woodcarver

Elevita is very excited to have recently added some new artisans from the Philippines.  One of these is Arman Cagayat, a Filipino woodcarver.  Elevita was introduced to Arman by a missionary couple, who discovered Arman's incredible talent while serving in the area.  Despite Arman's impressive skills, he has very limited access to markets, which is why we became excited to help him promote his work.  Arman lives in a one-room home with his family, where he creates beautiful nativity scenes from local wood.  Perhaps our favorite part of these is the wise men:  they come bearing gifts of rice, mango, and bananas.  Elevita will be offering a limited number of these nativities on Elevita.com beginning November 2011.  Those interested in preordering a nativity can email info@elevita.com.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Defining Our Role

As Elevita continually encounters new artisan groups worldwide through travels and other connections, it has been important for us to carefully define what types of artisans we try to help.  While always paying careful attention to quality, the following is a description of the kinds of artisans we seek:

- Artisans who have limited access to markets
- Artisan groups that work toward educating and empowering women and girls
- Artisans in distressed areas
- Handicapped or otherwise marginalized artisans

We feel that focusing in this way will help us carefully use our resources to accomplish the most good for families and communities worldwide.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Free Shipping at www.Elevita.com

We are happy to announce that we are now offering Free Shipping on all Elevita items.  Shipping prices have gone up in the US across all carriers, and we don't want this to negatively affect our artisans!  We are therefore offering free first-class domestic shipping on all orders.  So, if you have had your eye on a particular item, this is a great opportunity to place an order!  Thanks as always for all the support.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

February in India

Keyne and I just returned from an amazing trip to India.  First on the agenda was visiting the Women's Training and Empowerment Center in Keru, India.  Brave women from this traditional village gather at the Center for practical and vocational training.  We discussed with them their current work, as well as some future projects for Elevita.

Then, I played my flute for them, as a token of thanks--because the last time we visited, they sang for us.

In the photo below, we are standing in front of the site for the girls' hostel.  The hostel will give girls from rural areas a place to stay so that they can attend secondary school.  There has been some opposition to the hostel from traditional men of the village, but if all goes well, ground will be broken later this year.  The hostel will be situated next to the Women's Training and Empowerment Center (visible top right) so that the women of the Center can mentor the girls in the hostel, and so that the girls in the hostel will be in a position to receive vocational training at the Center if they desire.

We also visited a crafts center in Khimsar, India.  Women from all social castes come together here to create some of the highest quality goods in all of Rajasthan.  The women are chosen based solely on their need.  The woman pictured below has polio, but she is able to survive because of the steady employment she has found making beautiful items at the crafts center.

This is Manju (below), who created the gorgeous Manju bag we carry on Elevita.com.  

Many of the 80 women here are widows, but they are all able to provide for themselves and their families because of the high-quality goods they create at the crafts center.

Elevita is committed to doing everything we can to find ongoing market opportunities for these beautiful women of the deserts of Rajasthan, India.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Elevita Expands to Afghanistan

This week, Elevita featured some special new products.  Through my father and brother, who are currently serving in the military in Afghanistan, we became aware of a unique group of girls who could use some special help.  Medina (pictured in paisley scarf below) and her sisters and friends sell scarves as a way to earn money for their school.  Wanting to support the girls' education, Elevita purchased a number of scarves from them to sell at an Elevita Home Show.  The scarves were a great success!  Not only were we able to support these Afghan girls in their quest, but we were also able to make a good profit for the construction of our girls' hostel in India.  (Because each of the scarves is unique, they are not featured on our website; however, purchase arrangements can be made by emailing info@elevita.com.)