Monday, December 30, 2013

Partnership with WHOlives

This holiday season Elevita committed to help the nonprofit organization WHOlives raise money by sending all if its "Angel Donors" ($25 or more) an Angel Ornament.  WHOlives is an impressive organization with a mission to provide clean and easy water access to millions of people through the use of its Village Drill.  The WHO stands for Water, Health, and Opportunity.  Elevita always feels privileged to form partnerships such as these!

The Burka Village Drill Team

Friday, December 20, 2013

Hostel in Keru, India

Work is underway on the hostel Elevita is helping to build in Keru, Rajasthan, India.  This hostel will allow girls from the rural desert to stay in a safe place and attend secondary school--an opportunity previously not available to them.  This is very exciting, as similar hostels in Rajasthan have proven to be a great success.  
Below are a few photographs of the Maharaja of Jodhpur, laying the ceremonial foundation stone of the hostel.  We are very grateful to all our generous donors who helped make this possible!

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ornaments to Aid Philippine Red Cross

We have all been saddened by the devastating typhoon that ravaged the Philippines last week. Though all our Elevita artisans are safe, there are still nearly 2,000,000 victims who have been displaced from their homes and are in desperate need of help. In an effort to assist, Elevita has committed to donate $1 to the Philippine Red Cross for every Christmas ornament sold between now and November 30th.  Decorate your tree in love this year!  Please visit to purchase as many ornaments as you can.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Elevita Artisans Safe After Typhoon

Elevita has been able to establish contact with all of its artisans, and we are grateful to report they are all safe and well.  Here are a few tidbits:

From Rosalie Blanza, creator of headbands and beaded coin purses:

Yes Maam,the damage was so terrible,especially in Visayas region,may province is not affected Maam,and thanks God,last time it was in our region.

From Margarita Cajumban, our 18-year-old painter:

i ll just need a little time to recover my materials and my studio,when the typoon come,ill prepared parents got angry because ill protect my studio.even theres a typhoon i did not go to our home.even i know what the other stake almost 1000 got die. Now i retouch your painting..

From Arman Cagayat, woodcarver:

hello sister i got your money yesterday sorry for my late reply.because of the storm here in the philippines no electric power supply

From Francisco Cajumban, nativity artisan:

We are OK here in Southern part of Luzon though a Signal #2 has been warned. Thank you in remembering us here. Lets pray for all the families in Visaya regions.

From Florita Escandor, who manages the IReachOut cooperative and manages our relationships with the other Filipino artisans:

Our province just had hard rain.  people are safe.  artisans farm are still in good safe.  Our neighboring island are the most devastated.  this [photo below] happens to my neighboring island...just 1 hour away from my place...Please include as in your prayer.. Thank you for the american Soldiers for helping us.  Thank you again.

Friday, November 8, 2013

More On Why We Do What We Do

Today one of our jewelry artisans, Louela Nalzaro, went to the internet cafe in her village to send Elevita the following message:

"we had a very rainy day today due to the super typhoon but we are so blessed and lucky that our place is not the center of the super typhoon..but we still experiencing heavy rain that last night we started putting sea sand in the sack to prevent the water coming in inside the house..
i want to say thank you very much for your help, i will say this over and 0ver again because i was so happy that i was able to send my children to school without depending others to help me..and because of the elevita i have plenty of changes in our lives,before i was so dependent in my mothers help, since the father of my chidren was not supporting them..but now..i was the one helping my sibling and my mother,and other people who need help.I was so glad for the opportunity given to me to help others in a small and honest way..        

Yesterday, after i get the money,and after i set aside the tuition fee of my daughter for this month,then i went to the grocery store, i bought milk for the whole family,1 kilo of pork and 1 kilo of are very expensive because of the weather so i bought pork and chicken,vegetables and biscuits for the children..i also give my mother money to buy for rice..sorry if i tell you but i was just so happy again..
        And most of all i bought a christmas tree! its a white christmas tree, our first christmas tree ever..and everyone are so excited..after we hang christmas decor and put lights around it,we just sat there in front of our christmas tree for hours,admiring really true..we set up the christmas tree at 6 pm,we sat around it then later we eat dinner then we all gather around then we just stare at it and feeling sooooooo happy! we sleep past midnight...and when we woke up early today, my brother then lighted the christmas tree..and we all so excited..while me doing the house chores would take a look at the tree and giggle i feel like a small child! 
        Thank you Elevita! ..That was a very memorable night we had..:)"

It is not uncommon for Elevita to receive messages like these, which highlight the importance of what we do, and also the ripple effect our efforts have within villages and communities.  A big thanks to all our customers for continued support!

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Holiday Boutiques

Elevita is excited to be hosting boutiques in three major metropolitan areas this year:  Chicago, San Francisco, and Seattle.  Here is the exact info for our Humanitarian Holiday Boutiques:

21 November 10am-2pm
5270 West River Bend Drive
Libertyville, IL  60048

4 December 10am-1pm
309 Greenbrook Drive
Danville, CA 94526

6 December 1pm-4pm
9701 148th Street Court East
Puyallup, WA 98375

Please spread the word and bring friends if you are able!  It is an amazing experience to see and feel Elevita products firsthand.  You may never see the world in the same way again!

Monday, November 4, 2013

Our New Project

Now that sufficient funds have been raised and ground has been broken for our girl's hostel in India, we are turning our attention to educating youth in the Philippines.  To do this, we have partnered with BELIEVE International.  The BELIEVE mission is to "Help disadvantaged youth in the Philippines become people of integrity and leaders in their communities by providing them with the resources needed to attend school and by teaching them positive life-long values and leadership principles."  BELIEVE offers scholarships to students who are carefully selected based on their poverty, academic performance, moral character, and leadership potential.  The scholarships are to cover otherwise prohibitive expenses related to their education in public schools.  BELIEVE requires their students to also engage in additional values and leadership training, which will enable them to lift themselves out of poverty.  Trained scholars such as these will eventually help solve the deep-rooted problems of corruption in their communities and in their nation.  Elevita will now give scholarships to these needy Filipino students one by one, as funds are raised.  To donate, please click here.  Your generosity will make a tremendous difference for good!

In the photo above, Alida Camo stands with her mother and younger sibling in front of their home.  Alida's mother died about 6 months after this photo was taken, and without a scholarship from BELIEVE, it would have been impossible for her to attend school.  Now she is #1 in her academic class, is vice-president of the Supreme Student Government, is a top athlete, and is actively involved in service projects.  Elevita feels privileged to be a partner with BELIEVE in creating more success stories such as this one!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Why We Do What We Do

We are in regular communication with our Elevita artisans.  We like to know how much business they have, how their children are doing in school, whether they have food on the table, and so forth.  These ongoing conversations are the most fulfilling part of our work.  As part of the dialog, our artisans regularly express gratitude for being a part of Elevita.  We probably don't post these remarks as often as we should, but here is just a small and simple tidbit, received today from our contact in Cambodia who had the opportunity to visit some of our artisans in Battambang.  She writes: 

"...The ladies said that they're very happy for your orders. They use their earnings to buy rice/food for their children and send their children to school. You see most of the ladies in this group are single parents. Once again, they would like to thank you for your orders."

Just another example of how a little bit of help can go a long way to improving someone's lifestyle!  And we in turn are very grateful for the amazing quality these women produce.  They make our "Best Bags Ever" and our "Perfect Pouches."  Well done, ladies!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

New Nativity Available

Filipino woodcarver Frank Cajumban has been working with Elevita to sell his 17-piece nativity sets.  Because of the number of pieces, Elevita does not stock this beautiful set, although it is available for special order.  Please email if you are interested in purchasing this treasure, and we can arrange for Frank to directly ship you a wooden crate!

Monday, September 2, 2013

Filipino Woodcarver Shares Photos of His Process

It is amazing to think that Arman's intricate nativity figures are made from these tools!

Here Arman Cagayat begins one of the palm trunks--a signature piece of his set.

Holding the piece tightly with a rope, Arman is able to carve the perfect grooves.

It is clear that Arman's three daughters enjoy "supervising" his work!  Well done, Arman!!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Young Painting Prodigy Margarita Cajumban

Sometimes Elevita comes across amazing artisans whose work we are not able to carry on our website, ether because it is too large, too fragile, or too expensive.  The exquisite paintings of Margarita Cajumban are just such an example.  Margarita is one of eleven children born to a humble woodcarver. In spite of very limited resources, she has worked tirelessly to pursue her life's passion: Oil Painting.  Now at the age of 18 Margarita is using her painting as a way to pay for her college courses in Economics.  Of course Elevita would like to do everything we can to help promote Margarita's work.  If you are interested in purchasing her paintings, email  Her work is replete with texture and radiates a fantastic ethnic flare.  

Golden Harvest
Filipino Modesty

Monday, April 15, 2013

Update on Louela

Louela di Nalzaro is one of our artisans in the Philippines.  Creating jewelry for Elevita has allowed Louela to greatly improve the quality of life for herself and her children.  Recently, she needed to travel to Dumaguete City to receive a much-needed operation.  Her church was willing to pay half, but Louela needed to come up with the rest.  Around this time Elevita was able to place another large order from Louela.  She sent Elevita a message, explaining her situation, and saying, "That's why I am very happy when you order me more of my craft...God works in mysterious ways, because when I need money, I don't think it's a coincidence that you ordered more."  Louela's necklaces have been very popular, and Elevita is pleased to be a part of her success.

Friday, March 22, 2013

$200 Value for $22?

Last week my mother-in-law was visiting.  She was wearing what appeared to be a beautiful amethyst Elevita necklace, which I couldn't take my eyes off--not only because it was beautiful, but because I was racking my brain trying to remember when I had given it to her.  Try as I might, I could conjure up no memory explaining how she came by the necklace.  Finally we asked.  She replied that it actually wasn't an Elevita piece, but one she had purchased in a department store, after looking high and low for just the right purple piece.  Hesitatingly I inquired, "Can I ask you how much you paid for it?"

"Two-hundred dollars!" was her reply.  I quickly went to retrieve a twin piece from my Elevita inventory, thinking surely there must be a noticeable difference when the necklaces were placed side by side, but no!  The only difference we could ascertain was that the Elevita necklace was actually longer, enabling it to be doubled or even tripled.  Amazing!

So why, she wondered, do we sell it at such a low price?  The reason is that we always allow our artisans to set their prices, telling them to make sure it is a fair price for them and their families.  Then we sell their goods as inexpensively as possible, in the hope that the low prices will drive more sales.  Quickly selling through a product enables us to purchase more as soon as possible, continually supporting the artisans.  After realizing that our price difference was because of our business model and not because of quality, my mother-in-law immediately bought three more strings of Elevita beads!  Thank you, Sharon!!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Elevita Helps Form Cooperative in the Philippines

Elevita has helped a brave new group take steps to lift themselves from poverty.  The I Reach Out cooperative, inspired by Elevita and headed by Filipina Florita Escandor, has a vision to help all its members become self reliant.  In February the I Reach Out was able to open its first warehouse with a generous gift from Elevita.

One of the biggest reasons for poverty in the Philippines is corruption.  Prices of everyday commodities are controlled by a few large entities.  This makes it difficult for the average person to purchase more than a days worth of necessities at a time.

For years Florita Escandor (Flora) has had a vision to help lift her countrymen out of poverty.   Once she connected with Kirsten Monson, Elevita Cofounder, in Singapore, Flora knew it was finally time to act.  Flora decided to tackle the poverty problem by changing the method of goods distribution.  With her background in economics and business, Flora approached major manufacturers and negotiated with them to release their products at reduced prices.  These products will then go directly into the hands of cooperative members, without several middleman price increases.  The cooperative has launched in a warehouse, which also gives its members a place to sell their own produce and handmade goods.  Elevita plays an additional role by helping the artisan members sell their handmade products on

The cooperative is carefully organized so that members receive a rebate for all their purchases, which is applied to savings, investments, and to furthering the mission of the cooperative.  With this ingenious model Flora has taken great steps to help free her fellow citizens from the rule of the "tycoons" who run the country.  The I Reach Out cooperative is young, but Elevita has great hope for the future of its members, and is proud to play a role in its inception.

The I Reach Out cooperative, headed by Florita Escandor (back right).