Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Elevita's first store front

Elevita products were featured at the inaugural opening of the Opera House Art Gallery in Mount Horeb, Wisconsin this past weekend. The Opera House Art Gallery features works by many local Wisconsin artists as well as hand-crafted items from the artisans from Elevita.com.

It's a perfect combination of local art and international artisans. 

 The Elevita Indigo Skirt and Dress are shown in the background. 


The biggest seller of the weekend was Elevita's Best Bag Ever and the Perfect Pouches

A big thank you to Nancy Howard and the artists of the Opera House Art Gallery for sharing this opportunity with the artisans of Elevita.com.

For more information on the Opera House Art Gallery go to: https://www.facebook.com/TheOperaHouseArtGallery

 If you are interested in carrying Elevita products in your store, boutique, or event, contact Info@elevita.com and ask about wholesale opportunities. 

Friday, June 20, 2014

New Products for summer

We are excited to introduce some fun new products at Elevita.com with more new products on the way.  For summer entertaining we have handmade placemats that are carefully woven of natural fibers in lovely neutral tones and are perfect for summer dining.  You will find them as versatile as they are beautiful.  They are handmade by Rosalie Doloiras, a mother of five children and a survivor of Typhoon Yolanda. 

Perfect for the 4th of July or just to add a splash of color to your table, these red-white-and blue stars will bring a touch of festivity to any summer table.  Each 2" star is carefully beaded by Rosalie Blanza, one of Elevita's new artisans in the Philippines.  There are five blue and five red stars in every set. 

This set of two notebooks feature hand block-printed covers on quality handmade paper. Each book measures 4-6" and contains 30 pages each.  They are made by mentally and physically disabled students of the Support Foundation in Uttar Pradesh, India, which works to provide a bridge between these stigmatized children and society.  The two notebooks come in a drawstring cloth gift bag, ready for gift giving.

This lovely set of stationary features hand block-printed designs on quality handmade paper. There are ten 6x8" pages and ten envelopes per set.  They are also made by the students of the Support Foundation. 

Remember:  Free shipping with each order.  These are gifts that do a world of good!

Happy Summer!

Monday, June 16, 2014

Wikipedia Entry on Elevita

Elevita friend Rachel Call has written a Wikipedia entry on Elevita.  Though still in the approval process at Wikipedia, we feel Rachel offers a great summary of who we are and what we do.  The text of her article is here:

Operating as an international online boutique, Elevita supports artisans from developing countries in achieving greater economic self-reliance by providing them with a wider world market for their products. Run completely by volunteer management, Elevita is a registered non-profit organization and uses 100% of its sales profits to fund meaningful humanitarian projects, focusing primarily on education.

Troubled by the extreme poverty they witnessed while on a trip to India in 2010, Kirsten and Keyne Monson yearned for a way to provide the many impoverished, but highly talented, artisans they’d met with access to a wider market for their goods.  They partnered with John and Shelley Hoffmire and decided to create a website which would act as an online boutique.  Through the website, artisans can connect with buyers from all over the world, rather than rely solely on the small and highly competitive tourist industry in their local areas.  All profits earned by Elevita from goods sold on elevita.com are then reinvested into local humanitarian projects.

Organizational Structure
Committed to paying fair wages to all of its artisans, Elevita purchases its goods at prices set by the artisans themselves. Elevita then sells the goods on Elevita.com as inexpensively as possible, aiming to drive more sales with low prices. As items sell quickly, Elevita purchases more goods from the artisans, empowering them with a growing market and new economic opportunities. One hundred percent of profits earned from the online boutique, Elevita.com, are reinvested into humanitarian projects in developing countries.
Elevita is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization run entirely by volunteers. Working as a volunteer advisory board, Elevita keeps in regular contact with both their artisans and their supporters, providing project updates on their blog, elevita.org.

Elevita aims to assist artisans and artisan groups that: (1) have limited access to markets, (2) live in distressed areas, (3) are handicapped or otherwise marginalized, (4) work to educate women and girls. Supporting individual artisans and cooperatives from developing countries throughout Africa and Asia, Elevita’s artisans live in Bangladesh, Cambodia, Ghana, India, the Philippines, Tanzania and Uganda.  Elevita’s artisans craft and sell items such as clothing, bags and purses, jewelry, items for the home, nativities and ornaments.

Although Elevita’s primary focus is on creating a wider market for artisans living in developing countries, they couple 100% of profits earned from Elevita.com with donations from supporters to carry out various humanitarian projects.

Secondary School Girls’ Hostel
Working in partnership with His Highness Maharaja Hanwant Singhi Chartable Trust, Elevita built a Secondary School Girls’ Hostel in Rajasthan, India. With construction starting in October 2013, the hostel will provide a safe place for girls from desert villages to stay while attending school.

BELIEVE International Scholarships
Partnering with BELIEVE International, a local organization in the Philippines, Elevita also provides scholarships to young, motivated Filipino students, allowing them to pay required public school fees.

Small Entrepreneurial Grants
In addition to purchasing goods from artisans, Elevita also provides small grants to promising entrepreneurs to assist them in growing their businesses.  In February 2014, Elevita provided funding to launch a capiz shell enterprise in the Philippines. Working with a local entreprenur, Elevita purchased an oven to help dozens of local women earn supplemental income by producing and selling capiz bowls, frames, jewelry and other goods.  Elevita has also provided funding to a Cambodian women’s cooperative to purchase sewing equipment which would enable the women to have a livelihood.

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The Ripple Effect

Keyne Monson, co-founder of Elevita said recently in an article for Forbes, "On a weekly basis we receive notes from our artisans explaining how they have food on their tables, electricity in their homes, or children enrolled in school, thanks to the work they have with Elevita.com." He went on to explain that during the past four years, Elevita has helped over 500 artisans by providing income where none or little existed previously. Sometimes this has meant an increase in an artisan's income of over 400% with untold ripple effect -- for artisans, children, who can now obtain an education, food and shoes; for the artisans' community, where the artisans can use their newly obtained incomes to stimulate the contribute to the local economies in which they work; and for the artisans, increased sense of self-reliance, self-worth and fulfillment.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Life of an Artisan

Entrepreneur Florita Escandor is a businesswoman from the Philippines who has put her regular endeavors on hold for a time in order to help Elevita artisans launch their capiz shell enterprise.  As a part of this journey, "Flor" has gained tremendous insights into the daily life of an artisan.  These are a few of her thoughts as penned in a recent note to Elevita:

"Creativity:  Before doing something it should be drawn in your mind.
Patience: Required to finish something no matter how hard it may seem.
Beauty:  The attractiveness of a piece provides important motivation.
These are all traits of the artisans we work with.  It may seem easy from the outside, but it is very complicated to do!  Artisans' life is hard.  No work no pay, no pay no rice and fish."

Elevita is very grateful to Flor for all her efforts.  We are committed to promoting this enterprise so that the women and families involved will have "pay, rice, and fish!"

This is one of the many artisans Florita is guiding through the creative process.  

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Meet our newest artisan

Meet Rosalia Dolorias, our newest artisan and one of the 4.1 million people displaced last year by Typhoon Yolanda in the Philippines.

 Rosalia Dolorias is a 32-year-old mother of 5 children.  Her husband is a construction worker.  Like more than a million others, they lost their home during typhoon Yolanda and have recently relocated to start again.

Rosalia makes beautiful placemats out of natural fibers that she hand weaves.  The supplemental income Rolsalia receives from her craft is a tremendous help to their family as they begin their new life.  

Rosalia's daughters in front of their new home  
 Elevita is delighted to have Rosalia on board as an Elevita Artisan.