Elefair is so called because Ele Walker is the founder of our fabulous company and she has a policy of trading fairly with all of the wonderful people who make and sell our products. Ele is passionate about creating wearable, original designs and travels to Nepal several times a year to oversee them being brought to life. Ele also supports the creativity of the makers in Nepal and encourages them to come up with their own designs for her to market. The world of Ele and her Elefairies is full of fun and we want to share it with you!
Where it all started
In 1998 a 19-year old Ele went to Nepal to work as a teacher in the mountain village of Baaraha, Gorkha. After being thrown in the deep end (“I lived in a mouse-infested house with a hole for a toilet!”) she slowly grew to love the mountainous kingdom, moved by the hospitality and relentless determination of the Nepalese people.
Inspired by the way they lived their lives so much in harmony with their environment. Ele remembers “watching with amazement as women sat weaving beautiful bowls and plates from leaves for a wedding – eco-friendly disposable tableware!” You can now find this same ethos used in our packaging and displays and responsibility for our environment is something Ele takes very seriously.
Since that first trip Ele has returned to Nepal over twenty times, meeting some wonderful people along the way. She has an adopted family in Nepal including Santosh and Krish Pariyar, cousins whom Ele semi-adopted from 2000 onwards and put through boarding school, Akshya Dulal who is like a brother for her, and the various street dogs she sponsors and re-homes during her time there. In addition there are numerous other friends and volunteers who help ensure that the sponsorships run smoothly.
In 2000, motivated by the entrepreneurial spirit of the Nepalese, Ele started bringing back beautiful handmade cards fashioned from tree bark paper (known as ‘Lokta’) to sell to raise money to sponsor children in Nepal. Over the years as she discovered exciting new products, the range grew to include lampshades, photo albums, felt and then silver.
In addition to sponsorships we have awarded grants to a number of women in need. Women in Nepal have a particularly hard time of things, many find themselves victims of domestic abuse, neglect or illness. We try to help by providing the means for them to support themselves. As a dedicated animal lover, Ele also sponsors a kennel at the Kathmandu Animal Treatment Centre run by British lady Jan Salter who’s lived in Nepal for over 35 years.