About Lei-Lei

We are in the business of empowering women to shop responsibly and inspire change here and around the world!

Nineteen years ago, our son Sean was born, a miracle baby and a gift from God. Whenever he was hungry, he would cry out "Lay Lay, Lay Lay"!! My husband and I found it so touching that we decided to buy the rights to the name "Lei-Lei". I always knew that this significant and memorable phrase would be used for a business that would touch the lives of women and children around the world.

Two years later, another beautiful and miraculous child, Mia, arrived to bless our home. In February of 2012, Lei-Lei was born!

From a young age, I loved to dress up and shop, with some of my best memories being mall trips with my mom. This passion was inspired by my mother, a showroom model during fashion weeks. I worked throughout high school and college at Macy's on the selling floor. After earning a BS in Marketing and an AAS in Fashion Buying and Merchandising from FIT in NYC, my career in wholesale sales began. That was over 35 years and numerous executive positions ago!

The fashion business is fun and glamorous, but it is also very fast-paced and demanding. Daily commuting and caring for a family can make the shine wear off. I needed to enrich my life and do something where I could use my years of experience while empowering and enriching the lives of other women and children. I founded and launched Lei-Lei with some help from our oldest daughter Ali, in between her visits home from college. I wanted to involve her in creating something, learning business skills, and, more importantly, helping others in need. My job as a mother is to empower my children and put them on the right path while displaying generosity towards others.

Our company is based on the belief that helping others in need brings us closer to making the world a better place. We partner with female artisans to empower them to care for their families while working towards financial independence and self-sufficiency. We began with beautiful beaded bracelets handmade in a Christian community in Kathmandu, Nepal, and thanks to word of mouth and a loyal customer base, we quickly grew. Two years later, we expanded our handmade product offerings and became an e-commerce global marketplace.

Our products now include ata grass smoke baskets, silver jewelry, capiz wind chimes, sarongs from Bali, Moroccan clutches and market baskets, handwoven cotton accessories from Guatemala, printed bags from India, alpaca shawls, hats, plush animals, eco resin and upcycled horn jewelry, newborn sheep's wool booties from Kyrgyzstan, and more. Each item is handmade, fairly traded, renewable, and sustainable, allowing customers to shop guilt-free while supporting worthy causes.

We find great happiness and pride in our business, knowing that we are helping so many in need. Our goal is to pass this pleasure on to you, so you can shop knowing your purchases have a positive impact on our artisans' lives.

Always remember to #shopresponsibly and #inspirechange

In peace,

Maria & Ali