We are in the business of empowering women to shop responsibly and inspire change here and around the world!
15 years ago a child named Sean was born. He was our miracle baby, 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 significant
and memorable phrase would be used for a business that would somehow touch the lives of women and children around the world.
Another beautiful (and miraculous) child, Mia, arrived 2 years later to bless our home. In February of 2012 Lei-Lei was born!
I knew from a young age that I loved to dress up and shop. The passion was fueled by my mother who was a showroom model back in the days when they were used during fashion weeks. I worked throughout high school and college at Macy's on the selling floor. After four years and a BS in Marketing and an AAS in Fashion Buying and Merchandising from FIT (Fashion Institute of Technology) in NYC my career in wholesale sales began. Hard to believe that was over 30 years ago and numerous executive positions later!!
The fashion business can be fun and glamorous sounding but it is also very fast paced and demanding. Couple that with daily commuting and caring for a family and the shine can 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 while 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 work with many female artisans to help empower them to care for their families while proudly working towards financial independence and self sufficiency.
We started with beautiful beaded bracelets handmade in a Christian community in Khatmandu, Nepal. Word of mouth and a small website of loyal and repeat customers kept us very busy. Two years later we decided to grow the handmade product offerings and become an ecommerce global marketplace.
Our products now include Moroccan clutches and market baskets, newborn sheep's wool animal booties from Krygystan, Alpaca shawls, hats and fingerless mittens, eco resin and upcycled horn jewelry and many others. All must fit the criteria of being handmade, fairly traded, renewable and sustainable while allowing the customer to shop guilt free for cool items that support worthy causes.
We find great happiness and pride from 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.
Maria & Ali