Artist: Celeste Bocchicchio-Chaudhri
Elephants have been my favorite animal since I was a little girl. They are highly intelligent, very social animals. My fiancé is from Kenya, and when we went to visit his family last December, he took me to Daphne Sheldrick’s for my birthday. I got to see what amazing work they are doing, and I challenge anyone to watch one and two-year-old elephants playing in the mud and not fall in love! My goal is to raise enough money through my shops to be able to sponsor an orphan.
The David Sheldrick Wild Life Trust, popularly known as “Daphne Sheldrick’s,” is run Daphne, but officially named in honor of her late husband. Daphne Sheldrick’s is an orphanage for wild elephants and rhinoceroses in Kenya. They rescue the baby animals (mostly elephants but a few rhinos as well), bottle-feed them, raise them, and when they are old enough, reintegrate them into the wild. They also do a lot of work with communities about the importance of wildlife conservation.
In Elephunk’s Trunk I design and sew accessories, primarily hats, but also ribbon choker/headbands, pouches and coin purses and fascinators. I enjoy working with fun and different fabrics and enjoy upcycling fabrics from old saris or clothes I have laying around. Fifty percent of all sales in Elephunks Orphans go to help rehabilitate orphaned elephants in Kenya, and all of the items have elephants on them – elephants benefiting elephants!
In Elephunk’s Eyes, I sell photography prints and greeting cards, primarily of wildlife and nature scenes. The photographs are from all the places I have explored – including India, Kenya and my own backyard. The Elephunk’s Orphans section contains photographs and cards with pictures of the baby elephants at Daphne Sheldrick’s. Again, fifty percent of all sales in Elephunk’s Orphans go to help rehabilitate orphaned elephants in Kenya. To date, I have raised $21.50 for the Trust.
When Celeste isn’t designing, sewing or photographing, she is working on her PhD in Women’s Studies at Emory University. Right now, she is still in course work, but plans to write her dissertation on Gender-based Violence, Human Rights, and the Myth of American Exceptionalism. She is very interested in the ways in which violence against women gets framed and talked about differently when it happens in the United States versus when it happens in other parts of the world. She also work part time (full time in the summer) for the Feminism and Legal Theory (FLT) Project at Emory University where she helps organize conferences, maintains the FLT website and does research assistant work for Professor Martha Fineman.
- Websites: www.ElephunksTrunk.etsy.com and www.ElephunksEyes.etsy.com
- Blog: www.ElephunksTrunk.blogspot.com
- E-Mail: ElephunksTrunk@gmail.com