Gaja Love is a children’s apparel & more shop started by 3 generations of women:
The master seamstress & designer
Co-designer, master apprentice & business manager
Our featured model & daily inspiration
But let’s start with a bit of back story…
If you would have told us 5 years ago we’d have our own business designing & making children’s apparel, we would have laughed at the idea. Heck, if you would have told us that 2 years ago or 6 months ago we’d have thunk you were crazy.
I (Dunia), never thought I’d be a stay-at-home mom. I’ve had a job since I was 15 years old and for the last 10 years or so have loved what I do (great job in advertising). My mother was happily retired and enjoying her leisurely days of visiting family & friends, planning parties & shopping (I have no idea where I get it from).
However, everything changed a year and a half when I had Emma. It was like I inherited every single “stereotype” of Motherhood overnight. I devoted all my time, energy, passion and love to her (well most of it…I save some for my husband).
So when it was time to go back to work, things just weren’t the same. My job just became something that kept me away from Emma. Fast forward a year and my husband received an offer for a dream job that he simply couldn’t turn away. While it meant moving far away from family it also meant I could stay home with my daughter. Truth be told it was one of the scariest moments of my life. I wanted nothing more than to be home with her, but was torn by being away from family and was equally worried about whether I could handle being a stay-at-home mom.
A few months after moving away two things happened. One late night, as I lay awake I stumbled onto some photos of a friend in Thailand and another in South Africa both sharing beautiful photos but equally tragic stories about elephant preservation. Prior to this I didn't know anything about the epidemic elephants were facing. The more I read the angrier I got. My anger turned to sadness when I learned about the bond mother elephants have to their female calves. A bond so strong that female calves will usually stay, side by side with their mothers, for their entire life. And that elephants are born into matriarchal societies where all the mothers lend a hand – from the grandmother to sisters to aunts, even cousins.
A flood of emotions came over me. It was in that instant that I understood my deep connection to my daughter and why she became my universe and I simultaneously realized and decided my mother and I simply couldn’t be apart any longer.
The next morning, I called my mother and told her everything I had learned. How sad it was and how we had to do something about it. She agreed, “but what?” she said, “what can we do? The only thing I know about elephants is the blanket I made for Emma when she was born”. An idea was born.
WHAT’S GAJA LOVE?
The sanskrit word for elephant, GAJA, personifies abundance, fertility, richness, boldness & strength; just like women. In european portuguese the word also means physically attractive female.
We want to help and spread love for the GAJA.
HOW WILL WE HELP
These beautiful animals are facing extinction and being hunted every day for their ivory. Despite their size, these gentle giants are facing extinction. Elephants are magnificent creatures - they can empathize, are self-aware, can sense loss & grievance and are extremely sensitive to touch. When asked of experts, what’s the single-best thing anyone can do to help, they say ‘raise global awareness’.
To that end, we’ll be focusing on two things: raising awareness via this shop, our social channels, through those that bless us with their purchases and re-post our story, elephant education, amongst other awareness initiatives. The second, is that we’ll raise funds for elephant conservation and anti-poaching initiatives. To this end, we will look to partner with trusted and well established organizations where we’ll help with raise dollars as well as give a percent of our profits.
It's our hope that in some small way our 3 generations of women can help save the GAJA for generations to come.
WE and the GAJA Thank You.
LET'S SPREAD GAJA LOVE