Tag: Eclastic

Another short guide to get more instagram followers – will it work?

We all want more likes, more followers, more sales, more everything.
The web offers, as usual, thousands of pages with the same information, precisely if you google “how to get more Instagram followers you get about 54,100,000 results.

 

Too many pages…too much information…where should I start?

From here of course.

I have recently separated my personal Instagram (@michy.eclastic)  from the business one (@eclasticproject) so that I can test on my new account all these theories on how to get more followers.

So far so good, slowly we grow.

Let’s start:

  1. Publish regularly, at least two or three posts per week; 
  2. Obviously, try to post nice photos…
  3. Use hashtag (#……..)
  4. Pose a question
  5. Mention somebody (@name)
  6. Call to action
  7. Create contests, promotion and give away
  8. Advertise on your other social media your Instagram account
  9. Like photos of other users
  10. Comment on other people photos

Below few points about the hashtags:

  • Check out what hashtags your competitors are using;
  • Use hashtags that influential people in your industry are using     
  • Consider related hashtags
  • Use your name brand in your hashtag
  • Don’t use too many or irrelevant hashtags
  • Use specific hashtag
  • Use popular hashtags (#instagood: #photooftheday: #picoftheday: #instagrammers: #instamood
  • Hide your hashtags, or writing them in the comments or putting few lines with dots after the caption and before the hashtags

I have personally installed a small application on my phone to help me with the hashtag. It can be found on android Play Store and it is called “Hashme”

To know more about this topic you could choose one of the 54.000 pages available on google, or check https://blog.hootsuite.com/how-to-get-more-instagram-followers-the-ultimate-guide/

What do you think about Instagram?

Please share your Instagram account in the comments and we will pass by to say Hi!

Kawangware Street Children

Living and working in Kenya has its challenges.

The biggest one is to find suppliers. Let’s say it loudly, the chinese market is full of beautiful and cheap items I could buy for Eclastic. Amazing packaging, original findings, website like dhgate, aliexpress, offer a great variety of items to choose from.

BUT…

I don’t want, (and I hope the Chinese readers, if any, will forgive me for this statement) to give my support to the Chinese market. It does not need it.

During my endless research for somebody who could make gift bags at a reasonable price.

I’ve found Morris. He offered just what I needed: gift bags made of newspapers.

  • He did not ask for a deposit or upfront payment.
  • He delivered on time.
  • The bags were super cute and stunning

Morris and his colleague Agasto started Kawangware Vision Centre in 2001 to create and open up positive life opportunities for orphans, vulnerable children and at risk youth in the community. The project then as Kawangware Street Children & Youth Project (a community based organization), started making handmade and designed paper bags out of recycled papers which they sold to tourist and safari companies and the income earned was used to improve their lives as well as maintain their business.”

Wonderful people with a wonderful project. Check their website www.africabags.com

The other day I met Morris and asked if his group could make something different for me

The packaging for Eclastic Elephant Necklace!

They’ve agreed even if is not in their repertoire.

This is how it should look like but with a smaller logo. I am super excited to see what it will look like when finished!

Help us growing. Comment and share!

Thank you!!!

The evolution of a product

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Around 2 years ago, one of the Maasai working at the camp, Steven,  gave me a gift. A small elephant necklace made out of cow bone. It was an unexpected gift that I really appreciated.

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Once home, I tried to cut the same shape on a DVD but it was harder than expected. The trunk was getting broken all the time, the plastic was not melting together, the colours were fading.

I did hundreds of experiments before I got it right.

I started to sell the Elephant necklace at Mara Bush Camp – Private Wing and people loved them!

We got featured on the Air Kenya magazine “Ndege News” and some people came to the camp just to buy the small red elephant necklace.

I was very proud, but not totally satisfied.

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My mum told me once that Elephants with the trunks up bring good luck and that is what everyone needs, isn’t it? So I started to change the original design.

Cutting was even more challenging than before.  But the result was much nicer.

I even dare to say; rather fabulous!

Small Elly

At the same time I discovered metal stamping. What a cool thing. I couldn’t help but fell in love with it.

But plastic cannot be hammered…so I’ve tried to write something on a piece of aluminium taken from an old broken teapot. I wrote a message to myself “NEVER GIVE UP”.

I wear it all the time.

This is how I started “The Elephant with a Message” that got sold out in very short time at the camp.

I wrote inspirational quotes like “Dreams come true“, “Enjoy each day“, “I can and I will“, “you are special“, “you are loved“, “Keep going“.

I am still not 100% satisfied.

I feel that the little Elephant Necklace is work in progress, It will go through more changes, aiming for perfection.

Stay tuned!

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Recycling fashion

Eclastic is going from strength to strength. I am still in the process to find a good and steady market for my jewellery, made from recycled products. When I reach that goal I will be able to employ women on a permanent base.

I need publicity, people need to know what I have on offer. 

I met Chloe, a woman who produces wonderful hats. We were sharing a stand at the High Tea fashion show at Zen Garden in Nairobi. A super place where the wealthy and  fashionable meet. At least that’s how I experienced it.   

I loved Chloe’s hats and like a little girl tried them all and thought I looked funky. Chloe is the milliner behind Drop of a Hat, her company. She is young and talented and I admire what she creates. We had a good time and discussed creating a collection together.  Over tea and chocolate cookies we discussed hats with my decorations. 

Check out the Eco Hats collection….

I love it!

For more hats check Chloe’s website Drop of a hat

Share if you care!

 

Teaching is an art

After many months, I have finally time to write about the workshop at Olmalaika home this past September.

As usual, the night before a workshop I never sleep. I always think too much. What if they don’t like it? What if they don’t follow? What if I am not able to express myself…etc etc etc (see article on the previous workshop with Maasai Ladies).

I had prepared samples to show, tools, colors, pliers, candles, dvds and of course plastic bottles.

Sekenani is a bit far from Little Mara Bush Camp, so, to avoid to get lost as usual I’ve decided to go with John Lenkume, our Naturalist Maasai and absolutely fun and Kipande, our mechanic.

The camp and the guests were now in Nelson’s hands, my trusted assistant and friend.

I drive.

The drive to Olmalaika home from Olkiombo takes around 2 hrs. On my way there I saw elephants, Giraffes, thousand of wildebeest, gazelles and Hyenas.

I could stay hours watching animals and I love Maasai Mara.

My colleagues were impressed, I can actually drive a 4×4 landcruiser in a rough road and I am a WOMAN! wow, what a surprise for them.

I arrived around 10 am as promised. The girls were all busy doing their daily duties. I went on the back of the house to plant 2 trees on behalf of our guests. A small cow inside the compound was looking at me. I NEED to touch that cow. No luck unfortunately, he ran away.

With the Matron, we unpacked all I had, included a bag full of goodies from Connie, one of our guest. T-shirts, socks, bags, pencils got equally distributed among the girls.

For some reason I find really difficult to understand when they liked something or not. This feeling followed me the whole day.

It is time to start. OIOIOIOIOI there are so many girls compared to the previous workshop. Panic mood mode on.

My voice was extremely shaky and low…but it didn’t matter to them. I could see the girls all sitting around the table with the curious eyes looking at all my tools and plastics on the table.

The plan was to create a napkin holder with plastic bottles flowers.

While I started to cut the plastic I felt they were not interested very much and my heart was really sad.

It was only when they saw the finished flower that the enthusiasm appeared in their faces. I did my best to explain how to cut and manipulate the plastic bottles, some of them were extremely talented, some a bit less, but everyone put a lot of effort.

Still, I could not understand if they were enjoying it or not.

While the big girls were involved in the napkin holder project, the young one went for the first time ever on a game drive with Kipande and John.

I saw somebody carrying in the car a young girl with no feet. Kim mentioned her to me. She fell in the fire when she was young and nobody helped her. Do I have to comment that?

Lunch time arrived faster than expected and I know it was going to be a problem. I do not eat onion and in this planet onion is everywhere!!! I got away with some white rice.

Their hospitality was great and all the girls are really sweet.

I finally realised how happy they were when they refused to go on a game drive to do more flowers. This was a big satisfaction. They also did some plastic flowers necklace that they were proudly wearing.

The young girls back from the game drive were extremely happy.

Is there anything else in this life more precious that a happy smile of a child who has been through hell?

It is time to go back but we still have time for the last game drive with the big girls. We saw lions, cheetah, gazelles and buffaloes. Outside the reserve they were singing. They looked totally different from before. I saw them not like little girls ready to learn something new, I saw them as women, with feelings, dreams and a future full of hope.

If you don’t know who these girls are, please take your time to read their website www.theolmalaikahome.org

After few photos together and lot of smiles I got in the car and drove back.

Let me tell you something about that….

I was tired and I had headache, but my colleagues had driven the girls around the whole day so I didn’t feel like make Kipande drive again (forget John..he doesn’t have a driver’s licence).

The only thought I had in mind was to go back at the camp, have a hot shower in my tent and go to sleep.

I’ve asked: which way should I go? John said: Let’s take the simba route, it’s faster and better.

I agreed, without suspecting what was expecting me…

The Simba route is an horrible very long way to go back. I don’t know which criteria John has used to classify this route as “the fastest and better” way but I will never trust his judgement again 🙂

I didn’t see a road for the whole way. Only mud. The vehicle was sliding here and there. I had to cross a river that was obstructed by a broken truck. I thought I was going to destroy the car, got eaten by a lion and fired by the company.

The headache at that point was not an issue anymore. I was swearing in many different languages and John, with the typical Maasai calm told me:- But you are doing well, you can drive very well, you should be happy.

Kipande was giving me the wrong direction to pass the river and I was destroying an acacia tree. Thank God I made it out of that chaos. I feel there is an issue in understanding the difference between right and left in this country…

If John will ever say let’s take a shortcut I will leave him behind with his shortcut.

It was a long and heavy drive and I arrived at the camp almost in the darkness.

At the end we all had a laugh to my driving experience and a good shower and a hot dinner fixed the headache.

I am not totally satisfied with the result of this workshop, to reach the perfection I am looking for, I will have to go back and do some more training. Only when the product will be up to standard the girls will be able to sell what they produce 🙂 I cannot wait to go there again!

Check more photos on facebook!

 

 

The Angels of Olmalaika home

olmalaika

Last week end I went to visit the girls of OlMalaika home in Sekenani. I cannot describe with words what I felt.

I met Kim Dewitt, the founder of OlMalaika home in my office in Nairobi by pure coincidence (do you really believe in coincidences???)

“​The Olmalaika Home, located in Sekenani, Kenya, provides a safe home and education for young girls of the Maasai tribe who are at risk of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) and/or early childhood marriage. FGM is internationally recognized as a violation of the human rights of girls and women, and it is illegal in Kenya. However, in many tribes it is a social convention and is considered a way to prepare a girl for adulthood and marriage. It is mostly carried out on girls between the ages of 7 and 15.”

Eclastic, with the support of Sunworld Safaris will go there to do workshops with these amazing girls. The aim is to teach them some useful craft that can contribute raising funds to pay for their education and other needs.

The items created will be sold directly from them and from the souvenir shops at Little Mara Bush Camp and Mara Bush Camp.

OlMalaika in Kiswahili means “Angel”. I am currently looking for new ideas to do with them, possibly “angel shaped items”.

If you have ideas or find something on the net please share the link with us!!

I cannot wait to go there.

Kim and her organization are really doing a fantastic job.

To know more about them check their website www.olmalaikahome.org

To know more about FGM watch the video below.

Eclastic for the first time in public!

Eclastic first time in public

Eclastic first time in public

One day over lunch time, Gabriele, director of Sunworld Safari and the biggest Eclastic fan, mentioned that it could be a good idea to do an exhibition to introduce Eclastic to the public. She also mentioned ZEN GARDEN.

Fighting against my usual procrastination I wrote an email to ask information about it. The answer was a bit disappointing….For a private exhibition they charge Khs 20.000/- per day…it is around 200 usd. Too much considered that the most expensive item is Ksh 3000/-… 🙁

They proposed to me another option. The High Tea fashion show. A fashion show with mini boutiques. The mini boutique was more affordable and I said “why not!”

I met Shivani, the owner of Zen Garden to show her our products and see if they could fit the event.

So my odyssey started.

zen garden1

Eclastic stand

I needed ideas for new designs, and stands to show the jewelry. My friend Tums, an unusual and unique artist, helped me to create the stands. Internet as usual gave me great inspiration.

I took a week off work to dedicate myself to Eclastic, however destiny had other plans for me.

Days ran fast and I did not achieve much, the car got broken, the dog was sick and I had to meet several people and supplier. 1 week was not enough.

The night before the event I didn’t sleep. I had to tag, price, and organize everything.

Muffin, my lovely cat was not helpful at all. She was stealing the necklace during the photo shooting and tagging. I have found Elephants necklace in the most absurd corner of the house.

The day finally arrived, and on my way there the battery of my car decided to die.

I arrived a bit late but I made it. Siggi my friend, was nice enough to help me in this adventure.

I have spent 2 amazing days there.

I’ve met new friends and sold few items. People liked Eclastic this is what matters to me.

High tea fashion show photo album

 

 

Buy Eclastic and not Ivory!!!

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We all know that poaching it’s a real problem here in Africa.

Because of the high demand from the Asian market, thousands of our Elephants get killed and mutilated every day.

This is insane and we will lose all our Elephants.

There are many organization that try to help and stop the poachers, but they cannot make it alone. They need YOU, they need us.

One of  the most known is the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust is a Kenyan wildlife conservation charity founded in 1977 in memory of David Sheldrick by his widow Daphne Sheldrick. It assists and advises the Kenya Wildlife Service and manages an orphanage for elephants and rhinos. This trust is reintegrating orphaned elephants back into the Kenyan wildlife, and is a World Elephant Day associate.

The David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust embraces all measures that compliment the conservation, preservation and protection of wildlife. These include anti-poaching, safe guarding the natural environment, enhancing community awareness, addressing animal welfare issues, providing veterinary assistance to animals in need, rescuing and hand rearing elephant and rhino orphans, along with other species that can ultimately enjoy a quality of life in wild terms when grown.

You can see from their website the amazing work they do.

You can buy the Eclastic product there.

For every 100 products sold we will adopt one orphan Elephant 🙂

 

First Eclastic ring

Eclastic ring

Like most of the women I love rings and I love to be different everyday.

I got inspiration from some “beadable rubber ring” that I saw on the net and I thought…why can’t I make it with plastic bottles?

I’ve used a small fanta bottle, wire and some beads.

The biggest challenge for me was to get the size right. I am still in the bush with no tools and I have to be a bit more creative.

I think it is a smart and simple ring, comfortable to wear. I have given one as a gift to James the Maasai waiter. It will be a gift for his wife.

Maasai do amazing things with beads, they have that patience that I truly miss.

Cleaning day in Maasai Mara

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At “Eclastic” we recycle plastic, and we clean places out of it.

Maasai Mara National Reserve is one of the most beautiful place I have ever seen. Hundreds of different animals depend from it. One of Sunworld safari guide, GK, once sent me a photo of a place called “look out”. A beautiful place on top of a hill where tourist can have a breathless view of the savanah and having a picnic.

It is a pity that that beautiful place was actually covered in plastic, paper and all sort of rubbish. 2 drums for the rubbish are there and they are empty. The plastic bottles are all outside on the ground.

The Eclastic team with the support of Little Mara Bush camp decided to go there and clean it.

What we have found was actually unbelievable. Not only plastic bottles, paper lunch boxes, cigarettes and paper…we have found condoms, sanitary pads, etc. Behind each bush used toilet paper.

It was deeply disgusting. More than the rubbish I was disgusted by the fact that human being had created that mess.

With time, lot of patience and rubber gloves we have removed every single piece of rubbish.

How long it will last?

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LMBCsmall_242 look out before lmbc 1 look out before lmbc 2

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