At House of Citrine, we have the distinct pleasure of sampling a diverse range of powerful and beautiful products from the conscious community. On our journey to bring you the best of the best we discovered one of a kind, handmade, blessed and recycled silk dresses that inspire "grace, laughter, PASSION, freedom, expression and magic," created by the talented, driven and awakened, Elissa Kravetz. Once Steve Madden's right-hand gal, Elissa's work as a fashion publicist and her passion for travel led her to found Sun Child. A chance encounter with a very special family in Goa and their magical healing silks enabled her to create jobs in the village and give back to charities in India. We chatted with this inspiring woman who is determined to empower others and to ensure the clothes we adorn our bodies with feel truly amazing.
1. Elissa, tell us about how Sun Child got inspired?
I was traveling throughout Asia at the end of 2014 and ended my trip with a yoga retreat in Goa. On the last night of the retreat, I journeyed into the night market and stumbled upon the most vibrant, magnetic, powerful silks I have ever seen! I talked for a while with the oldest daughter of the father who created some of the looks, put my hands on her shoulders and told her that I was going to help her and her family. I flew back to LA so energized and inspired and looked at her business card every day for months. 6 months later after being coaxed by a girlfriend to go back to India to spend time with the family, I hopped on a plane, spent a week in Goa during the monsoon and bonded with this family. I feel that they are my extended family. They receive the silks from a special area in India and together we bless them and create the designs that make up Sun Child!!
2. Tell us about the families in India who make these one-of-a-kind dresses?
They’re passionate & loving and we Skype often to stay connected while I’m here in LA.
3. Indian silk…elaborate on the material of sourcing?
The silks are recycled Sari silks, each piece is unique and cuts only one dress, so each dress is one of a kind. Your dress is your dress!
4. Your journey to India has been life changing, how has this impacted your spiritual growth?
I’m getting ready to travel back and can’t believe it when I realize that this will be my seventh trip to India in the past few years! My first time traveling I went to Rishikesh in 2011 for the International Yoga Festival. My spiritual journey started a year before that while studying Kabbalah. I learned there about living from your heart vs. your ego and over the years traveling throughout Asia I became committed to a heart-based life of service. I still love fashion, I began working for Steve Madden out of college and I feel that what we wear is an extension and creative expression of self. I love marrying my spiritual practice with business. When I was working in PR towards the end I would burn sage in the office and send our clients samples with positive affirmation cards to the editors. What I’ve learned over the years is that most people just want to feel BETTER! If I can have a hand in inspiring and enticing joy in someone – I’m all for it!
5. Your dresses are blessed? Tell us more?
When we finish each collection in India, I sit with the family in a circle and we put some of the silks in the middle. We all go around and share something about the collection and what our wishes are. When I’m back here in Topanga, I play mantras while putting the finishing touches on each piece, then they spend a night hung outside on my deck surrounded by nature in Topanga Canyon, so they can spend a night under the stars. Each dress is saged and gonged! I love this whole process, it feels like a beautiful meditation for me.
6. When you’re not working on Sun Child, what else do you like to do?
I love to dance. I recently went to a 5 rhythms dance workshop at Esalen and it was so incredible, so transformative, I dance as much as I can! I love to travel. Love to cook. Connect with my friends and lots of snuggles with my Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Lillee. I’m also in a bit of a hibernation resting phase since moving to Topanga. The canyon has sucked me in a bit. Oh, and I recently started drumming, which I LOVE!
7. What keeps you going? Do you have any daily routine, ritual, or mantra?
Ahh..what keeps me going. Knowing that I have a larger purpose in life and am here to create and inspire. I’ve always felt different, in high school, in college, I just knew inside that I was different. I feel like I have big things to do. I try to take as best care of myself as possible. To my friends I am always saying Radical Self Care!! I try to visit the hot springs in Ojai as much as possible to ground and connect with nature. I don’t meditate every day, but I would love to!! Even 5 minutes in the morning sets me up for an incredible day. As soon as I wake up I say to myself “thank you!” I follow up with “I’m enough. I’m worthy of unconditional love, I share unconditional love.” These have been my mantras lately.
8. What are your three staples for glowing health?
For the past month every morning I’ve been making a super charged coffee concoction which has completely changed my skin. In the Vitamix I’ve been mixing a cup of coffee with Sun Potion Tocos and Ashwagandha, vanilla bean powder, ghee, coconut oil & raw lavender honey. I swear adding this one spoon of ghee every day has given my skin a beautiful glow! I drink tons of water, don’t drink alcohol or smoke. And I love to get a little sun on my face each day :) I try to get at least 8 hours of sleep each night, I need it!! I also feel that the more I give, the more I say YES to things, people, activities that fill my soul, the more I say NO to things that drain me – this makes a radical impact on my health and psyche.
9. What moves you through fear and brings you to bliss?
I’ve erred on the side of anxiety for most of my life, and every single time I sit down to meditate, every single time I drive through nature, I hear my inner voice say "DON’T WORRY!! You don’t ever need to worry." I feel that the one thing that can move anyone through fear to bliss is TRUST. Trust that the universe has your back. Trust that we are here to succeed and be happy, not to struggle. And when I can’t talk myself down I’ll connect with some of my grounded, calm friends who always get me out of the fear space. One of the things that we often will say to each other is “what story are you telling yourself right now?!” we often will make up stories in our head that are not true, we believe them, and then we panic. As much as I can I try to trust that things are going to work out blissfully & abundantly!
10. What is your next big vision for Sun Child?
On my next trip I’m going to create new styles to add to the collection, jump suits, pants and matching jackets. My new BIG vision is for the brand to grow so much that we can build our own Sun Child factory in Goa and give jobs to people in the village. I’ve been watching over the past year, and women come one by one into my home to try on the dresses and when they do, without fail, every woman puts out her arms and spins around! These dresses are magic, I’ve never seen anything like them. They look amazing on every body type and seem to evoke a powerful confidence for every woman who wears them. I want more women to experience this. Global feminine confidence!! Feel powerful on the inside and own it!!