Made Art [Labor Day] Monday, Featuring: ELLERALI

Happy Labor Day! This is such a special post, because it is about someone who doesn’t take a day off and is a true boss babe…

This is Elle of ELLERALI.

Her mission?

Recreate the Created
by upcycling fabric to
reduce textile waste.

Also, save the world and share the love. Elle is a Marine Biologist with a strong will and dope fashion sense. After moving back home from Hawaii to Southern California, she had the idea to combine her two passions in an effort to help reduce waste and inspire others to be aware and take part in sustainability. “We can all strive to do better, ” states Elle.

Elle and I went to college together at the University of California, Santa Cruz in Northern California. We knew each other through friends and rarely saw each other. It wasn’t until we reconnected later in our 30’s in Orange County (where we both live now) just after Elle moved back home from Hawaii. She was just starting the ELLERALI journey and I am a photographer, so a friend suggested we connect to see if we could collaborate. We met for breakfast in downtown Fullerton and quickly realized we were both ready for a creative collaboration. Elle, with her sustainable fashion line and me, needing a creative boost for my photography and a change in my artistic focus.

From that point, I watched Elle hustle HARD. While Elle is always representing ELLERALI and how it started, not many people know that when she started her business, she had just lost her mom (who taught her to sew), stepped up to take care of her family after the loss and ended a long-term relationship. She had considered to try and get a “real job” (as some might say) and treat her sewing as a hobby, but – “It just didn’t seem sustainable,” said Elle. Instead, she put her all into her her work and building the brand and business of ELLERALI. I was in awe of her determination and strength while working through those shadows, and was happy I could help support her and contribute my photography to not just any business, but a worthy mission to help support the environment. I even started making my own changes along the way to reduce waste (although I still have a lot of changes to make, I’m proud of my small accomplishments – all inspired by Elle!).

It’s now been two years since she started ELLERALI, and I finally have an ELLERALI piece of my own – a custom shirt made out of old t-shirts from my college years. This was focused on a shirt I got but never wore and was from a well known sushi spot in Santa Cruz, called Pink Godzilla. It’s so fitting because the shirt is literally a common thread for me and Elle which makes this shirt that much more special. That, and I helped design, cut and sew it with Elle’s guidance!

Sun a fun experience! It’s kind of the best shirt ever.

(All photos of Sarah taken by Sarah, @Rahala Photography)

The world needs to know about Elle and ELLERALI!

Thank you, Elle, for my amazing ELLERALI t-shirt! Much love!

Upcycling never looked so flyyy!

You can find ELLERALI here:

Website =
Instagram = @ELLERALI

And catch Elle’s upcoming 2019 Pop Ups here:

9/7-8 Chicago: Pop Up @2048.c
9/14 San Francisco: Pop Up @tradmarksfc
9/15 San Francisco: @urbainairmarket
9/28 Orange County: @costamakersoc

ELLERALI just posted this video:

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