(Oja means "glow" or "vitality" in Hindu culture.)
Oja Moon was created by the New York City based nonprofit organization, Kids of Kathmandu, as a way to further contribute towards communities in Nepal. Each Oja Moon sale generates funds towards Kids of Kathmandu initiatives which focus on children and education. Kids of Kathmandu began in 2010 with a commitment to fund education, food, and medical for the NYCDS orphanage of 49 children. That commitment is still in effect, and our goal at Oja Moon is to completely fund this orphanage project, which is located outside Kathmandu in Bhaktapur. Bhaktapur is a World Heritage Site, a historically important and visually captivating place in Nepal, and one that was also greatly damaged in the 2015 earthquake.
All products are handmade at a Women's Center down the road from this orphanage in Bhaktapur, Nepal. Each animal takes 2 days to make by hand. Not only does each purchase at Oja Moon generate funds for the orphanage, but it helps to employ the women at this Center who lack financial security, many struggling to send their children to school and many who are widows, needing income to provide for their family.
Our team travels to Nepal yearly, to check in with both the orphanage and the women's center. Anyone is welcome to come with us on these visits. Kids of Kathmandu is also now rebuilding 50 schools after the earthquake with an incredible partnership network, and we visit these projects as well. If Nepal is on your list of go to places, come with us! It is an incredibly special place.
Our animals have been tested and approved by the Consumer Product Safety Commission identification #1361.
FOUNDER, CREATIVE DIRECTOR
Jami Saunders is a New York based children's photographer. She is also the Co-Founder of Kids of Kathmandu, a New York based non profit that has been supporting education for Nepali children since 2010, and is currently rebuilding schools for thousands of children displaced during the 2015 earthquake.
During her annual travels to Nepal, she was introduced to a non profit women's center producing beautifully knit pieces. She realized she could commission unique pieces to use in her newborn photo shoots back in New York. Taking it further, she could create a company around these pieces that bring joy to those who purchase Oja Moon products, benefit the women's center of knitters, and by donating a portion of proceeds back to the orphanage, benefit the 49 children that continue to inspire her daily.
Originally from England, Charlotte started her career in women’s wear where she worked for iconic style legends such as Lulu Guinness and Cynthia Rowley. She then found a love of designing children's clothes while working with Lucy Sykes and her children's brand ‘Lucy Sykes Baby’. From there she moved on to Baby Togs working on their private label’s for clients such as Nicole Miller, O’Neill, Dr Seuss, Kmart & Sears.
Freelancing now, Charlotte helps companies large and small with getting the right look, fit and feel of their brand such as Under the Nile, Jelly the Pug and Nested Bean.
Oja Moon is a very special project to be a part of and Charlotte finds joy seeing the animals come to life and collaborating with long time friend Jami Saunders.