JENNIFER SHUM ABELEV is the Los Angeles-based social entrepreneur behind NEEPA HUT. Her desire to make a positive impact was sparked by spending time with artisan communities in Southeast Asia. Seeing the women practice their respective crafts, she was struck by their ingenuity and perseverance, despite their humble surroundings.
Motherhood, for her, took on a new significance after spending time with these women. Consequently, she traded her career in finance for a new challenge, focused on preserving the heritage of Southeast Asia artisans through NEEPA HUT.
The crafts of our artisans shape the social fabric of their villages, and help them provide for their children and families. It is their sense of community and togetherness that Jennifer hopes to extend through NEEPA HUT’s products.
OUR STORY takes roots in the coastlands dotting the Indian and the Pacific oceans, where, traditionally, indigenous people lived in stilt shacks with roofs covered in nipa palm. Today, nipa huts have come to symbolize the Filipino value of bayanihan, the spirit in which the people of a community come together in an effort to achieve a common goal. It is this sense of communal unity from which NEEPA HUT draws its inspiration.
OUR MISSION is to extend the value of the spirit in which the people of a community come together in an effort to achieve a common goal; by promoting and preserving the skills, crafts, and heritage of artisans from areas most affected by natural disasters, poverty, or overdevelopment.
OUR VALUES are inspired by the artisans’ dedication to the traditional methods of their crafts and their commitment to the sustainability of their land and its natural products. All of our goods are carefully selected, of premium quality, handmade and locally sourced in fair trade. Our vendors themselves come from the communities that create our specially chosen collections.