10 Things to Love About Our Lucky Elephant Handbags
I’ve yet to find an elephant handbag I love more than our figural chonks at Wicker Darling. Our handmade handbags are just too lovable for there to even be a competition. And it has to do with more than just how ridiculously cute they are - so I’m going to explain why.
Belle-ephant the Elephant was one of my OG designs at Wicker Darling. She is a much loved wicker purse design and, as our devoted fan base continued to grow, I kept hearing more and more calls for another elephant purse.
I understand, truly I do. Elephants are incredibly special.
But I didn’t want to simply slap a new paint job on Belle. No, I wanted to create a whole herd of new elephant purses - and that’s precisely what I’ve set out to do.
We have two new members of the wicker elephant family - and maybe even more on the way - so I’d like to take some time today to discuss why elephants are so near and dear to my heart. (And why our wicker elephants in particular are so easy to love.)
Why elephants are so excellent
Elephants are truly remarkable animals. There are very few creatures who walk this earth that share a pachyderm’s capacity for emotion. Indeed, elephants are incredibly empathetic, loving, and kind.
Highly sensitive and social animals, elephants live in tight-knit families which are led by a matriarch. If family members are sad, elephants will comfort them by hugging and caressing them with their trunks. They form incredibly strong social bonds over the course of their lives.
You’ve probably heard elephant families referred to as “herds,” but that is only ONE of the animal group names bestowed on elephants. You can also call a group of elephants a parade or a memory.
The memory of elephants is quite good, in fact. An elephant will pause wistfully for a few minutes at the place one of their loved ones has passed - even years after their passing. Indeed, they have been shown to mourn death in much the same way as humans.
Elephants are also one of very few species that can recognise themselves in a mirror.
If empathy and intelligence aren’t enough reasons to love elephants, they are also crucial to the environment. Using their tusks, they create watering holes for other animals to drink from, and their dung is full of seeds that foster the growth of new plant life across their environment.
There are so many more reasons to love elephants as animals, but I think it’s now time to discuss why I love elephants as handbags. Particularly our designer rattan handbags at Wicker Darling.
10 reasons to love our lucky elephant handbags
Meet Nell-ephant and Elle-ephant, our two new elephant handbags!
Elle is the big sister, the more whimsical chonky elephant purse compared to stately matriarch Belle.
Little Nell, on the other hand, is our demure elephant clutch. Giving you all the illusion of chonk without any of the girth.
Our elephant handbags are the perfect gifts for vintage lovers, and I find they are both equally worthy of your adoration - here’s why.
1. They are lovingly handmade
While I sell my handbags online in Australia, they are actually made in the Philippines by our atelier dream team! We are partnered with a few small, family-owned companies in the Philippines where local workers and artisans harvest, sort, and hand-weave rattan into our glorious figural handbags.
Buying an elephant handbag from Wicker Darling means you are supporting wicker weaving artisans, keeping craft traditions alive, and putting food on the tables of the incredible Filipino women and men we work with.
Because our elephant purses are carefully crafted and painted by hand, you may notice minor differences from bag to bag. These are not faults, but a signature of the unique hand craftsmanship and natural materials.
2. They have fabulous proportions
If you want chonk, we’ve got chonk! Elle-ephant the wicker elephant handbag has simply the most delightful proportions - with stumpy little legs, a big ol’ belly, and spectacular wind-swept ears, she’s simply a joy to look at.
And, if you’re looking for a smaller purse, then Nell-ephant fits the bill quite nicely. She is slim and sleek with just enough space for all your essentials (think cash, cards, phone, keys, lippie, etc).
No matter what size handbag you’re looking for, we have an elephant for you in our collection.
3. They are sustainable
We are very eco-conscious here at Wicker Darling. Our bags are by-and-large sold on a pre-order only basis, and our elephant handbags are no different.
Using a pre-order process cuts down on unnecessary waste but ensuring each purse has a loving home to go to before we even create it. After all, we wouldn’t want these beautiful bags to end up in a landfill somewhere!
We also are very careful about the material we use for our wicker handbags. But is wicker sustainable, you might ask? Why yes, it is.
Our wicker handbags are made from rattan, which is a rapidly renewable vine. We have these rattan vines locally harvested and dried, and then handwoven and painted - all in the Philippines.
This cuts down on our carbon footprint substantially, since we aren’t using machine processes or importing materials from around the globe. We then ship our finished purses by boat (the most carbon-efficient method of shipping) to our HQ (the garage of yours truly).
We are firm believers in slow fashion. When you order one of our handmade handbags for pre-order, you probably won’t receive it for at least 6 months. But trust me when I say - these bags are worth the wait.
4. They are built to last
As long as you know how to care for wicker baskets and bags, our unique figural purses are heirloom pieces that can be passed down through the generations.
We take great care to use the highest quality fabrics, leathers, closure, straps, and embellishments on our designer handbags. These bags are not your run-of-the-mill fast-fashion purses. They are built like your favourite vintage collectors items - which is exactly what these adorable elephant handbags will become one day.
5. They are lucky as can be
Many Asian and African cultures believe that elephants bring good luck. In feng shui, elephants symbolise good fortune as well as strength, wisdom, and protection. In other words, it's always a good idea to have an elephant in your home!
That’s where your elephant handbag comes in. We’ve chosen to design our elephants with their trunks in the air to bring in EXTRA luck for you lovely lemon drops.
A trunk up elephant is believed to dispense good energy, prosperity, kindness, and luck, while a trunk down elephant helps with calm and introspection. I certainly can’t be bothered with calm or composure in my life, but the trunk-up qualities I’ll take in spades! (And so will you, with your adorable elephant purse.)
6. They are limited-edition
If you like to stand out, any of our elephant handbags is perfect for you. No one can accuse a Wicker Darling handbag of being basic. They are over-the-top, ridiculous show-stoppers.
AND, they are made in limited edition batches, so it’s highly unlikely you’ll run into another elephant handbag like yours. (But if you do, please tag me in the photo on the Wicker Darling Instagram account!)
Because our bags are small-batch collectors items, they each come with authenticity cards. You can rest assured that your elephant handbag is incredibly special - just like you.
7. They ship for free!
People of the world rejoice! No matter where you are, we will ship your elephant handbag to your door free of charge. That’s right, FREE INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING.
We’ll even throw in free tracking - because we know you’ll want to watch your precious pachyderm’s entire journey.
Why do I do this? Because I love you of course. (And I have to make up for my sadistic teasing of future bag designs SOMEhow.)
8. Nell is 100% vegan
If you’re looking for a vegan designer purse, look no further than Nell. Nell-ephant the Elephant is a very animal-friendly animal. Her svelte little body is made of rattan woven around a metal frame. In addition, Nell has pink cotton lining and gussets, and a metal chain and kiss lock closure.
Not a scrap of leather to be seen on this beauty!
So, if you’re looking for an eco-conscious and vegan slow-fashion purse, then this elephant clutch will be your match made in heaven.
9. Elle is dressed to the gods
Elle-ephant is rather special, and she knows it. We do too, which is why we have gussied her up in splendiferous fashion. Similar to our loveable llama purses, Lola and Midori, Elle has a beautifully embellished backside - but we’ve taken the glam a step further for our fabulous elephant.
This elephant handbag has a luscious red leather blanket on her back, fringed by pale pink and red tassels. These happy little tassels are hand-beaded, and some of them even feature intricately embossed metal medallions.
With all these beautiful adornments, this pachyderm is ready for the fanciest of parties.
10. Nell is true to her colours
My crunchy pickles, I have received numerous requests for a grey elephant purse over the years. Requests that I took very seriously. Which is why Nell-ephant the elephant clutch is not natural wicker like her elephant handbag sisters. Oh no - she is the picture of pachyderm itself!
I asked the ateliers to hand paint our lovely Nell in a rather elephantine shade of grey. (And I think her paint job has turned out perfectly, if I do say so myself.)
Some of you ooooed and aaahhhed and were rather gracious for her glorious greyness. Others immediately commented that they didn’t want a clutch, but a FULL-SIZE grey elephant handbag. This just goes to show you can’t please them all!
It also means that perhaps, one of these months, there might be another grey elephant joining the wicker elephant family at Wicker Darling.
New purse designs dropping every month!
If our elephant handbags are all sold out, fret not. I’m always reinventing old favourites with new designs and colour schemes, and a new elephant could be released any month.
We’re also working on expanding our in-stock offerings, including silk scarves, mini coin purses, and wicker purse charms for handbags, so there are many opportunities to fall in love with a new Wicker Darling product!
And, of course, we wouldn’t want to limit you to elephants either. We’ve got a whole wicker menagerie to browse! Come take a gander at our cats, dogs, unicorns, flamingos, and more in our quirky wicker purse collection.