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Free the Girls x Elma Essentials

Cassie Heil

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There’s something about the start of the year that makes everyone feel a little more powerful. Powerful enough to change things in their lives, start fresh and do more things that matter. This holiday season social media was inundated with tear jerking stories of inspiration men and women helping others, saving lives, and just being kind hearted. It is through these stories that I found an inspirational group of people working to help empower women and provide them with better lives. 

The truth about what is going on in the world around us is devastating. There are approximately 20 to 30 million sex slaves in the world today. According to the U.S. State Department, 600,000 to 800,000 people are trafficked across international borders every year, of which 80% are female and half are children. But this devastating news comes with a little hope thanks to an organization called Free the Girls.


You know that bra that is in the back of your drawer, the one that just doesn’t fit right? Well now those bras can serve a greater good. Free The Girls is an international 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that helps women rescued from sex trafficking reclaim their freedom through economic empowerment. They are devoted to showing sex trafficking victims a way out and a path to true freedom. What is true freedom you might ask? Free the girls believes that in their line of work, freedom is measured by “economic freedom, restored health, social well-being, education, and opportunity for a different, hopeful future.”

Free the Girls collects donations of new or gently used bras to help women reintegrate into their communities by selling bras to other women. Currently Free the Girls focuses their work in three countries, El Salvador, Mozambique, and Uganda. The organization works with ‘partners on-the-ground’ to help empower girls in those countries by equipping them to earn a safe income by selling bras to women in the second-hand market in hopes these girls will be able to reintegrate back into society and live full lives with their families. 


This extraordinary organization got its start back in 2011, when co-founders Dave Terpstra and Kimba Langas envisioned a unique idea to help victims of sex trafficking in Mozambique. They wanted to delve further into what happened after they were rescued, what kind of a world would be left for them. Miraculously in February of 2012, Free The Girls was featured by CNN’s freedom project in a 3-part series. What would follow would be an amazing outpouring of support which led to over 30,000 bras being shipped to Mozambique to help even more women there. Even more media exposure in 2013 helped introduce them to new partners and a launch of their other programs in Uganda and El Salvador. To date they have collected over 600,000 new and gently used bras from women all over the world. 

So how can you help? Elma Lingerie is very excited to announce our partnership with Free the Girls and tell you how you can be a part of this great cause. Free the Girls is currently exploring opportunities in Central America and Africa and I personally would love to see them reach that goal. For every Adelphi Bellini bralette sold, 10% will be donated to Free the Girls!

We will also be helping Free the Girls collect donations so please help by sending your new or gently used bra donations to the following address:

2731 Junction Ave. 
San Jose, CA 95134

For more information on Free the Girls and other ways you can help, see check out:

Instagram: @freethegirlsbras                        Facebook:


Elma Essentials 2017

Elma Murakami


We are excited to announce the Adelphi Plunge bralette is back in three new colorways for our second collection of Elma Essentials. Voted by our followers, Bordeaux and Blush were tied as the favorite with the orange pink colorway, Bellini came in at a very close second! We are producing a small batch of these for a limited run, factory made in Philadelphia in partnership with 

Preorder your Adelphi Plunge bralette between now and October 27th and we'll include a gift of hair ties recycled from our elastics stock along with a handwritten thank you note. Ready to ship December 11th. 


Also this October, for Breast Cancer Awareness Month we will be donating 10% from all padded bralette sales to the California Breast Cancer Research Program. Order now and support a great cause! 


Elma Murakami



Dreaming of a Getaway...

I've been craving the Summer sun after what felt like a very long winter in Northern California. Wanting to wear dainty camisoles and sheer lace tops again. With that in mind I wanted to try lingerie colors I haven't seen in my closet yet. Something about coppery orange and shades of purple were attracting my attention.


This season we're adding a new silk charmeuse in an abstract watercolor print. This precious silk and white lace was handpicked by Ying of Tailor Made Blog. A beautiful combo that I was eager to add to my Summer Collection for a limited run. 

 Devon Set in Orchid Silk

Devon Set in Orchid Silk

Shimmery gold cotton jacquard from India, Alençon eyelash lace, and hand dyed trimming. Stitched alongside matcha and champagne colored silks. 



Elma Murakami


I'm thrilled to announce the first run (of hopefully many) Elma Essentials bralettes! A factory made small batch run of our beloved Adelphi Plunge bralette in Ivory and Black. A style that is über comfortable, practical, and easy to care for, while still maintaining our signature petite fit and with the option of having removable pads or no pads at all. Available for a limited small batch production run factory made in Philadelphia. 

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This collection has been an idea I have been tinkering with since the inception of Elma Lingerie, but if it wasn't for Ying of Tailormade Shop, a fellow Etsy shop owner and tradeswoman of the lingerie industry, I could never have accomplished this so quickly. Ying comes from a background of apparel production and sourcing, my perfect counterpart to produce this collection, and when she approached me this Summer with the idea of teaming up together to produce an accessible everyday bralette, I leaped at the opportunity and we hit it off immediately. 

Our goal with Elma Essentials is to provide an affordable bra with the same attention to detail and fit as my Elma Lingerie collection. If this small run deems successful we will definitely produce more styles in the future, so let's make this a success and get your Essentials bralette today. 

 This limited Adelphi Plunge bralette comes in Black and Off White

This limited Adelphi Plunge bralette comes in Black and Off White

Behind the Collection

Elma Murakami

Dancers: Morgan Jean Quinn, Emma Dewing, Photographer: Alana Fickes, Stylist: Julia Perry, Hair/Make Up: Allison McGillicuddy, Behind the scenes photos by Elma



This season the ballet and documentary Afternoon of a Faun lingered in my thoughts. The inspiring film about Tanaquil Le Clercq, a ballet dancer who at the age of 27 was stricken with polio and never danced again. The ballet of the same name by Vaslav Nijinsky first premiered in Paris 1912 with a hauntingly beautiful score by Claude Debussy. Later the ballet was reinterpreted by Jerome Robbins in 1953 for the New York City Ballet featuring Le Clercq as the lead.  

I often look to ballet for inspiration. The way the dancers move freely on stage, it's the way I want to feel in my lingerie. Confident and comfortable in my own skin. 

  Francisco Moncion and Tanaquil Le Clercq in Afternoon of a Faun

Francisco Moncion and Tanaquil Le Clercq in Afternoon of a Faun


The palette this season is rich with Autumn hues but is balanced with delicate neutrals. Stretch silks in Midnight Blue and Olive, with beige Chantilly lace and black velvet ribbons. Featuring a new Dove Gray scallop lace which was hand dyed for this collection. The silhouettes are always soft and comfortable, with the addition of silky basics and a new ribbed knit version of our Sylvia bralette. 

Elma Murakami

Elma Murakami

Elma Murakami

Elma Murakami


Making of a 5pc Bespoke Set - Handmade by Elma

I was commissioned to do a five piece set for a Christmas gift for one lucky lady. The request was for a nightie, bralette, garter, and panty, plus one more bralette for everyday use. The requested color was a turquoise or ice blue, something to compliment her lightly tanned skin. 

Lace - U.S. made ice blue lace with gold cording, delicate eyelash lace from China that was custom hand dyed in San Francisco. 

Silk - Stretch silk from NY

Trimmings - Dyed to match satin elastics and ribbons. 

Now taking custom orders at ElmaShop. Please fill out the inquiry form on the Bespoke page.