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Meet Elegantees Founder, Katie Martinez


Meet Elegantees Founder, Katie Martinez

Chasing her dream of being a fashion designer and her heart to liberate women affected by sex trafficking, Katie Martinez founded Elegantees in 2010.

Elegantees is for the woman who seeks to find a balance while enjoying the comfort and movement of a regular tee.


Fashion with a purpose. Your purchase is helping change lives. 

Elegantees is about more than creating stylish clothing; it’s about opening doors and providing hope for those rescued from sex trafficking.

In the sewing center in Nepal where Elegantees is made, survivors from sex trafficking are able to earn a positive and livable source of income that reinforces independence, a healthy self-image, and confidence that restores lives.

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Why Nepal? 

In Nepal, sourcing girls for sex or labor slavery is a huge industry. Human traffickers go into villages of extreme poverty, making false promises, such as having a good job overseas.

Parents, believing their children will have a better life, agree. And, while they may even receive money to help younger siblings have a meal, it’s the last time they’ll see their child. 

Embodying the mission of reducing vulnerability through opportunity, Elegantees partners with Our Daughters International, a nonprofit organization that rescues over 10,000 women and children each year from being sold at the border of Nepal-India.

The Elegantees brand employs and gives fair-wage jobs to survivors. With a job, the chances these survivors will be trafficked again are slim-to-none.

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Love the mission, love the fashion. 

Shopping can be hard! That’s why Katie created Elegantees. She wanted tops that were pretty, comfortable, and with proper coverage.

Having spent her life both on a farm in Iowa, and in the Fashion District of New York City, she understood the two extremes in the way women dress—either avoiding fashion altogether or placing so much emphasis on fashion that it becomes an identity. 

The Elegantees brand emphasizes that ideal beauty is an expression that comes from the inside. When a woman takes care of herself and others with kindness, she’s at the height of beauty. 

Elegantees is for the woman who seeks to find a balance between fashion and life.

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Next Steps

The sewing center in Kathmandu, Nepal is a team of 18 women, but an additional 10 sewing machines will be added soon to keep up with the demand!

The center will begin renovations this winter to open more space. Currently, survivors are at the training center to gain the skills needed to work at the factory. This is more young women that will no longer be vulnerable to being trafficked again.

It’s exciting to see the impact of the orders through DVTD!


Learn More

You can learn more by visiting the Elegantees brand page or visting them at You can also follow them on Instagram to keep updated with their brand. 

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