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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Earth’s Elements Brings Fair Trade Gifts to Encinitas

Oct 31, 2012 02:33PM

A bit of Nepal is coming to Encinitas. Hem Rai, owner of the popular Himalayan Treasures store in Idyllwild, is opening a sister store, Earth’s Elements, on Highway 101 this month.

Earth’s Elements will feature items primarily from Nepalese “free trade” families where crafts have been handed down for generations. Browsing through Rai’s shop, customers are likely to find beautiful silver jewelry, singing bowls for meditation and healing; crystals of all shapes, sizes and colors; hand-carved boxes; and exquisite tapestries. The store will also carry clothing that is wearable art.

Rai is as interesting as the shop itself. He arrived in the United States from Katmandu seven years ago, speaking impeccable English and five other languages. Formerly a tour guide in India, Rai had a vision of selling goods made by the people of his home village and other areas of Nepal. As he explains, “Each tribe has its own specialty like clothing or jewelry, much like Native American tribes specialize in rugs or pottery.”

Rai also owns Kirat Treks, an adventure travel business specializing in trips to Nepal, Tibet, India and Bhutan. He leads fall and spring tours and has even taken people in wheelchairs on cultural tours to the temples, monasteries and shopping areas. Rai, who is fully licensed, says, “If you’re up to trekking in Nepal, I can get you as far as Mt. Everest’s first base camp at 17,500 feet.”

Earth’s Elements is located at 559 South Coast Hwy. 101 in Encinitas. Contact Hem at 951-704-8786 or email [email protected].

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