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The Elf Story

A nifty hobby which turned into something more...

When she left the cornfields of Iowa for the coastline of California, Chaney Smith Claypool did not leave her Midwestern values behind.  In fact, she poured her resourcefulness, adaptability, and ability to comfort into an enterprise of recycling cashmere sweaters into luscious blankets and duvets.  She quickly developed a loyal California clientele who bought her products to rave reviews.  She called her little business “Elf Cashmere.”

Meanwhile back in Iowa, Chaney’s mother Sondra Smith (a textile artist herself) thinks, “This kid’s got a good idea” and begins working to expand her daughter’s concept.  Sondra compiles a rainbow of recycled cashmere and begins to piece it into quilts, scarves, and duvets of unparalleled comfort, softness, lightness and warmth.  Thus, like daughter like mother, “Elf Cashmere Iowa” was born.

Chaney has since "retired" and Sondra has continued the tradition and now operates as Elf Cashmere.  Elf Cashmere is actively involved in the local Iowa City community.  Noting the extreme softness and warmth of her blankets, Sondra has donated them to many charitable events, auctions and to individuals in need. 

Sondra collaborates with a number of partners to bring the final customized product to the Elf Cashmere customer.  Locally, the Eastern Iowa Salvation Army and Goodwill Stores supply a large quantity of the cashmere fabric.

Sondra Smith certainly has a passion for art, sewing, and recycling and it shows in the wonderful products she creates.

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