Hi there! Tell us a bit more about who’s behind Elppin.
I’m Carina Hardy. I live and work in Bali and New York City. Like everyone else, I’m a work in
Technically, I am an artist and designer. I care deeply about women and the
environment. I am obsessed with beauty and empowerment.
How did the idea for Elppin start?
I gave birth to Elppin after a design exercise that went out of control. My best friend in Bali has
defiantly perky nipples, she dislikes bras but loathes the gaze her braless breasts are endlessly
So we armored her nipples with a protective evil eye to reflect the gaze and
empower her. Since then, everything I see, think and create is about the breast. I am obsessed.
It started with the nipple, the pinnacle of the physical and metaphorical breast, the epicenter of
sensitivity, intrigue and stigma. I wanted to play with this tension and challenge nipple
I was inspired to make jewelry that both adorns the breast and armors against the
patriarchal gaze by calling attention to a part of the body which is otherwise covered and
What is the core message behind Elppin?
Ever since I was young, I’ve been obsessed with beauty and adornment. This infatuation was
ignited during a political and artistic awakening that really got me thinking about breasts and my
desire to subvert patriarchal power structures associated with cultural taboos concerning
women’s sexualization, shame and medical trauma etc.
Elppin (nipple spelled backwards) is a badge of honor and adornment— a stand for liberation, empowerment and freedom of expression. It is a direct challenge to the notion and practice that breasts should be veiled from the public eye.
The Elppin nipple brooch is designed to be worn like a pin on a lapel, pushed down a few inches to crown the breast and confront the curious gaze.
What is the kind of woman that might wear an Elppin jewel?
Elppin is for every human. Anyone with a breast story.
Elppin is for the woman who wears combat boots and wants a little glimmer at her chest.
Elppin is for the proud dad with teenage daughters.
Elppin is for the breast cancer survivor.
Elppin is for the feminist who walks the talk.
Elppin is for your cool grandma who rioted in the 60’s and still protests today.
Elppin is for trans, queer and gay people.
Elppin is for any caregiver or woman in a boardroom.
Elppin is as unique as you are, it is your story.
We’ve seen you currently donate 10% of your product sales to reproductive care
organizations. How does that fit within your vision?
Giving back to organizations such as Planned Parenthood and Bumi Sehat Birth Clinic is central
to the vision of Elppin.
In a world where basic women’s rights are constantly violated, including in the Trump administration’s America, it’s important to fight back in many ways, one of which is giving back to organizations that provide all women free and equal access to sexual healthcare.
How does the Balinese culture embrace eroticism and sexuality?
Balinese life is rich in duality. So while sexuality is something that isn’t flaunted in public, it’s
certainly acknowledged and woven into rituals, customs and private life.
Eroticism is depicted in Balinese art in a real, raw and often beautiful way. Sexuality is a fact of life in Bali, integrated, worshiped and abhorred all at once.
What has been your greatest struggle and your greatest satisfaction in growing your brand?
I am motivated by creation and collaboration, and by the things that bring people closer
together; reaching out and expressing ways of being comfortable and connected. I want people
to feel their b(r)e(a)st!
What plans do you have for the future of Elppin?
I want Elppin to be more than a jewelry line, I want it to be a movement that uplifts and
empowers women and inspires a space where we can create and affirm positive relationships
with our bodies and ourselves.
Extra – Doula background:
By the time I was 19 years old I assisted and was a doula for eleven live births. These
experiences shaped how I relate to and understand women, mothers, childbirth and the
connection to breasts as a natural life source.
Discover more on @elppin