Elka de Wit is the founder of 34.4º (C.I.C.) natural skincare.
Elka was born in Liberia, grew up in West and East Africa and Hong Kong and has also lived in Sicily and Germany. From corporate education to wellbeing management, Elka has developed an eye for business, together with a passion about leading a sustainable, healthy life and having a positive impact on the community.
She's enjoyed living and working in Stoke Newington since 1991 and is thrilled that a local artist lets her use the front part of her space as the N16 showcase for the unique 34.4º collection.
34.4º is the result of experimenting with different ingredients to soothe her own skin which became easily irritated by the slightest application of synthetic preservatives. Another company run by Elka, ZEPHYR, is devoted to essential oils and nebulisers.
Few words from Hannah Devine:
"I am a northerner and have spent the past 6 years studying and working in China, Italy, and France before finally venturing down to the south. I have lived in London for just over half a year and currently work as an analyst in the city center during the week. I joined the 34.4º team just a few weeks after I moved to the city when I happened upon the cobbled yard stand on a random stroll checking out my local area and signed up on the spot to become a volunteer.
I signed up for the 34.4º team to experience another side to London outside of the office and the community spirit of 34.4º has been great for this. The quality of the products means that customers more often than not come back and grow to be more like friends. Chatting away to everyone who stops by at the stall on Broadway and even the bikers who are curious enough to wander over from the Bolt shop in the Cobbled yard and getting to share the awesome products and ethos 34.4º has to offer has helped make London a home.
My favourite product is definitely the Honey Balm! It was my first product and 100% what got me hooked into all the other goodies we offer. It is a simple no-frills product which I use for EVERYTHING, from a moisturising balm when my lips are a bit dry to a deeply conditioning night cream, make-up remover, moisturiser, and even a great primer for my makeup. I like putting it on knowing it is feeding my skin and over time it has become a staple part of how I care for my skin. Its anti-bacterial properties have never failed to keep the spots at bay and most importantly of all, it’s done a great job of helping me all dewy through my first winter and summer in London and I’ve no doubt in the months to come."
Guillaume Goursaud is originally from the South of France, and moved to the UK for his studies. He now works in an architecture practice in London for just over half a year. A designer at heart, he is also extremely passionate about holistic health and a sustainable way of living.
"I fell upon 34.4's stall thanks to a flatmate of mine. After months of using Elke's handmade products such as Honey Balm and her soaps, I decided to help out with sales and any other jobs at the stall. The atmosphere is incredible and the product line is so inspiring as well as accessible for the quality of the ingredients and care put into making each individual pot by hand."
"I was born in Denver, Colorado and moved to London in early 2019. My passion for travel continued to grow pushing me to meet many incredible people around the world. In my free time I enjoy practicing yoga, reading books in coffee shops, or enjoying food with the people I love. I began my journey away from chemicals and toxins three years ago to help with detoxing my body from chronic illnesses. With my switch away from toxins, I focused on buying fewer products but of a high quality. Moving to London, my friend encouraged me to find Elka to try her products. After the initial conversation at Broadway Market, I became hooked on Elka's story, the 34.4º collection and of course the incredible 34.4º mission.
My favorite product is the HONEY BALM. I love putting it on in the morning and feeling like I am glowing. It's done wonders to heal old scars and has evened out my skin. More recently I've also enjoyed using the Eye Serum before I go to bed. It has the perfect mix of essential oils to help me sleep and it smoothes away the circles and bags under my eyes. Though these are two of my favorites, I continue to be amazed by every new product I try and the wealth of knowledge Elka has to share. I am honoured to be part of this journey with her and to contribute to 34.4º as a volunteer."