Don't worry about the fact that Ello's search doesn't let you find your friends yet. Email them and ask. Instead, enjoy the fact that it lets you discover a world of really talented people. Here's are some you might like.
Ello is the brainchild of designers. As such, it has a visual bias.
Ello is the brainchild of a team of designers and developers committed to preserving user privacy, and some of its critics need to STFU.