Last year, we were so disappointed when we found out about Conscious Christmas after the event was over. So we've been counting down to this year's event for, well, almost a whole year! Conscious Christmas is a one-day holiday market with a big mission we're passionate about here at SHE Changes Everything: fighting human trafficking. This fun afternoon pairs shopping (that you have to do anyway for the holidays!) with activism, letting shoppers take action within their own communities to combat labor and human trafficking with their purchasing power. Caity Peters will also be there for the second year in a row! You may recognize her from Season 10 of The Voice! Did we mention the vendors are amazing and the goods are on point?! You'd want to go just for the shopping alone!
We had the chance to talk with Conscious Christmas co-chair Jen Bedrossian. She AH-MAZING... pouring her heart into this event as a labor of love while raising two littles and working as the founder of UNCVRD Jewelry, an ethical jewelry company that gives 40% of its proceeds to fighting human trafficking. She has the inside scoop on the event and its impact, and great advice for first-timers! We hope to see you there!
SHE TEAM: How did you find out about Conscious Christmas and how did you get involved? Can you tell us a little bit about your role?
Jen: I found out about Conscious Christmas at the beginning of last year (2016) when I started attending a new church in Long Beach (Long Beach Christian Fellowship). My friend was the team leader and asked if I wanted to join the planning team and be a vendor. The mission of the event instantly resonated with me and the mission of my brand, UNCVRD Jewelry, so I said, "Yes!" This year, I am co-leading the team with my friend Sarah Clarke, who runs the Ten Thousand Villages store in Pasadena and has been involved in the Fair Trade movement for years.
SHE TEAM: What makes you so excited about Conscious Christmas? What do you want others to know?
Jen: I personally love this event because it brings incredible brands doing amazing, impactful things in the world together with passionate, intentional consumers. It is so inspiring to see the community rally around this movement of purposeful shopping and the desire to enact change in the world through purchases. We all buy gifts around this time of year, so this event provides an opportunity for people to share their heart with their loved ones around the issues they care about. Conscious Christmas is in it's 6th year, and it truly gets better every year. We not only have an incredible group of vendors, but each vendor donates 10% of their total sales to the Long Beach Human Trafficking Task Force. Last year we were able to donate over $1,000 - which helps support the incredible work that the Task Force does.
SHE TEAM: What is the best way to fully experience / take advantage of Conscious Christmas? Anything a first timer should know to get the most out of the experience?
Jen: I would just encourage everyone to take their time and really get to know these brands. Ask questions, make a few rounds, take info cards. The people behind the brands that we have selected are all passionate about their unique mission and love sharing their hearts. I want our shoppers to walk away feeling empowered and informed. I love events because connecting with my customers is really important to me. It is one thing to follow a brand on social media and learn about their story, but it's an entirely different thing to have a conversation. I love learning about my customers and hearing their stories! So many of my close friends have been made at events like this. I always leave events feeling completely exhausted but my heart feels so full.
SHE TEAM: Who should come to Conscious Christmas?
Jen: This event is for everyone - come after brunch with your girlfriends, with your kids and family...we have a whole area in the downstairs patio that we've tried to make super family friendly. There will be snacks for purchase, a free craft table, face painting and coloring. For more info about parking and to get updates this weekend, head to our Facebook page, facebook.com/lb.consciouschristmas.
If you can't attend Conscious Christmas on the 19th, check out all the beautiful jewelry from Jen's company, UNCVRD! 40% goes back to the fight against human trafficking!