Today we’d like to introduce you to Jen Bedrossian.
Thanks for sharing your story with us Jen. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
When I started UNCVRD, I was working at a museum downtown. I was a new mom, and I was craving a space for personal creativity in my life. Around the same time that I was thinking of starting this business, I heard about the issue of human trafficking in the United States. I felt overwhelmed by the staggering statistics of how many people were being exploited, how the average age a girl is trafficked is 12 years old, and by the fact that it was the fastest growing criminal industry. I didn’t know what I could do to even begin to have a small impact in the fight against modern-day slavery, but I knew that I wanted to be a part of the solution.
I decided that I could start to make jewelry and donate a percentage of my profits to a local anti-trafficking organization, Gems Uncovered.
In December of 2014, I launched UNCVRD Jewelry and have since continued to grow and expand. Just this year, UNCVRD took on an additional partner organization, Brave Global. Brave is addressing the fact that over 80% of women who have been trafficked have been in foster care at some point in their lives. Brave is coming alongside these girls to equip them with resources and truth about who they are and what they are worth before a pimp or trafficker can reach them.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
I have been fortunate to see my business grow and thrive in the last four years, but even so – there have been struggles along the way. I don’t have a business background, so a lot of my UNCVRD story has been trial and error. Thankfully, I have had many people in my life that have stepped in to help when I needed it.
I also work primarily from home and have two young boys. Learning to balance work and life is tricky when you’re an entrepreneur, as the two seem to blend constantly. I am striving to show my boys that hard work is important and that being generous and helping others is what life is all about.
UNCVRD Jewelry – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
The mission of UNCVRD Jewelry is to bring awareness to the issue of human trafficking and empower women to live in freedom.
The thing that sets us apart is the fact that 40% of our proceeds are donated directly to our local partner organizations.
All of our jewelry is handcrafted using high-quality metals, gemstones and crystals. We are known for creating modern, unique pieces that are delicate enough for everyday wear, yet bold enough to spark conversations to increase awareness.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success to me is when I am able to use my business to better the lives of others. In just the past four years, I have personally seen the awareness surrounding human trafficking grow. When I first started, I would do events and very few people would have prior knowledge that it existed in the United States. Personally, I have only been aware of this issue for about five years.
Over the last two years, it seems that the overwhelming majority of people I speak with have at least some level of knowledge that human trafficking exists.
I strongly believe that in the next five to ten years we will continue to see a positive change in the fight against trafficking, and I will continue to strive to contribute to this solution.
I’ve also seen firsthand how our contribution to our non-profit partners has helped them to continue their incredible work to restore lives. Live are truly being changed, generational cycles of exploitation are being broken, and that, to me, is success.