UNCVRD: Jewelry to End Slavery
Five years ago, Jen Bedrossian was just learning about the horrors of human trafficking and didn’t know what she could do to help stop it. “My eyes were opened, and I felt compelled to do something,” she says.
At the same time, Jen was considering starting her own business. She had studied ancient Roman archaeology and was now working at a museum. From an early age, Jen collected dozens of rocks, examining each one for the natural beauty it contained. For months, she tried to think of a way to join the fight to end human trafficking while pursuing a new, creative business venture.
That’s when Jen started UNCVRD Jewelry: Jewelry to end slavery. “Our goal is to work alongside our fellow freedom fighters to see labor and human sex trafficking abolished in our lifetime,” their website reads. UNCVRD provides Jen with a creative outlet and income that enables her to make a difference.
UNCVRD not only donates 40% of the proceeds from each sale to their partner non-profit organization, but also creates pieces that double as a beautiful conversation starter to help spread awareness. Jen chose to partner with Gems Uncovered, which is based out of her own town of Long Beach, California. As a small business owner, she wanted to be in close proximity to the organization she would partner with. This allows her to meet the women they work with and allows her to participate in the amazing things coming out of the program. She is able to be involved, know exactly how donations are used, and in turn, share that with existing and potential customers.
UNCVRD has partnered with Dressember for the last two years. This brand partnership started at the Dressember kick-off event in 2016, which included an ethical marketplace. Participating in that marketplace allowed Jen to learn more about Dressember’s vision and sparked the inspiration for an official partnership. She loved that Dressember was such an easy way to start advocating for anti-trafficking.
“No matter what you do, who you are, how much you know about trafficking - you can still get involved.”
Jen uses her talent of jewelry design to raise awareness and funds for anti-trafficking efforts. Her partner organization, Gems Uncovered, offers career development, trauma care resources, long and short term housing resources, legal assistance, awareness workshops, street outreaches and sexual exploitation diversion programs. Jen has personally joined in on several nights of street outreach, and UNCVRD jewelry has also funded school registration for women who want to pursue that path to success.
Jen made the decision for a portion of the donations to go toward Gems Uncovered’s diversion program. This is a partnership with the Long Beach Prosecutor’s Office for the benefit of women 18 years and older who have been arrested for solicitation, and it offers them an opportunity to pursue positive, life-giving opportunities. The main goal of the program is to break the mental and emotional ties with their pimp or trafficker. The course breaks down the lies they have been told and replaces these lies with the truth - empowering victims with the skills to break away from the shame of their past and reclaim their lives.
Several years ago, there was a woman - let’s call her Sharon - who was part of this diversion program. When Sharon started the program, it was clear she did not want to be there. Her attitude conveyed that she didn’t believe this program would make any difference. However, as the weeks went on, she began to blossom, transform and truly come to life. When Sharon entered the program, she was pregnant by one of her Johns, who was now in jail. The staff at Gems helped her prepare to raise her baby, even throwing her a baby shower. Her baby is now almost two years old and she is about to become a staff member at Gems Uncovered.
If you want to hear more about how UNCVRD purchases are changing the Long Beach community for the better, head over to Jen’s blog.
UNCVRD now has a second partner in Brave Global, whose focus lies in prevention. Brave works with girls who are at-risk: those in the foster system or on probation. Their goal is to meet those girls where they are and fill them with the truth before a trafficker gets to them.
The UNCVRD jewelry shop includes sophisticated and fun earrings, necklaces and bracelets that are easy to pair with your existing wardrobe. Some of my personal favorites are the mini tassel bar earrings, hammered quartz cuff and dew drop choker - which I bought as a little gift to myself. A purchase from UNCVRD, not only makes a fashion statement but also gives you an opportunity to showcase your heart for freedom and restoration.
You can check out UNCVRD Jewelry at our Dressember 5k in Los Angeles, CA on May 20th, or shop the collection by following the logo below.
You don't have to wait until December to be a part of the impact. Join the Dressember Collective and become part of a powerful community of advocates and donors furthering the work and impact of the Dressember Foundation through monthly giving.
About the Author
Rae Rohm is an avid baker, an enthusiastic storyteller, and a thoughtful writer who hails from Delaware. She is a graduate of Biola University, where she studied journalism. When she is not teaching people about the glories of her home state, she can be found enjoying nature with her sweet but mischievous puppy, singing along to music while running on the treadmill, and making gifts for her family and friends. Rae loves using her skills and talents to bring all people - past and present, near and far - into fellowship with one another.