Doing good business is not just the sum of high profits and a growing client base. Great business gives back, and considers the betterment of it’s community and world. Our September panel explores the power we have has entrepreneurs and people within companies, to affect good change in our world. Whether it be making environmentally sustainable decisions, or re-investing in social causes, or conducting team building exercises in the service of the community – there are so many ways in which we can do business better.
Our panel will be moderated by our co-founder, Kohl Crecelius. Kohl is the CEO and Co-Founder of Krochet Kids Intl. His apparel company has helped women in developing countries rise above their poverty by teaching them to crochet, and coaching them in business and life skills. Panelists include Lauren Lilly, Owner/Founder of Yellow 108; Jessie Simonson, CEO of 31 Bits; and Keturah Kennedy, Executive Director of Mika CDC.
About Kohl Crecelius, CEO and Co-Founder of Krochet Kids Intl
Kohl is co-founder of Krochet Kids, Intl, which he started with friends while in college. His apparel line (t-shirts, hats, bags and more for women, men and kids) provides life-changing job opportunities to women in need. “With each purchase you make we introduce you to the woman who made your product and invite you to visit her online profile to learn more about her. Empowerment is the reason why we exist. Our products, our partners, and our community work in unison to help people break the cycle of poverty, forever.”
About Lauren Lilly, Owner/Founder of Yellow 108
Yellow 108 is a Los Angeles based headwear company specializing in sustainable hats and accessories made from salvaged and recycled materials. Salvaged = Saved. Yellow 108 represents authentic American heritage, quality & timeless aesthetic. Lauren started the company in 2010. Lauren also founded Howl, LLC, a company dedicated to inspiring visual bliss through collaborative gatherings in their turn-of-the-century Long Beach event space, blog, and quarterly publication.
About Jessie Simonson, CEO of 31 Bits
There are certain people in this world who have a million projects up their sleeves, ideas in their heads, and thrive off little-to-no sleep. Meet the CEO and Brand Director of 31 Bits. She’s art director, story teller, and energizer bunny behind the jewelry and accessories line that does good with every purchase. She graduated from Vanguard University with a degree in Cultural Anthropology. The 31 Bits model is to create dignified work opportunities for artisans worldwide while providing customers with a place to purchase fairly made products. “We pay fair and sustainable wages to our artisans, but that’s just the beginning. We believe in providing safe and joyful working conditions, a family-like atmosphere, and an environment where every artisan feels known. We believe quality work is a result of artisans who are being cared for as individuals. We provide our artisans with access to counseling, health care, and education. We provide ways to improve their local communities and support their families. And guess what? Everything we do is funded through product sales. That means every time our customers make a purchase, they are having a direct impact on the lives of our artisans and their families.”
About Keturah Kennedy, Executive Director of Mika CDC
Keturah Kennedy knows economic disparities are clearly present in our target neighborhoods. She also believes there is a breakdown in relationships that we believe contributes to the systemic poverty present in our city. When poverty is defined solely in economic terms, solutions tend to be short term fixes to a larger problem and may lead to dependency on social services. The “unspoken assumption is that when the missing things are provided, the poor will no longer be poor” (Myers, 65). Relief-based approaches, which provide temporary aid to reduce immediate suffering, can perpetuate the cycle of poverty that is found in cities across the country.” Keturah and the team at Mika CDC believe the neighbors within low-income communities have ideas and assets that can be leveraged to make a positive impact. They connect Costa Mesa residents with opportunities to act and aid their communities.