A Recap From The Yellow Conference
My coworker, Christiana, and I had the pleasure of attending The Yellow Conference last week. The conference is geared towards creative, entrepreneurial women and empowering do-good brands. It was a two-day conference with the option of a third day of workshops, but we opted for the two-day guest speaker route.
We were able to hear from women and men who truly do what they love and inspire others to do so too. From Headbands of Hope Founder, Jessica Ekstrom, who started a buy-one-give-one model for donating headbands to girls with cancer and has since donated to every single children’s hospital in the U.S., to Jedidiah Jenkins, who worked for Invisible Children and then quit his job at the age of 30 to bike 7,000 miles from Oregon to Patagonia and blog about it, to Alexis Jones, female activist and co-founder of I Am That Girl, and founder of The ProtectHer Program who travels the country speaking to D1 athletes about respecting women – the panels were empowering, emotional and inspiring.
Most of us could name a few do-good brands like Toms or Make a Wish Foundation, but it’s the smaller non-profits and social justice brands that do not get the attention. If you’re not familiar with many social activist brands, I’ve outlined a few below that were present at Yellow. These are all awesome brands with inspiring missions to help make the world a better place.
Kurandza empowers women in Mozambique through education, community programs, and entrepreneurship offering high school scholarships, nutrition programs, business development training, financial management training and more. The brand fundraises through its sales of jewelry and bags as well as donations.
The mission of Break Down Walls is to inspire people to live life for a greater purpose beyond themselves. They are partnered with Kids Around the World, a non-profit that provides play equipment to children who have fallen prey to natural disasters, war and poverty. Five percent of every purchase of clothing from Break Down Walls is donated to Kids Around the World. They have helped build over 500 playgrounds, shipped over 17 million meals and reached over 7 million children.
In a country where girls are not given the same opportunities as boys, Unlock Hope Uganda supports the secondary school education of girls through its partnership with Think Humanity. Unlock Hope and Think Humanity are providing girls in South Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and northern Uganda an education that they would not find otherwise.
After visiting and later moving to Ethiopia in 2011, Parker Clay founder Ian and Brittany Bentley adopted their daughter Selah and began to help with development work and job creation in Ethiopia for vulnerable women. The company prides itself on its quality, hand-selecting each piece of leather and importing their RiRi zippers from Switzerland.
So, How Can We As Digital Marketers Help?
As digital marketers, we have the ability to help brands like these be known. Whether it’s through SEO website optimization, good PR, awesome blog content or paid advertising, our agency has the capabilities to help do-good brands do-good better. It’s hard to keep up with the number of start-ups in an age of small businesses, which is why marketing can have such a huge impact on their success.
I’m thankful that at Power Digital, we have the opportunity to work with a handful of brands who are making a difference. One brand we work with, Children’s Bureau, provides guidance programs to help strengthen families and children. They also recently started a new venture, Dads Matter, which supports dads to play a more active role in their children’s lives.
If you have a service offering like web design and come across a do-good brand, offering your services can make an even greater impact that supporting them through buying their product. But really, do both 🙂
How Can You Help, Now?
It can honestly be intimidating when you see someone who has built an incredibly successful non-profit that’s raised millions of dollars; we think “I could never do that.” The thing to keep in mind, which was reiterated so many times at Yellow, is that these people started small, with one idea, and that idea grew with dedication and sacrifice. Finding a few social good brands that you can connect with and support can truly change lives. As consumers, it’s important to be mindful of who and where we’re buying from. Personally, I found this conference to be a wake-up call to help support brands who are not solely trying to make money, but instead trying to help others who may not be able to help themselves.
Being mindful of where you’re shopping is step number one. It’s a pretty rewarding feeling to know that you just helped feed someone in Ethiopia or employ and rehabilitate a woman in India who was sex trafficked. If you have a skillset as a marketer, writer, graphic designer, or you’re looking to support a brand as a customer, think about reaching out to brands who need your help more than anyone. I guarantee you’ll feel pretty good after!
If you’re interested in learning more about The Yellow Conference, check out their site and get involved with Yellow Collective, their newly-launched quarterly membership starting this fall! The membership comes with a quarterly box delivery called the “Empowerment Box” featuring a do-good product from a social justice brand, an inspiring book, and other goodies, as well as digital resources and monthly in-person gatherings in your city.