Jenna is wearing the LANDED crop, available here
Beautiful, intelligent, stylish and passionate about helping women? How could you not have a crush on Jenna Stevenson?? We have known Jenna for some time now and we are constantly inspired by her work. Jenna is the manager of the resale store in the Downtown Women's Center. She has put together an adorable shop consisting of some killer vintage and hand made products. We love to stop in whenever we need an outfit for a night out or a candle for our desks. There is nothing better than shopping for a good cause! We got the chance to chat with Jenna about her work and her favorite trends:
How long have you been involved with MADE?
I started as a volunteer in December of 2012.
I started as a volunteer in December of 2012.
How long has MADE been around? Could you tell us a little bit about the mission?
MADE by DWC works to empower homeless and low-income women to overcome barriers to traditional and non-traditional employment, cultivate local and sustainable product design and creation, and build community in downtown Los Angeles. The handMADE line was launched in 2011, followed by our Cafe, and then Resale store most recently.
What are handMADE products? What is your favorite piece?
handMADE is MADE by DWC’s line of unique products created locally by homeless and low-income women at the Downtown Women’s Center in Los Angeles’ Skid Row community. These one-of-a-kind gifts are handmade using recycled and repurposed materials with a commitment to connecting social profit to environmental sustainability.
I love our all natural soaps. In fact, my boyfriend is a HUGE fan too and we us the Sweet Orange soap on the daily.
What has been your favorite moment working with the Downtown Women's Center?
Witnessing the transformative power of this place first hand is always amazing. The Downtown Women’s Center tends to change all that become involved, whether you are staff, volunteer, or participant in our programming you will be positively affected in your time here.
What trends do you look for when pulling vintage and resale for the store?
When initially sorting donations I generally follow this formula when doing so; I look for fabrics first, fit second, and label third. Whether you can identify the designer or not you can tell a lot by the actual construction of a label. Is it silk or woven with Lurex thread?
With vintage and resale customers are usually looking for pieces they can wear now. With that in mind I look for pieces that are appropriate for the current season and then either timeless classics or on trend. My goal is to make shopping at MADE unlike other thrift stores in which you may buy a piece because it’s cheap and amazing, but then struggle to merchandise it with pieces in your own closet.
Tell us about some amazing pieces you have found?
Ah, that’s a tough one!
I’m always amazed by our somehow recurring selection of both silk kimonos and tweed skirt suits, finding the D&G little black dress that brought exposed zippers back made me smile, and most recently a gold floral organza mock turtle neck jumper that might also be culottes made my jaw just about hit the floor.
What is your favorite trend right now?
Birkenstocks and Socks with sandals. I’ve yet to execute either, but really love how subtly subversive they are as “trends”.
I generally avoid trends, but I am on a big high-waisted pant kick right now. Like literally BIG (the wider the better).
What is your least favorite trend right now?
What are you inspired by?
I’m inspired by integrity, whether it's a dress, a building, a song, or even advertisement. If it was executed with integrity I can get behind it.
What is the last song you listened to?
Jerk Ribs (Mount Kimbie Remix), by Kelis. In fact, the whole Food album is pretty great.
If you could host a dinner party with any 5 guests living or dead who would they be?
I’d invite Kanye West, Leandra Medine, Gloria Steinem, Tom Wolf, and F. Scott Fitzgerald (Hemingway too, but I doubt he’s good at parties).
What is your favorite piece on our website?
From the current season it would have to be the CLOVER Candy Stripe Crop because it would pair perfectly with all my pants and the ONLY YOU Baby Doll Dress. Amber’s dresses in particular have always worked so well for me.
Where do you see MADE in five years?
I see MADE as a thriving and self-sustaining social enterprise that serves as a place for local creative professionals to contribute their various resources. Whether it’s by being your local place to grab coffee, a place to acquire some outfit inspiration, or collaborate by lending designs and support to grow our handMADE product line. I see MADE as a way in which the Downtown Women’s Center has actually positioned itself to thrive in an environment of rapid revitalization and gentrification by providing ways for homeless and low-income women to be pushed up instead of out in the process.