Orange County Business Journal announced its annual list of nominees for the “Excellence in Entrepreneurship” Awards for 2012. The Business Journal’s awards programs are designed to recognize those individuals and organizations whose accomplishments positively impact the OC business community. Among the list of up and coming business leaders were Vanguard University alums, the founders of 31 Bits in Costa Mesa, CA.
Kallie Dovel `08, Founder/Co-Owner
Brooke Hodges `09, Director of Involvement
Anna Nelson `09, Director of Administration
Jessie Simonson `09, Director of Sales and Production
Alli Swanson `09, Director of PR and Marketing
Kallie Dovel traveled to Uganda in 2007 and met women who made paper beads, but lacked a marketing and sales plan. After hearing their stories, Kallie searched for a way to give opportunities to her new Ugandan friends. She brought jewelry back to the U.S. and spent the next year dreaming up the concept of a development organization. She brought a few friends on board and her ideas quickly evolved into 31 Bits. Kallie’s new team traveled to Uganda in August 2008 and selected six women to buy jewelry from on a monthly basis. The company has now evolved into 108 Ugandan female employees, not including a Ugandan staff of six program managers who run specific trainings and programs for beneficiaries. They receive English lessons, financial trainings, business courses, HIV/AIDS treatment, bike loans and more. 31 Bits is now sold in more than 130 stores around the world.