Here at BodyZone, we truly love what we do. We love putting work into every item we make and sell. We love seeing your faces light up when you find the outfits you like. We love seeing you feel your most empowered and expressive self in our products. That’s what keeps us going. That’s what pushes our creativity. It’s what drives our business. We love you all. We do it for you. Making creative works of expression for people to wear is what we do best. We see you in our clothes and we just get so energized to push our brand further.
The best way to show love, sometimes, is to give back. We became more involved in the local community when we opened up our boutique in Phoenix a little over a year ago. Since then, we have been overwhelmed with the amount of love and support we’ve received already. So now we pay it forward.
This is our second year of donating proceeds from our PRIDE collection to one particular nonprofit organization. This organization has a cause that’s near and dear to our hearts. We want to take this time to highlight them.
One•n•ten is an INCREDIBLE “501 (c)(3) nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to assisting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) youth.” Their well-rounded services provide young adults (ages 11- 24) with life-changing tools to improve self-esteem and self-acceptance.
We are so proud to announce that a percentage of each purchase made from our PRIDE collection went toward a donation check for One•n•ten. Once PRIDE month came to a close, we counted up all the money and then we wrote up the check. We contacted their offices and told their organization that we’d love to come by and bring them the donation in person. We wanted to meet the amazing people behind such a special nonprofit.
When we came to visit One•n•ten in Downtown, Phoenix and it was so cool! We received a warm welcome from the Development Manager, Crystal Hughes, and their Executive Assistant, Lona Lee. Then we met with the Director of Development and Marketing, Clayton Davenport, who gave us a tour of the place.
Can you believe it?! The BodyZone Babes were one of the first groups of people to ever tour their fresh and new facility! It’s HUGE! It’s full of resources and bubbly faces. We kept saying how we wished we had something like this when we were younger!
Before our tour, we just had to get an exclusive interview with the Development Manager, Crystal Hughes. When she sat down with us she told us her background and how she originally found One•N•ten. She said when she and her friends were younger, they needed a safe space to be who they truly were. Now, as an adult, she’s helping that safe space flourish and grow.
Crystal Hughes Development Manager:
“I have an interesting start because I am a straight ally. I actually came to One•n•ten as a youth, with my friends. I am from the West Valley and I was in a time and a place where it wasn’t safe for me or any of my friends to be out and be who they are. One•n•ten provided that safe space. And so now it still is that for me. And it’s been rewarding hearing from the youth. Because I’ve been a camp counselor here. I hear from them that, ‘I’ve been able to use my pronouns for the first time’ or ‘someone called me by my name that I want to use for the first time here’ and ‘I want to express myself!’ Or honestly, ‘I don’t know who I am and I’m not ready to put labels on myself. I am just questioning and going with the flow.’
I know that here - that’s okay. I don’t have to have everything figured out. I can just be me, I can be weird. I can like to have snake pets and just like do drag and change my pronouns and name any day I want to. Whatever fits for me. And I know that One•n•ten and the people here in this space are going to accept that and continue to encourage me to be a leader. That’s what I love about it here. It’s safe, encouraging and empowering for our youth.”
For people who don’t know - tell us about what One•n•ten does?
“One•n•ten is an LGBTQIA+ nonprofit and we serve youths, ages 11-24. We serve them by providing empowering programs. Those programs include weekly safe spaces where we do fun activities and learning. It includes our P.O.N.D Work Force. So we provide employment skills and training so they can be out in the workforce. Our P.O.N.D Housing Program provides housing for our homeless youth. We have a leadership team that works with our Camp OUTdoors, which does outside survival skills and everyone gets to go on an amazing trip and learns to be with nature. Camp OUTdoors is about creating leaders and having fun, and being out there learning. When we open back up, we hope to still have our QBLC. It’s a partnership with K- 12 and we help students get their high school diploma. So the classroom is here. They have a teacher in-house to do hybrid learning. So it’s all online but the teacher is there to help them through their work. It’s all in a safe space because it’s here. They use our space. Security is here at the front desk. Then we have youth who aren’t going to be worried about being bullied here. Or having to be distracted at school by worrying about ‘oh what pronouns are we using’ or ‘how am I dressing? I just get to come in and learn and get my high school diploma.’ It’s not a GED, it’s a real high school diploma. So that’s a great program that we have as well.”
“We can talk to the youth all day, but it’s not just the youth. So we also have a training program. So big organizations, like NASA, some state departments, Girl Scouts, and all these different organizations come in and train their staff on inclusivity, and LGBTQ+ 101. Because we know our youth are going to go into spaces and we want to create those spaces out in the community. We also started our parenting group. The group isn’t just for parents. It’s a trusted adult group. So, if you work at a school or if you’re an aunty or a family member who wants to support a youth in your family. Then It’s a support group. They have discussions. It’s run by a doctor. We just learn. Because I get calls all the time from a family member saying, ‘ I love this person. I just don’t know what to do and I don’t want to say the wrong thing. How do I walk through this?’ So, we provide that space where they can ask those questions and work through that. It’s been great. We also have a Binder Program so we get chest binders for some of our trans youth, including certain gender- affirming clothing. Which has been a life-changer for some of our youth because sometimes they can’t get a binder from their parents. Their parents are maybe not supportive of that and their transition. So they’re not buying things like binders. So we are able to provide that and then talk them through how to bind safely. We’re actually having a program this month on how to do that.”
Can you tell us a little bit about what we’re going to experience here today?
“So you are on a very short list of people who are seeing our youth center for the first time as it’s been renovated! So we moved into the center a few years ago. What we’ve realized is that we’ve grown so much. Because we’re now in Anthem, Flagstaff, and we’re going to think about Maryvale, Peoria, we’re in Litchfield. Because we’re expanding, we’re also bringing more staff on. We have created more offices, more work space so we can bring in more employees. We got an amazing grant through Choice Hotels, which helped us make some improvements. Then Discover gave us a grant on the theater system. They gave us theater lights because we love a variety show. We love a drag show. So now we have lights and a sound system throughout the space so that we can really do that with. We really expanded our music room. It’s like double the size now. Because we have a ton of musicians. So we have pianos, ukuleles, and guitars. And it’s just bigger and better. So that’s what you’re going to experience today is what we’ve been working on to make it better for our youth. And we are going to continue to do that.”
Any closing words you’d like to add?
“I just want to say, ’Thank you.’ It’s amazing to have folks in the community that are not just saying they’re supporters, but actually showing up, and even thinking outside the box of how else to partner and how else to help. So I think we need more of that in the community. During the pandemic, ‘let's do face masks,’ and ‘hey we have blankets.’ Thinking outside the box and thinking of ways to partner. I love that.”
Want to see how you can support One•n•ten? Click HERE to become a volunteer!
It was truly a one-of-a-kind experience seeing how this organization helps kids and young adults. They are really out here making the world safer, kinder and more educated! They teach long-term tools that are empowering and useful. They show these kids that there IS a place for them in this world and there is a welcoming community of like-minded individuals who really see them for how they want to be seen.
To us, that’s what life is all about. Feeling loved, accepted and empowered for who we are!
We can’t wait to get more involved with One•n•ten in the future! There’s even possible talks of involving them in our next Festival Farmer’s Market... rumored to happen next Fall! Stay tuned!
Want to become a BZ Babe? Join our Ambassador Program! We love to see it! Get to know us and get involved with our activities. With your help, who knows what we can achieve together!