Lauren Conrad: Spreading a vision of entrepreneurship to women around the globe

Lauren Conrad can’t be put in a box. The former reality star turned entrepreneur, known for the MTV series Laguna Beach: The Real Orange County and The Hills, has launched a lifestyle brand and made a name for herself in fashion. Now she’s upping her efforts to help other women realize their entrepreneurial dreams.

Since 2009, Conrad has been the designer of the LC Lauren Conrad collection for Kohl’s, which features apparel, shoes, jewelry, and accessories. She also runs a lifestyle website at Laurenconrad.com and is a New York Times best-selling author of young adult fiction and beauty books.

Then, five years ago, her efforts took a more philanthropic turn. Conrad and her best friend, Hannah Skvarla, founded The Little Market, a nonprofit that works with female artisans around the globe to connect them with potential customers. The nonprofit’s mission is to help the artisans earn money to sustain their families while also helping to curb world poverty. To do that, The Little Market offers an online marketplace where artisans can feature their handmade items, many of which are created using cultural techniques.

Last September, Conrad and Skvarla expanded those efforts when they opened The Little Market’s first brick-and-mortar retail shop in Los Angeles. Opening the shop has been a longtime dream, Conrad told People magazine. “It’s such a great way to showcase all of the pieces. I think it’s such a powerful statement.”

Conrad is particularly proud of the difference The Little Market is making in the lives of women entrepreneurs. “Every purchase makes a direct change. Our purpose is really to serve as a platform for artisans all around the world to sell their goods.”

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