Bella + Sophia Clothing Review - Brands That Give

Fashion can sometimes be synonymous with vanity. The idea that fashion is only skin deep. People tend to think that fashion can’t change the world. Yet, a quote by Anne Klein takes this idea and turns it upside down. She explains that clothes aren't going to change the world. It’s the people who wear them that will.


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Bella+Sophia Clothing is an organization working to make an impact on the world around it. The founder, Jennifer Veguilla-Lezan is looking to change the world and how the world sees fashion.  The brand is a modern line of childrenswear dedicated to high quality, innovative and comfort design.The line  is based out of Chicago and focuses on sustainable and local sourcing supporting the Made in the USA label.  Yet, the brand goes beyond supporting local manufacturers and also focuses on making a difference in the community through youth outreach.


Go anywhere with this dress


Jennifer designs the line with a purpose and is inspired by her two daughters Bella & Sophia. At the heart of the business is a genuine desire to educate, reform & inspire the youth from underserved communities.As a young girl, Jennifer grew up in a low income, single mother home in a rough community in the "hood" of Chicago. She grew up around drugs, domestic abuse and gangs. Many people in her position don’t have many choices in the direction they can take their life. Yet, Jennifer has alwaysbeen a firm believer that people should never allow themselves to become victims of their circumstance. “I believe that it was because of this mentality that I always held and the fact that I was incredibly lucky to have teachers and guidance counselors that believed in me when most others would have thought that I was a lost cause that I was able to make it out of high school relatively unscathed.” – Jennifer Veguilla-Lezan


A dress for every occasion

As the first in her family to attend college and even graduate high school, she progressed farther than many expected. Yet, in her late teens and early twenties sehe faced debilitating depression and attempted to take my own life. “At 19 I was angry at my mom, I was angry at our life. I was frustrated that I worked so hard to see so very little. I was spiteful towards the men that hurt my mother and I was scared. I was heart broken after a relationship that I had, ended after almost 5 years. I had to be an adult before I could ever be a kid. I grew up fast. I started working at 14, moved out on my own at 17, graduated that same year, took on the care of my brother at 18, a year later I took in my mom and was just trying to make it through life.” – Jennifer Veguilla-Lezan


Flowers and more

After a moment of weakness, she spent a week in ICU. It gave her a lot of time to think. Time to ask herself what the heck was I thinking. Time to figure out what she was going to do. There was even time for a young nurse to pass judgment at her for my "stupidity". She was angry at her too, but now that she thinks about it, the nurses privilege blinded her. “So, I could never judge her. Just hope that as she progressed in her career that her experiences in hospitals have softened her heart and allowed her to grow.  I thought the only way out of the hardships was to end my life. I thought it would be easiest.”


A charming shirt

God had other plans for Jennifer. She is still here today because of that and because of an organization called 360 Youth Services (it was called Naperville Community Outreach when she was a client at 19). Life has a beautiful way of working out. It was because of the services that she received at 360  - when she was down and out, when she had no insurance and was tasked with growing up although she was still  a kid - that she was able to make it. “I was able to find light through the darkness, learn how to handle my emotions and channel them into productive things like my art, creativity and pursuing my goals.” – Jennifer Veguilla-Lezan


Casual with a flair

“I am the woman and the mother I am today because of the things I learned about myself through therapy and counseling, I wanted to bring it back full circle.” – Jennifer Veguilla-Lezan.  She knew that when she launched her line that she would make sure to funnel back any sales received directly to a program that helped other young people who may have faced similar circumstances as she did when she was a young girl.



“It just so happens that 360 was one of the few organizations that called me back when I started on this journey. When I met with them, I had a moment of clarity - 360 was NCO. It was like a sign that this was the charity I needed to work with.” – Jennifer Veguilla-Lezan Today, Jennifer does more than just offer a portion of her sales to the organization, but  she has had the honor of being a part of their mentoring program, working on the executive board of their coalition and being an ambassador for all that they do. “I am honored that they allow me to be a part of their family.”

 – Jennifer Veguilla-Lezan



Photos: Jennifer Veguillia-Lezan


Casual and lovely

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