August 30, 2011

Inconceivable Style: Condom Jewelry & Fashion

Posted in Employees, Events at 2:03 pm by Lund

Story & Photos By Cat Cutillo

Sarah Hoffert and Angie Hilow are tackling the inconceivable: Creating jewelry that’s fun, fashionable and prevents teen pregnancy.

They’ve created a line of condom-centered styles, which includes earrings, necklaces, boutonnieres, headbands and even a condom dress that is fashionable and 100% usable.

“We wanted to make it as easy as possible for someone to go out and feel great and to put on a splashy piece of jewelry that is different and fun and at the same time gives them easy access to condoms,” says Hoffert, the Teen Pregnancy and Outreach Specialist for Lund Family Center.

Hoffert says the condom creations are a way to celebrate Vermont teens making great decisions around safer sex. In fact, Vermont has the second lowest teen pregnancy rate in the entire country, and of the 40% of Vermont teens that have had sex, 65% use condoms.

“There are not a lot of opportunities to celebrate when it comes to teen pregnancy prevention, but we have this great local arts festival and part of it is a fashion show. We thought what a better way to promote how well Vermont is doing and to talk about the great decisions teens are making,” says Hoffert.

29-year-old Hoffert and 16-year-old Hilow, who is the Outreach Assistant, consider themselves the dream team fusing a multi-generational fashion viewpoint into each accessory.

“I am so lucky to have a 16-year-old perspective,” says Hoffert. “(Angie) is the height of cool so I always know if I’m going in the wrong direction she will bring me back. We’re really a dream team because we represent two women but different age groups and different populations that use condoms and we’re really have a fun time being creative and taking fashion risks with condoms,” says Hoffert.

Hilow says its been a lesson in thinking outside-the-box, “Nobody wears condoms but why not,” she says.

And as for the future, Hoffert and Hilow are hoping the Art Hop debut of their outside-the-box thinking will generate much more than a fashion trend.

“People (often) have this idea that teens are acting crazy and they don’t have an accurate idea of how great teens are doing in Vermont,” says Hoffert. “We’re trying to present a more accurate perception because we’re on the right track.”

Come see it at the Art Hop Strut Fashion Show:
Saturday, September 10th 2011
Under the SEABA tent
Behind the Maltex Building
431 Pine Street, Burlington, VT
SHOWTIMES 6:30 & 8:30 PM
$12 admission or $5 with an Art Hop Hero Button

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