Designing For Us, By Us: Partnerships at The Cosmos Summit

The Cosmos Summit: Home–bound was designed from the ground up with the Asian women and gender non-binary community in mind. With so few spaces where we are seen and heard, we were excited by the opportunity to center our experiences while making history. Determined to create something powerful that honors our values and unique needs, we kicked off the creative process with a series of important questions.

What does a conference for us and by us look like?

How can we propel the richness of Asian culture and the diversity of the Asian diaspora into mainstream consciousness?

What stories do we want to tell?

It takes a village to produce a large-scale event. But it takes an extra special village to do so in The Cosmos way - that is, with intention, intimacy, and care. Our top priority is to advocate for the authentic representation and culture change we deserve so it was important for our community to see themselves reflected in not just some, but all of the programming - including our brand partner activations. So of course, we brought this ethos into our partnerships!

We knew we couldn’t and shouldn’t do it alone. And thankfully, we didn’t have to. We are proud to have formed meaningful relationships with 7 mission-aligned brands to make magic! Each of our brand partners showed up to the conversations truly inspired to co-create with us, and the outcome was incredible. Scroll down to relive the custom activations that brought so much joy to The Cosmos Summit!

Interested in partnering with The Cosmos? Send us an email at hello@jointhecosmos.com - we’d love to hear from you!

 

Networking on Your Terms with Bumble Bizz

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Let's face it. There's nothing scarier that going to an event and wondering how you'll make friends or the professional connections you deserve. Plus traditional forms of “networking” can feel forced, stressful, and downright intimidating!

To help facilitate meaningful connections and make a large-scale conference feel more intimate, we partnered with Bumble Bizz. We love their mission of placing the power to choose when and how we connect into the hands of women and gender non-binary folks.

Here are 3 ways we partnered with Bumble Bizz to support our attendees:

  1. Create a thoughtful and high-quality Bizz profile: We created a custom co-branded worksheet to help attendees reflect on their careers and design a profile aligned with their goals. This provided attendees an opportunity to download the app and get familiarized with the features prior to the event.

  2. Find the support you need when you need it: On the day of The Cosmos Summit, attendees used the app to swipe, match, and meet one another. Rather than leave networking to chance, attendees were able to access people of all backgrounds and industries at the touch of their fingertips. Our Cosmos Market vendors were also on the app, which enabled them to drive awareness for their brands and make sales through these connections.

  3. Get 1:1 attention to uplevel your career: Attendees signed up for 1:1 profile consultations at the Bumble Bizz Lounge to receive personalized support. Many came with questions and walked away with a better understanding of how to use the app to create the careers they deserve!

 

Practicing Mindfulness with Papa & Barkley

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No matter how you design it, daylong conferences are exhausting. From traveling to meeting lots of new people to digesting educational content, conferences make for a highly stimulating environment that can overwhelm both introverts and extroverts. This makes mental health and self-care practices not only relevant, but necessary for our attendees to feel supported throughout their day.

Furthermore, we know that mental health is an incredibly important topic within the AAPI community. Cosmos members crave access to information, products, and services that can meet their needs and help them navigate the confusing world of wellness. We’re constantly on the lookout for brands that can empower our members to practice agency for personal wellbeing, which is why we were so excited to work with Papa & Barkley.

Here are 3 ways we partnered with Papa & Barkley to support our attendees:

  1. De-stigmatize CBD: There’s a lot of misinformation around CBD and the cannabis plant at large! To promote a better understanding of the plant, P&B hosted a CBD 101 Workshop. Attendees got to dive into the science behind cannabis, learn how CBD works with their bodies to promote recovery, and get their burning questions answered by a professional.

  2. Practice mindfulness: The Cosmos Summit was an exciting and high-energy environment… which meant our nervous systems were working hard! To facilitate recovery, P&B led 3 CBD Meditations which gave attendees an opportunity to tune in and regain a sense of calm.

  3. Recover and recharge in community: Papa & Barkley’s Recovery Lounge provided a beautiful and safe space for attendees to take a break from the programming. Over delicious fizzy lemonade CBD tinctures, attendees were invited to craft mini bouquets with incense, eucalyptus, lavender, and crystals. There was no pressure to talk and many savored the much-needed alone time before hopping back into the day!

 

Going Skin Deep with Orcé Cosmetics

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Despite the millions of Youtube videos we’ve watched at home, we still have so many make-up questions! As Asians, we have unique facial features, skin tones, and skin concerns that have not been addressed with products on the market or content in mainstream media. That’s why we were so excited to partner with Orcé Cosmetics, an Asian woman founded beauty brand creating products specially formulated to reveal and enhance Asian complexions.

Inspired by the blank space that exists between K-beauty/J-beauty brands and mainstream American/European beauty houses, founder Yu-Chen Shih (Cosmos LA member and Cosmos Retreat alumna!) wanted to create a product to bridge the gap while also promoting body positivity, self-love, and celebration of all skin tones in the Asian diaspora.

Together at The Cosmos Summit, we created an experience that was both fun and empowering. Renowned make-up artist Renee Lee hosted 3 make-up masterclasses on topics like “How to Find Your Perfect Foundation Shade”, “How to Optimize Your Unique Eye Shape Using Makeup”, and “How to Contour & Highlight”, all of which were tailored to Asian features. Orcé also provided shade matching consultations all day long to help attendees find their color and feel the product on their own skin!

EXCLUSIVE OFFER FROM ORCE: We are so grateful to be a part of The Cosmos community and would like to thank all the amazing attendees who participated in our Orcé beauty masterclasses. We would like to extend a special storewide discount as a token of our gratitude for all of your support. Valid until September 16, please use the discount code THECOSMOS15 on our website here to receive 15% off any full-size foundations.

 

Sipping Slow with Three Gems Tea

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Tea is a deliciously fundamental part of Asian culture. Many of us grew up sharing cups over the dinner table with family or in passing hours with friends. Similar to wine, there are so many varietals and flavors to try so it’s no wonder that tea has become one of the most popular beverages in the world. But as our lives become increasingly digitized, disconnected, and fast-paced, how can we revive tea culture to bring the art of taking things slow back to center?

Introducing Three Gems Tea, a new tea brand founded by Diana Zheng, Daphne Wu, and Ayumi Takahashi - 3 Asian women (who are also Cosmos members!) who each have unique personal stories connecting them to tea culture. United by their passion for helping people discover the everyday magic of a shared tea break, these 3 founders launched Three Gems Tea with a line of high-quality loose leaf teas and unique teaware. At The Cosmos Summit, they hosted intimate mini gong fu tea ceremonies for groups of 6 and served yummy cold brew tea all afternoon long! Attendees were welcomed to sip the good stuff, enjoy with company, and take their sweet time.

EXCLUSIVE OFFER FROM THREE GEMS TEA: Daphne and Diana loved bringing Three Gems Tea to the Cosmos Summit (Ayumi joined us in spirit!). Thank you to everyone who connected with us during a sit-down gong fu tea session, or who stopped by our table for a taste of our oolongs. Our Kickstarter campaign is still going strong and we’re aiming to hit our stretch goal of $23,333 by 9/19. Here’s why that additional funding would be crucial to our growth! 

As a thank you to everyone in the Cosmos orbit who helps us get to our finish line, we’ll be gifting 3 additional teas to one lucky backer! Whether you’ve already pledged or are now planning to, send us a message through Kickstarter with “Cosmos giveaway” and the date of your pledge to enter. We’ll randomly draw one winner after our campaign ends!

 

Celebrating Our Features with Covry Eyewear

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What is it like to have eyewear that won’t slide down our faces? As silly as this question might seem, for many Asian folks, it can be a real challenge to find stylish frames that fit!

The need to design products for us and by us becomes really self-evident when you consider the incredible diversity in facial features from person to person. For a long time, shopping for eyewear was a seemingly impossible task within the Asian community, particularly for those of us with higher cheekbones and lower nose bridges. Standard frames on the market tend to slide off of our faces, creating lots hassle and smudges on our frames.

This journey to finding the perfect fit is what inspired Covry Eyewear’s founders Florence Shin and Athina Wang to tackle the eyewear industry! Through two years of research, they created Elevated Fit® featuring longer nose pads, a reduced frame curvature and a narrowed nose bridge for an effortless fit that won’t budge.

At The Cosmos Summit, attendees got the chance to try on a selection of frames (both sunglasses and specs) to experience the benefits of Elevated Fit® for themselves. Covry also brought in a fun headshot station to capture attendees in their bright outfits and even brighter smiles!

Did you sign up for a headshot with Covry? Download your images here today. Thank you to photographer Jenny Hwang for capturing us so gorgeously!

EXCLUSIVE OFFER FROM COVRY EYEWEAR: To receive $15 off any frame purchase, use promo code COSMOS online today! Valid now through September 30th, 2019. Cannot be combined with any other offers. Curious which frames are best for you? Don’t forget to check out their Home Try-on program.

 

Tapping into Creativity with Wonton in a Million

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Wonton In A Million (WIAM) was born in April 2015 when founder Cynthia Koo found herself eating at Oriental Garden (a dim sum restaurant in Chinatown, Manhattan) wondering, "Wouldn't it be great if there were punny, dimsum greeting cards?" Inspired by her dad’s story of coming to the US in the 1980s, working up the ranks of the restaurant from busboy to manager, Cynthia created WIAM at a time when Chinatown is rapidly gentrifying. Through her illustrations, she hopes to introduce dimsum to the world, to bring people (back) into the Chinatown neighborhood she grew up in, and to spread the love of this beloved cuisine and cultural ritual.

A former UI/UX designer, Cynthia started WIAM as a 365 day project on Instagram. Now, you can find her designs on her online store, in retailers like Pearl River Mart and MOCA in NYC, and in Michael’s stores nationwide!

We partnered with WIAM at The Cosmos Summit to set up a community crafting station where attendees could sit down, craft their own greeting cards, and tap into their inner child. As adults, it can be hard to carve out time to re-connect with our imagination. Yet creativity can be a powerful tool for creating change, and arts and crafts can empower us to share stories that extend well beyond words. Afterwards, attendees got the chance to snap a fun Polaroid photo with some of their favorite WIAM characters to include in The Cosmos Summit scrapbook!

EXCLUSIVE OFFER FROM WIAM: Use promo code “COSMOS15” to receive 15% off your purchase online!

 

Lyft x The Cosmos Summit Scholarship Fund

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We’d like to extend a special thank you to Lyft for partnering with us to fully fund 15 scholarship applicants. With the combined support of Lyft, The Cosmos, and private donors, we were able to offer a total of 50 scholarship tickets to increase accessibility and promote inclusivity at The Cosmos Summit. We are grateful to work with partners who believe in investing in our community’s talent as much as we do.

Lyft also provided ride credits to support our attendees, speakers, volunteers and team in getting transportation to and from the venue.