Brand Collaborations for the Greater Good

LAB Talks Sept 2020 Greater Good

Moderated by Emily Gilmore (Still Kickin) with Ini Iyamba (Faribault Woolen Mills) and Jeffrey Moores (Greater Twin Cities United Way) along with Christie Covarrubias (Sun50) and Jazmine Smith (Eyekonz Sports).

Everyone is increasingly holding brands accountable for their much needed action and platforms when it comes to supporting important causes and charities. Consumers want brands that care. When brands pair with charities or non-profits, the results can be exponential and the conversation continued. We are hosting an inspiring conversation about how we can purposely and authentically execute brand collaborations for impactful give backs. The work of this panel is unreal and truly inspiring with their purpose and passion. Let’s explore the power and positive impact of their collaborations as they are proof that we are better together. 

Emily Gilmore


Emily serves as Board Chair for Still Kickin and in her day job, she works in a Capability Management role at PepsiCo. Still Kickin gives individuals a voice to tell their own story free of pity, free of ‘I’m so sorry’, Emily’s real life experiences and understanding of the power of perseverance fuels her passion as an invaluable member of the Still Kickin organization. 
Still Kickin is a retail-based nonprofit that helps awesome people going through awful things. Its mission is to build a braver, more supportive world.

“If you take action, you can make a difference.”

– Emily Gilmore

Ini Iyamba


Ini has been a pillar of the MN community for over 25 years and at the forefront of all things fashion in the Twin Cities. Most recently he was named Vice President of Merchandising for Faribault Woolen Mills and is looking forward to building on the brand’s 155 years of heritage. Art, fashion, and social issues have played a significant role in Iyamba’s life and work – including passion projects MN4MN, Right Justified and the “Do What Is Right” blanket.

“This is not a moment, it is a movement.” 

– Ini Iyamba

Jeffrey Moores

Greater Twin Cities United Way | @UNITEDWAYTC

Passionate about connecting people with causes they care about, Jeff has served as both a leader of fundraising strategy and a driver of individual relationships for the Greater Twin Cities United Way. This includes building strategies for United Way’s giving communities (Arise Project, Women United, and Emerging Leaders) and creating pathways for United Way to engage new audiences through annual campaigns.

Jeffrey Moores

Christie Covarrubias


Having lost a family member at a young age to melanoma,Christie is passionate about elevating the importance of sun-safe practices and annual skin checks. After an extensive career as a marketing executive with national and international brands, she decided to create a brand with more direct impact and personal meaning. My belief is you must choose an interest, whether a hobby, career or pastime, that aligns with your heart. I feel this way about Sun50.

Sun50 is based in Minneapolis practicing “slow fashion” with all products sustainably sourced, socially impactful, featuring fashion-forward UPF and cut and sewn in Los Angeles, CA.

“It’s very easy to partner when it comes from the heart and when the passion comes from both collaborators.”

– Christie Covarrubias

Jazmine Smith

Eyekonz Sports | @EYEKONZSPORTS

Founder and CEO of Eyekonz Sports, Jazmine first began playing field hockey, lacrosse and basketball at the tender age of 7, and knows firsthand what opportunities were provided and allotted to her by playing these sports. As an African-American woman, the opportunity to play opened up her world view and allowed her to learn about different cultures across the globe. This inspired Jaz to create a field hockey and lacrosse league for girls of color to serve the same purpose for them as it did for her – and be a beacon of light and catalyst for growth and change to many young ladies. 

“We don’t just teach them the game. We prepare them for life.”

– Eyekonz Sports

LAB Talks is a free monthly event curated by LAB in partnership with Hennepin Made and Parallel Cafe. Currently a virtual affair designed to kickstart your day and get you fueled on inspiration and passion, LABTalks celebrates local connections and perspectives – simply, people doing great things. Candid inspiring conversation and good company are always guaranteed.