I’d like to say a quick Hello + give you a little background of how Kendra, INC began and why I have so much love for supporting women in business. There has been so much work that has gone into where I am today, it’s crazy to think its already been 10 years!
I’m originally from Bemidji, MN (yes, you read that right!) and I started my first business at 23 years old. Urban Essence Interiors was a design company that offered high-end custom wall finishes, painting, interior design and cabinetry refinishing. In 2013, I added Urbanesque Boutique to the mix and started in a 800 sq ft “long hallway”. After opening the doors for just 3 days, I completely sold out of my inventory and had to close until my new inventory arrived. Great way to start a new business, right?!
That 800 sq. ft store turned into 3300 sq. ft just a year-and-a-half later and in November of 2016, after going through a divorce and moving four hours away with my then 3 and 1 year old girls, I decided it was time to sell the shop. I will say, it never felt right putting that chapter to a close and I always felt a tug in my heart that an opportunity would present itself again. Not only that but my Grandma Helen was such a fan of the boutique and loved sharing it with all of her friends. Back in her day she was quite the fashionista and if you scroll down below, you’ll see photos. She always had her bright red lipstick on, her nails painted and giant plastic beads around her neck. She was the queen of the flashy clip on earrings and her hair was always primped and permed until the day she became our guardian angel. Grandma Helen was 97 when she passed away in Aug. 2017 and by September I knew that I was going to launch an online store in her honor. My grandma was funny and stubborn and LOVED speaking her mind so the phrase “Oh, helen” was something we often said. It was the perfect name to call the new store.
It has been an incredibly fun journey with Oh, helen boutique so far and I love that I’ve been able to run it full-time from home while raising my now 7 and 5 year old girls. We started a little side business of their own “Emery + Grace Collection” and we’re still tweaking things to fit just right into the Kendra, INC brand.
After starting the online boutique. I had many women ask me about a box subscription. I had never done anything like it before so I asked a small number of women if they’d want to be a “guinea pig” and soon 36 boxes were going out the door. Once I saw how excited women were, I thought “How fun would it be to get other women business owners involved?” and that’s when the Top Knot Tribebox came to life. Networking with other women owned businesses has been a passion of mine for many years. Being able to share the vision of the #Tribebox was something that came so naturally for me and it’s becoming such a fun platform to showcase women in business.
Having the opportunity to share other women business owners + their products in the #tribebox was such a lightbulb moment for me. Not only are we creating an opportunity for these women, we are creating a "tribe" to network inside our group all over the world. That’s where the Top Knot Tribe comes in. The mantra is “throw your hair in a bun + get stuff done” because as a multi-passionate entrepreneur, its what ya gotta do! I’m excited to announce that the Top Knot Tribe “Boutique in a Box” Course just launched for the Kendra, INC brand as I now to get TEACH women how to start their own ‘boutique style’ business from home!
If you are wondering what the “behind the scenes” scoop is, you would never guess that the entire processing, shipping, tagging, packaging, buying, order filling, box stuffing, course teaching, etc. happens from the comfort of my home here in beautiful (and sometimes very cold) Minnesota.
Cheers to many up + coming adventures with the Kendra, Inc. brand and I can’t wait for you to fall in love with your goods that come shipped with love in our adorable floral + navy packaging from the entire 'K' tribe here. I am so excited to continue this journey in helping women to ‘Crush their Life | Business Goals.’
Thank you again for taking the time to support this girls big dream. It’s been nothing short of an amazing experience and I can’t wait to continue sharing more with you on this journey.
With Love + Grace,
Kendra, Kenley + Kayden
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