Growing up in Minnesota, Kendra Williams watched her father start his own business while her mother worked in accounting and helped him with marketing. From the start, Williams knew entrepreneurship would play a huge role in her own life.
“Are you born an entrepreneur or are you created?” Williams, senior business administration major with an emphasis in entrepreneurship, said. “I believe it’s a little of both. I was born an entrepreneur, but my dad sculpted my passion.”
Williams is in the process of creating her own venture.
“DNA bands are the next fad,” Williams said. “I’m working on combining mood jewelry with meaningful representations of people’s personalities.”
Using her own genetic defect as an example, Williams said people are interested in recognizing disabilities, but also strengths. She believes adding a color code to her jewelry will reflect the children’s personalities.
“I was known as the girl with 12 toes,” Williams said. “I wasn’t known as the fun girl, so I want to work with kids who are sick and give them a bracelet that says, ‘You overcame this. You are strong. You are fighting through asthma or autism or a learning difficulty.’”
Williams moved to Kansas City to be closer to her fiancé, who works in the city. She said she chose UMKC because of the Henry W. Bloch School of Management.
“I knew I wanted to be an entrepreneur, so the Bloch school was the school to go to,” Williams said.
She started with an idea to create a photography database.
“I quickly learned I did not have the skill set to follow through with my idea,” Williams said. “After a couple ideas I had to BS my way through, I finally found something I can produce, and this product has been really fun for me.”
Williams has kept her budget low and applied for the Entrepreneur of the Year and UMKC Ambassador program to provide a greater sum of finances.
“My goal is to make $524 from my product,” Williams said. “That will cover my rent for one month.”
So far, she has spent $5 on crayons and plans to spend $30 on silicon to make the bands.
“I want to encourage people who are starting on a venture to start with a little financial investment and just see progress,” Williams said. “I’m excited to lose $35.”