A Black mother who previously spent time behind bars has received a $10,000 grant from Beyoncé’s BeyGOOD foundation to go toward her children’s underwear line.
According to Black Enterprise, Yolanda Perkins received the loan under BeyGOOD’s Black-Owned Small Business Impact Fund, which partnered with the NAACP and awarded grants to small business owners who were affected during the pandemic. The goal of the fund was “to help strengthen small businesses and ensure economic empowerment for Black businesses.”
Perkins created an underwear line for children after she went on a shopping trip with her young daughter and noticed there was a lack of diversity in the industry.
“She said, ‘I want something that looks like me on it. None of these characters look me,’ and she was right,” Perkins stated. Her idea to start Undies by BlendiTone was later launched in 2019. The undergarment company celebrates diversity by showcasing characters who look more like the consumer.
“All you have to do is believe AND take the first step. So glad that I didn’t give up on myself. The lessons I have learned over the years are the tools and resources I am using to build my brand,” Perkins said on the Undies by BlendiTone Facebook page. “I hope my story continues to encourage and inspire others to never give up!”
Perkins was one of several Black business owners who were awarded grants. Beyoncé and the NAACP gave away over $1 million for the initiative.
“Over the last couple of months, the pandemic and outpours for justice throughout the Black community and across the country has been felt in every imaginable area of our lives, including in how our local businesses continue to operate,” the NAACP website previously read. “The challenges of Black business owners navigating in the climate cannot be understated, as the effects of uprisings across the nation have led to many businesses being placed in dire straits due to damages and other small business needs.”