by Patricia O’Dell
Aubrey Larkin has turned her entrepreneurial efforts to help the UMKC student assistance fund through design and sale of a new T-shirt
Like many UMKC students, Aubrey Larkin is living at home, going to Zoom classes online and hoping and waiting for the COVID-19 crisis to subside. But Larkin, who says she comes from a long line of entrepreneurs, mobilized her online shop, Aubrey’s Attic Company, to create a product that will help students in need.
“I’ve been in business almost my whole life,” Larkin said. “Since I was young, I’ve been selling things – lemonade, cards, art.”
Larkin developed a love for fashion in middle school, and in her senior year of high school, she started a blog featuring products, trends and looks she liked. Her business developed from there.
“My senior year in high school, I decided to turn the blog into a business. I researched wholesalers and turned the site into a store.”
When the coronavirus began to spread, she wanted to be a part of the community that was helping.
“My mom and so many of our friends were making masks,” she said. “I wanted to contribute. I started looking for a way I could help UMKC students. I knew a lot of people who were struggling financially.”
Her mother discovered the UMKC Student Emergency Relief Fund, and after doing some research, Larkin knew that was the best place to direct her support.
“I have a great platform on Instagram, and I knew I could create awareness for both sides – people who needed the help and people who could donate.”
Larkin designed a black T-shirt with the phrase, “Staying in is cool.” in bold white text. The shirts retail for $34 and all the profit – $14 per shirt – will go directly to the student relief fund.
“I didn’t want to make money of this myself,” Larkin says. “I just want to reach as many people who can buy them – and help students – as I can.”
“I am continually amazed by the creativeness and thoughtfulness of our students, and Aubrey represents that ingenuity,” said Lisa Baronio, president of the UMKC Foundation. “Together, UMKC will survive COVID-19. We are grateful for all of our students. I am looking forward to proudly wearing my own awareness T-shirt that will benefit our students.”