Business Profile: Uzuri Kidz Kids

Melissa Perkins

Melissa Perkins

Uzuri Kidz Kids

Melissa Perkins was born to be an Entrepreneur.  As a little girl, Perkins caught the enterprise bug as a result of her selling candy and performing odd jobs.  Melissa said as long as she can remember she loves creating and selling things. Creating things was apparent as Melissa with her sister Adria formed Uzuri Kid Kidz an African American Party Supply & Accessories Company.  Perkins said she created Uzuri Kid Kidz to ensure that children of color could celebrate with positive images that mirrored their lifestyle. Thus, one of her goals was to address the absence of African American products on store shelves, which Perkins accomplished through selling her product line to the following retailers: Kroger, Wal-Mart, Birthday in a Box, Birthday Express and other small businesses in the United Kingdom.

Melissa’s business accomplishments have been featured and celebrated in African American publications such as Essence Magazine, Sister to Sister, Ebony Magazine and Black Enterprise.

Things were going well for Melissa & Uzuri Kid Kidz brand; therefore, in 2008, she decided to execute her buyout papers that had been sitting in her desk for two years. Perkins said that her mentor Donald Tidwell said that one of her first order of business as a full-time entrepreneur was to get her MBE, LEDE and EDGE  certifications. These certifications would enable her  to sell her products to both public and private sectors buyers.

Perkins took her mentor’s advice, supporting her in making her first sell to the Columbus City Schools.  Principal Barbra Blake saw Perkins’ product in Kroger and wanted a tee shirt design for her students.  Following Principal Blake’s requirements Perkins designed an incentive tee shirt for the students.  Melissa said she is graceful to Barbra Blake for giving her a chance.   After her initial work with Principal Blake things for Perkins began to blossom as she picked up more school and more small business.

After a while, Perkins felt it was necessary to develop a spin-off of Uzuri Kid Kidz; thus, creating the brand Uzuri Enterprise. Uzuri Kid Kidz the parent company would continue to hold most of the certifications, and continue to focus on children’s product.  Uzuri Enterprise would now focus on the endeavor of providing a service focused on the acquisition and supply of broader promotional products for private and public businesses.  Under the banner of Uzuri Enterprise, Perkins has supplied promotional products to corporate, public and private clients including Ohio prisons.   Products which Melissa has supplied includes: Label Pins, Portfolios, Corporate Apparels and Uniforms, as well as the Tote bags used for the 2014 Black Enterprise Small Business conference.  Perkins has said that her promotional product business continues to out pace her children’s line.

 

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