Aubrey Larkin: UMKC Sophomore & Small Business Owner

People go to college with the hopes of scoring a professional career, but UMKC sophomore Aubrey Larkin is one step ahead of the game. During her senior year of high school, Aubrey created her own clothing boutique -  Aubrey’s Attic Co. Since 2017, Aubrey has been selling clothes and accessories online and at different pop-up shows around the area. I sat down with her to learn how she balances her career life as well as her student life.

 

1. What inspired you to create your own business?

“Whenever I was in 6th grade, I went into my first clothing boutique and it was a really magical experience for me. My mom bought me one thing and I remember thinking how special it was to get this one really cool sweater. It was always a really special experience for me and my mom to go to this clothing boutique. From the first time I went in there, I knew that I wanted to do this when I was older. I started blogging in high school to get my foot in the door and it just evolved super quickly.”

 

2. How do you manage to be a student and a businesswoman?

“There’s so many aspects to running a business that it is really, really difficult. Coping with the failures that come along with business is really, really hard too because you put so much of yourself into something and if people don’t like it, then you wonder ‘What am I doing wrong?’.' “I really have to map up everything on my agenda. I have to have it written down or I will forget it. Having a really strong support system, such as my mom, has been amazing for me. She does so much day to day stuff for me. All the orders get shipped to her house, so she helps me with a lot of things behind the scenes.”

 

3. Who inspires you as a businesswoman?

“My mom, 100 percent. She’s helped me with everything along the way. I would have no clue what I was doing if it wasn’t for her. She sends me forms I need to fill out all the time and she has been my biggest cheerleader in this entire process. She’s never once questioned me and she’s always been really supportive.”

 

4. What inspired you to create your Girls Supporting Girls ChariTEE Campaign benefitting Kansas City’s chapter of Philanthropic Educational Organization (PEO)? What is PEO?

PEO is a women’s organization that provides scholarships for women and sponsors Cottey College. When I was in high school, I got scholarship money from them so I wanted to give back.”

5. Has UMKC’s Entrepreneurship program allowed you to focus more on Aubrey’s Attic Co?

“Absolutely! UMKC has people that think the same way that I do. I’ve met a lot of motivated individuals that want to start businesses or are starting businesses. I’ve met a lot of people who have similar interests as me.”

 

6. What do you love the most about living in Kansas City?

“There’s so many pop-up opportunities and opportunities to collaborate with other people. There’s a lot of bloggers and small businesses and amazing people that are so talented around here. People here feel like they need to jump start their career sooner. UMKC has a lot students who are very, very motivated career wise and you don’t find that at every college campus.”

 

7. What are your favorite places to shop in Kansas City?

“Definitely Von Maur and Dillards. For boutique clothing, I love to go over to Brookside and shop at all the small shops over there. My favorite boutique is in Liberty. It’s called Catfish and Tater. I do try to shop from a lot of smaller stores and lately with Aubrey’s Attic Co. having a lot of items, I just wear a lot of stuff that I sell.”

 

8. Do you have any advice for college students who want to start their own business?

“Be authentic to who are you and don’t obsess over what everyone has to say about it! Also, make sure that your business aligns with your passion. Your business is not just a source of income.”

You can shop Aubrey’s Attic Co. online and at Array KC on the Plaza. Aubrey’s Attic Co. will be having pop-up shows over the next month at the Chick Event in Zona Rosa from Friday, November 30th- Sunday, December 2nd and at Bella Patina in the West Bottoms from Friday, December 7th-Sunday, December 9th from 8:30 am-4 pm.

 

Make sure to follow Aubrey’s Attic Co. on Instagram and Facebook for more updates!