Published on October 24, 2023  
Perry Kappy

Kappy Perry, a sophomore marketing major, is the owner of Made by Kappy and an affiliate in the Samford Startup student business incubator program. Through her handmade jewelry business, Perry aims to create unique pieces for women of all ages.

What is the story of your company? How did it start?

I started making jewelry back in 2018 after using all my Christmas money to buy beads to make jewelry for myself and my sisters. After a while school and life started trumping my time to make my jewelry so my jewelry things got packed away and stored in the attack. Two years later the COVID-19 pandemic hit and I was bored out of my mind with nothing to do in my house. I remembered that I had a whole box of untouched jewelry stuff in the attic so I pulled it out with no other intention except to give me a little something to do. Jewelry-making became my escape through the pandemic it was the one thing that allowed me to simply exist in my thoughts and be creative with no one else bothering me. I would spend hours at my desk that then converted from a school desk to a craft desk and I just made pieces that I loved not with the intent to sell but just because I loved creating them. My mom is the reason I started selling. She saw how much my jewelry was piling up so she began to show her friends my stuff and they would ask me to make their stuff or to buy what I had already created. That gave me the boost I needed to start selling my jewelry for real.

Why did you want to join the Samford Startup program?

I wanted to join the Startup program so that I could be around a group of other students who were also going through similar things as me being that they are also student entrepreneurs. I also loved the idea of mentorship and gaining a relationship with someone I could reach out to with little questions on how little things work in a business. Before the program, I was just figuring things out on my own but now I have a whole team of students and Dr. [Matt] Mazzei that I can text at any time and they will be there to help answer my questions. I also love the connections that the Samford Startup program creates. Everyone is in similar but also different fields so it is fun to work and problem-solve together and see where you can help someone out with the connections you have and where they can help you with the connections they have.

How has the Samford Startup program supported your business?

The Samford Startup program and truly Dr. Mazzei have been such amazing support that I never knew I needed. The program has allowed me to form connections with other like-minded student entrepreneurs who are experiencing the same things as I am and what it is like to run and balance a business, school, and social life. Dr. Mazzei has also done a great job of getting us connected with older entrepreneurs and businesses that we can bounce questions and ideas off of. The mentorship that Samford provides with the Startup program is like no other whether that be student on student, student on teacher, or student on outside mentor, this program has thought out the success of its students.

What has been the most challenging part of launching your business? How did you overcome this?

The most challenging part of launching my business has always been never quite thinking that what I have created is good enough. This is still something that I have to work on every time I make something new. But I overcame it by talking to friends and family and getting their honest feedback. Asking them for their honest opinion and being willing to take the feedback even if it feels harsh.

How has the Samford Startup program helped you grow professionally?

The Startup program has helped me grow by helping me get out of my comfort zone. Dr. Mazzei has really pushed us and me to act on our businesses. We should always be willing to take the next move for our business, that there is nothing scary about being told no you just turn around and try again somewhere else. This has been encouraging for me because that was not my mindset before but now knowing I have people on my team cheering me on I am okay with being turned down.

How has the Samford Startup program helped you achieve or exceed your business goals?

Dr. Mazzei always makes sure we have a goal that we are aiming for in our business. Whether it be big like opening a store or small like sending an email to a store owner he constantly is cheering us on to achieve our goals. Continually making goals has helped me to see how far my business has come even in just a few short months and how far I hope to see it go in the future.

Looking to the future, what do you envision for your business?

Hopefully, in the future, my jewelry will continue to increase in its store presence. I also am hoping that in the near future, my business will gain an online presence as well.

How do you see your company having an impact on the Samford and Birmingham communities?

I sell jewelry for all ages so I think it would make great gifts and a little happiness for anyone whether that be a Samford student, a grandmother or a little kid.

Learn more about Made by Kappy:

Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.