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Undies by Blenditone: Local woman’s company recognized by Beyonce’s foundation

A mother struggling to find clothing that represented her own children came up with a business idea and started her own company – several of them.

Once jobless, Yolanda Perkins is proof that success often starts with failure.

And now, she has the backing of a star.

When Perkins started her kids’ underwear line — Undies by Blenditone — she did it with her daughter in mind.

“What I saw was the same character,” Perkins said. “Princess Tiana, Doc McStuffins, and while I’m not dismissing that at all, or even Moana, while I’m not dismissing any of that at all, what I wanted to portray and what I wanted to see was somebody that looked like my daughter.”

Like any good entrepreneur, she noticed a gap in the market.

Now her up-and-coming business is thriving and even got a multi-platinum singer Beyoncé’s attention.

“Queen Bey,” as Beyoncé is called, believes in what Perkins is doing, even sending her company a $10,000 grant from her foundation.

“I am honored, so many different emotions, to know that my little small brand has been recognized by Beyoncé’s foundation, which means that at some point she had to know about us, she has to know about us,” Perkins said.

Her journey to get here wasn’t easy.

It starts in prison where Perkins spent three years for stolen credit card fraud. When she got out, she faced more challenges.

“I applied for hundreds of jobs. I say at least 200 but it was probably more,” she said.

She was denied, and that pushed her to keep trying. She eventually found a job, went back to school, and got her doctorate in education.

“When I left prison, I did not want to go back. I was like I’m never going back; never, never,” Perkins said.

Perkins will return this year, though, on her own terms to speak to women in prison in hopes that she will inspire them.

“I will be going back to speak at the very same prison that I was at in hopes of inspiring women that are being released or preparing to be released so that they can hear my story and know that I was there just like them,” she said.

Her goal is to offer people second chances, meaning someday she hopes to be the one who tells a person just released from prison “yes” when they apply for a job.

MORE: Visit Undies by Blenditone here.

Reporter:Brea Hollingsworth
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