The Beyoncé Effect is definitely real. From college lectures to pop culture references, The Queen Bee’s effect on the pop culture zeitgeist cannot be denied.
But for Yolanda Perkins, the “Black is King” goddess provided her something else: a chance at a real life.
She was one of the recipients of the NAACP and BeyGood Impact Award, which allowed her to raise startup funding for Undies by BlendiTone, her children’s underwear line.
Perkins got the idea to create the underwear line after a shopping trip with her then-six-year-old daughter. Her daughter remarked that “none of the characters looked like her,” according to BlackNews, which made Perkins want to change that.
View this post on Instagram
“I see the reaction from my kids when they see faces that actually look like theirs on their underwear, not a Disney character that doesn’t look like them. It’s a sense of empowerment, and I want to give that to Black kids all over the world with this line,” she said.
Though Perkins had some social media success with her line prior to receiving the coveted award, she knew that without the help of Beyoncé — via her BeyGood foundation — she wouldn’t have been able to get the funding she desperately needed to make her brand a success. As a former inmate, Perkins also knows what it’s like to battle the stigmas that come with making mistakes.
“My vision is to bring all production and distribution in-house so I can give job opportunities to returning citizens like me. I understand how hard it can be fighting against that stigma when you’ve made some bad decisions in your life, and I want to be able to give people the second chance they need to move on in a positive direction,” she said.
According to Black News, on top of making sure there is representation in her industry as an entrepreneur, she also helps former inmates like herself work toward restoration.