Kelly Partridge doesn’t want Contribution Clothing to be just another online boutique. She wants to build a community of women who feel empowered, beautiful and supported. Her unique background in nonprofit management and graphic design collided into a social enterprise that sells apparel and accessories for women of all shapes and sizes while supporting the local community.
Contribution Clothing gives 15 percent of their quarterly net profits to nonprofit organizations in western Massachusetts, where it was founded this June. “We also offer fair trade items which allows us to support women on an international level,” Partridge said.
She first came up with the idea for the company back in 2016. Like so many other entrepreneurs, Partridge, 31, was afraid to share her idea with anyone. What if she was told, “it won’t work” or “you can’t do it?” But, she discovered the opposite to be true once she pressed past her fears.
“I found the more I talked about it, the more confident I became and the more connections I made. Now I can’t stop talking about it,” Partridge said. “I feel very grateful that I was able to find a tribe of people who have been supportive and more than willing to guide me through the process. I hope to be one of those people for someone else someday. Starting a new business venture is scary and having amazing support is so important.”
She bankrolled the company on her own, saving money from her day job to cover start-up costs and Contribution Clothing is already projected to do $90,000 in revenue by the end of its first year. Dress for Success of Western Massachusetts was the recipient of the boutique’s first charitable donation. And, Partridge isn’t stopping there. She’s already cooking up philanthropy ideas with her alma mater.
“Contribution Clothing is working with Bay Path University to provide an annual scholarship award to people who identify as women who are attending the university. I really enjoyed my education there and as an alumnus, it is my way of giving back,” she said.