Cherri Perkins Alumni Profile
Apparel Design and Manufacturing alumna inspires women through activewear line.
On October 13, 2017 Apparel Design and Manufacturing alumna Cherri Perkins started her own e-commerce clothing line called Built in Beauty. The athleisure line was created to help women build confidence, create a positive mentality, and find the beauty within themselves. Since Built in Beauty's debut, three shirts have been added to the collection.
"I plan on releasing a pair of leggings early February," Cherri said. "Then I plan on releasing small collections throughout the year to always keep new inventory."
Cherri got her start as an Apparel Design and Manufacturing major in the College of Human Sciences. Cherri still pulls out her old pattern and reference books from school when she gets stuck on a design.
Cherri says at times she misses the long days and nights in school when she would work diligently to perfect her dress forms. Cherri's professors would make sure every seam on every hem was perfect; something Cherri appreciates now that she's designing her own clothing line.
Cherri had a hard time finding her niche in the fashion world after graduating in 2014, so she became a certified personal trainer. Knowing Cherri's background in fashion design, her clients at the gym began asking her to design workout clothes they could feel confident and comfortable wearing. This inspired Cherri to start her own fashion line.
In the beginning, people told Cherri that her dreams were unrealistic and that she couldn't do it, but Cherri didn't listen. Cherri ignored those who doubted her and set out to prove them wrong.
"I sat on it for too long because I was afraid. I finally took a leap of faith in summer of 2017 and designed, created patterns, found fabric and a manufacturer."
Cherri wanted to create a line of clothing that women could feel confident wearing in a fitness setting or in their daily lives, so she started Built in Beauty. Cherri does everything for the business; she designs the garments, updates inventory, makes patterns, and sources the fabrics and manufacturers. Cherri does whatever it takes to keep Built in Beauty running. Cherri aims to one day quit her side job, and focus fully on Built in Beauty and personal training.
"I won't lie, it does get tough. The business owner life comes with restless or long nights, stress, and constantly asking yourself why you are doing this. The excitement, working for yourself, the pride that also comes with owning a business far outweighs the negatives."
If Cherri could give advice to students in a similar position, she would tell them to never give up.
"You may want to quit, but don't. If it is something you absolutely love, keep pushing. Stick with it."