40 Under 40 Class of 2020

Kelly Partridge

Founder, Contribution Clothing; Age 32; Education: Bay Path University (MS)

Partridge founded her online boutique with a focus on empowering women and supporting the community through monetary donations to Western Mass. nonprofits. Since her grand opening last June, she has worked with Bay Path University to develop an annual scholarship fund, created partnerships with several nonprofits, and provided monetary gifts to Dress for Success, Empty Arms Bereavement Support, Ovations for the Cure of Ovarian Cancer, and Safe Passage, all the while fundraising for events and promoting messages of empowerment to audiences of women and girls.

Kelly Partridge

Kelly Partridge

What did you want to be when you grew up? When I was younger, I wanted to be an artist. I even dabbled in graphic design in my 20s, but it really wasn’t for me. However, I will say they are great skills to have as a business owner.

What three words best describe you? Determined, altruistic, empowered.

What’s been your biggest professional accomplishment so far in your career? Launching contributionclothing.com has been my biggest professional accomplishment so far. Starting a business is terrifying, and I was able to overcome that fear, take my passion for social justice, and create a mission-driven boutique that partners with some amazing local nonprofits. I’m excited to see it grow and to see the impact it can make within our community.

What goal do you set for yourself at the start of each day? This doesn’t always happen, but I really try to focus on self-care. Life gets busy, and it is really easy to get wrapped up in all the to-dos. Caring for myself first needs to be a priority.

Who inspires you, and why? I can’t choose one person. I would have to say anyone who has the ability to rise from a negative situation with a positive attitude and a goal of making themselves better because of it.

What person, past or present, would you like to have lunch with, and why? My great-grandmother, Della, who passed away when I was a teenager. She grew up during the Great Depression and rarely talked about her life. I’d love the opportunity to know more about her, and my family’s history.

What actress would play you in a movie about your life? I really like Sophia Bush and what she stands for. She’s a big advocate for female empowerment, education, and environmental rights. I think it would be really cool to be represented by someone like her.