Running a business valued at well over $100,000 as a college student may make some people stressed, but Engineering senior Allen Kim is an exception.
Kim is the founder and CEO of Bebarang, LLC, a company that gives parents the option to rent out children’s clothes. Using a business model similar to the company Netflix, Bebarang charges a set rate per month, with no late fees. The company’s operation is based on a child’s growth — when a child grows out of an outfit, parents return the outfit to the company in exchange for the next item in their “queue.”
Eight years ago, Kim moved from Korea to Ann Arbor to learn English and broaden his worldview. In March 2009, Kim went on the Center for Entrepreneurship’s spring break trip, where he had the opportunity to pitch his business idea to a panel of venture capitalists. On this trip, he met and befriended Luis Calderon, the man who would become his business partner.
That summer the two men launched Bebarang, which was inspired by a phone call Kim received from his aunt, who was lamenting over the rising costs of clothes for her new baby. She said the expensive clothes had to be replaced every few months later because of the rapid growth of her baby.
Allen said the creation of his business had the potential to cause him to lose focus and suffer from time management issues. However, he now has more interest in practical applications of engineering, and studies harder. His motivation is both excelling in school and growing his business.
“The fact that I’m able to drive my passion and deliver happiness to other people is really what gets me going. It’s what gets me up in the morning,” Kim said.