Kristen Kessler and Isabel Kinikini are unashamed to be themselves. Kessler and Kinikini channeled this ideology into entrepreneurship with their company, Cadre, an evolving lifestyle brand that specializes in bags meant for music festivals and camping. “Cadre” means a small group specially trained for a particular purpose. They chose this name because they felt it best represented their current product of modular, customizable bags and their future products.
Kessler is a sociology major with a minor in entrepreneurship and Kinikini is exploring design and strategic communication.
The team is receiving support from the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute at the U and continues to work with Randal Thompson, a serial entrepreneur, as well as Brad Williams, their current advisor; they attribute their hope and energy to the people they have connected with through these experiences as well as those within the music community.
“The sky is not the limit; your perceptions of reality are,” Kessler said. “You are in charge of your own life; you are learning to become your own person.”
“It just changes you; maybe you’ve had that love and attention and support, but being reminded as an adult is something everyone needs in order to lead a fulfilling life,” Kinikini added.
Find this article and a lot more in the 2019 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers and entrepreneurs.