EntrepreneHER: Kennedy Whitten

Tarleton alumni turns dreams into reality after graduation

Originally from Crandall, Texas, Tarleton State University alumni, Kennedy Whitten has crafted her ideal life by chasing one dream at a time. Not only is she dominating the skincare and beauty industry, but she is also tackling the marketing industry head-on. Whitten’s success took flight the moment she strutted across the stage at Memorial Stadium.

During her time at Tarleton, Whitten majored in Marketing with a minor in Communications after discovering that nursing was not the route for her. After expressing her aspirations to her advisor, Whitten decided that changing her major would lead her to greatness. She was right. Between her career-focused courses and her determination to start her own makeup business, it is no surprise that Whitten was able to create a successful makeup brand at the age of  21. 

“A majority of what I learned in school prepared me immensely when it came to founding and establishing my own business. I truly loved the material I was learning because I knew I needed it in order to pursue my true passion. I also had a really wonderful professor who always made me better and genuinely wanted the best for not only myself, but all of her students. I took a couple of classes with her during my undergrad years, but the one class that stuck out to me the most was with her my last semester. The course focused on professional development and real world aspects that one would experience post grad,” Whitten stated.

 “Although I did not take the traditional post-grad route as the majority of my classmates did, she never hesitated to sit down and talk with me about how we were going to personalize my post-grad plans, because she knew starting my business was the most important thing to me. Dr. Winslow is the best and I owe a lot of my success to her not only preparing me for this, but always being there and checking in even after my time at Tarleton had come to a close.”  

Following her graduation from Tarleton State, Whitten attended Ogle School of Hair, Skin and Nails in order to become a licensed industry professional. In December 2021, Whitten launched her own makeup business, Skin By Ken, on Instagram. Whitten has been licensed since July 2022 and plans on launching her new skincare services towards the end of the year.

“ I graduated from Tarleton December of 2021 and worked extremely hard on creating everything I knew I needed to officially start up my own business. I launched only three days after graduating college, which was such a huge accomplishment in itself, because I really did not think I was going to be able to until January or February. It is the most rewarding role I have held, knowing I started something from scratch and have continued to build it up to where it is currently,” Whitten said. “Of course I would not be where I am at without my beautiful clients. They make this job what it is and I love that I get to spend my time with them, making them feel beautiful, while they do the same for me. I don’t think they know it but they lift me up so much and it only makes me want to go further with the business. There is a lot in store for the future of Skin by Ken, it is definitely going to take some hard work, but I am so excited and know everything to come will be 10 times more rewarding. It just never gets old and keeps getting better!” 

Whitten hopes to continue learning and growing in both the world of makeup and marketing. In addition, she hopes to further enhance her architecture skills in order to increase her value at Brown Reynolds Watford Architects. Between her full-time position and her various passion projects, Whitten has been able to truly create a name for herself.

“Even if I am only inspiring one person, my world is complete. I try so hard to uplift those around me and make them feel like their best self, because everyone deserves to feel that way. Whether it’s business related or not, I am always an advocate of doing what makes you most happy, and the rest will fall into place,” Whitten stated. “You only get one life, and unfortunately the average lifespan is just not enough time, so go out with a bang everyday you get to live this life and do what makes you happy. I hope I can continue to always inspire those around me to be their best, most authentic and happy self because that is what life is all about. And if that can reach just one person, that makes my heart whole. I don’t quite look at myself as a person people look up to, because not everyone knows what’s going on inside your own brain. It’s hard to imagine that, but it makes me smile that people may think that.” 

Whitten believes that anyone can start a business if they work hard by connecting with others, studying their craft and doing research. 

“If you want something bad enough, you will fight for it and do everything in your power to achieve it. Reach out when you need help. But, never stop believing in yourself. It gets hard, extremely hard, but you have to think long term and see if this idea or dream is actually something you can see yourself doing in 20 years time,” Whitten shared. “If you want to do something, no matter what it is- Make. It. Happen. You never want to look back and think what if.” 

For more information about how to book with Kennedy, visit her Instagram @skinby.ken or check out her website www.skinbyken.org.