Young KC entrepreneurs seeing success with Chiefs Super Bowl run

OLATHE, Kan. – A couple of young entrepreneurs are scoring a little extra with the Kansas City Chiefs’ success. In doing so, they have a message for other aspiring entrepreneurs.

The pair of young businesspeople have seen a boost from the Chiefs success over the last several years. They’ve poured hard work into their businesses, like creating jewelry and unique clothing.

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Now they’re largely benefitting from the Chiefs’ trip to the big game.

“I’ll be at events, and I’ll see people wearing my items,” KC Handmade Goods founder Aidan Hall said, “and it’s always cool to be like, ‘Oh that’s my t-shirt.'”

He created KC Handmade Goods when he was 13 years old. Since then, he’s said they’ve sold thousands of Kansas City-inspired t-shirts and sweatshirts.

Hall said the journey started in 2017, creating duct tape wallets. After a year, he pivoted to apparel. Now, he’s selling his gear online and at stores like Past and Presents in Lenexa.

“People get really excited with the team’s success,” Hall said, “and people like to celebrate by getting some new apparel.”

Ryne Paepke quickly caught on to that trend in 2020 when she started her company.

“My most popular ones are these ones for sure the arrows,” Paepke said.

Business is only pointing up for 20-year-old Paepke. She started RTP Studio, a jewelry company, when she was 16 and still in high school.

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“All earrings are made out of polymer clay, so it’s kind of like making cookies,” Paepke said.

Making these earrings is not only a creative outlet, Paepke said the sales are also helping her pay for nursing school.

“Art has always been that form of kind of I get to zone in, and make things and it’s like, my joy, my stress relief,” Paepke said.

Paepke’s earrings and bracelets are for sale at the Junque Drawer in Olathe.

She draws inspiration from the Super Bowl Champions but keeps it girly.

“It’s all the same colors but I’m able to play around with new shapes and charms and lots of new beads to get that Kansas City spirit, while also being cute,” Paepke said. “So like the flowers or the bows, which are new this year.”

Next up are little, customizable Chiefs jerseys.

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Paepke and Hall encourage other entrepreneurs to go for it.

“Start out small, start out with what you’ve got, and keep on going from there,” Hall said. “And success is incremental, and it’s not going to come all at once and if keep your mind on it, you’ll get there.”

Hall is studying entrepreneurship at Iowa State. He hopes to one day open KC Handmade Goods as a retail store in Kansas City.

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