Pepperdine Portrait Series: A Conversation with Kaley Morgan
During her first year of college, Kaley Morgan created an app called UNUM. The app, which was originally made to help her brother's business, has now grown to have an estimated six million users. Learn how her passion for creativity fuels her desire to make her business a success.
Why did you choose advertising as your major?
I chose advertising because of my company. Simply from working at UNUM, I've seen how much I love collaborating with colleagues and incorporating graphic design into the app. Studying advertising allows me to expand my knowledge and incorporate what I've learned with my love for creativity.
How would you describe UNUM to someone who is unfamiliar with it?
Currently, UNUM acts as a planner for one's Instagram. In the future, though, we'd like to expand the app's offerings. Our goal is to enable creatives to express themselves, and we're currently looking to incorporate editing software and stories into our platform. Another aim of UNUM is to help the individual define his or her brand. We're very simple, yet creative. We want to offer a safe space for Los Angeles social content creators to come together and collaborate with one another.
When did UNUM start?
I started UNUM my first year of college. At the time, my brother was working on a start-up. When I was tasked to help the company by making them an Instagram account, my brother expressed his desire to preview what his feed would look like before it went live on the app. After being unable to find an existing app that allowed us to preview the feed, we started a side project with a team of programmers to fill the void in the market.
Where did your love for entrepreneurship come from?
Growing up, my dad, brother, and I always had a passion for entrepreneurship. When I was little, my dad and I made little wooden fingerboards (tech decks) and shipped them all over the world. My brother has also had many start-up companies. There were a lot of start-ups that didn't work out, but each failure was an amazing learning experience.
Is it hard to balance schoolwork with running a business?
Yes, it really is. I want to work full time, but right now am currently working only part time in the company. We have a team of 13 based in Hollywood, and after graduation I plan to fully commit to this business. I love our team and I want to grow with them.
Is there something about your experience at Pepperdine that you'd like to share?
Pepperdine was always my dream school, and I think God brought me to Pepperdine for a reason. I'm a transfer student, and after not getting into Pepperdine, I thought God was putting me on a different path. For prospective students, I'd say don't be discouraged because it may very well work out in the end. It takes faith and perseverance.