Kandy Robertson, 30’s
New Orleans, LA
I am founder of a luxury haircare line called, Emprəs™, that is inspired by Cambodian royalty. I am also the CEO of my own Social Media Marketing Agency, Conquer Marketing, that specializes in social media marketing, branding and advertising. I help others market effectively on their social media as an expert on Facebook Advertising.
I am a human rights activist. I have advocated against human trafficking since 2010 - coordinating events and fundraising and summiting a 14ft mountain in the name of anti-human trafficking and what led me to this is because I wanted to give back to the world as a Cambodian because it is something that occurs in Cambodia.
What racial, ethnic, cultural community or communities do you identify with?
I'm Khmer, Asian American.
When and how did your family come to the United States? Where were you born?
I was born in Maryland. My parents were sponsored by a church member in 1980. I am the first and only [in my family] to be born in America.
What are the strengths and challenges of being Asian, Asian American, and/or Pacific Islander?
The most challenging thing about being Asian in America is being the FIRST generation Asian American. Having to battle and LEARN to merge both cultures and accepting your identity. Growing up American in an Asian household was extremely difficult. I have older parents so they were very old-fashioned in their thinking. I missed out on a lot of activities that are norm to participate in, due to the misunderstanding of my parents' interpretation of what school is or what is okay in American culture.
There were a LOT of rebellious moments in my childhood, because I was trying to fit in with other kids but I couldn't. Everything from what I wore to after-school activities was a struggle. This caused me to rebel against Asian culture as well.
The strength of being Asian is being Cambodian. Also, having parents who went through a genocide and SURVIVING is an incredible feat in itself. It is what made me who I am today.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
I have many proud accomplishments; having graduated high school and college, overcoming many traumas in my childhood and young adult life, while chasing my dreams to own businesses and raise a family. Now, I have a child who's now the first of our second generation to graduate from high school and is now attending LSU.
What is one thing you learned or appreciate from your family growing up?
Survival - the ability to survive in any situation.
Do you speak your family's native language? Why or why not?
Yes, because my parents don't speak English.
What advice do you have for the younger generations in our Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander community?
To follow your dreams, no matter what your parents say!
What gives you the greatest joy in life?
My family because I did not have a real sense of family growing up.
Are there any projects you have created that you'd like to share and promote?
You can find my luxury hair care line at www.empresluxurybrand.com. I have written an e-book on Amazon that was named Best Book of 2019 and Best Short Read for Business and Money. It is called, "Top 10 Resource List: Must Have List to Help You Build & Grow Your Business" which is FREE on Kindle.
If you would like to share your voice as a person of color, please read the directions and fill out this form here. All ages, backgrounds, and generations welcome. Thank you!
Who are we?
Asian, Asian American, and Pacific Islander voices in our communities.
This is a section for AAPI specifically because, coming from our Khmer culture, we often feel invisible in various spaces from school to the media.
We want to show the ways in which we are the same and different, and that all of our backgrounds and experiences are valuable to learn and celebrate. Let's uplift each other!
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