Kandy Robertson, Founder & CEO of 'Emprəs™ Luxury Brand: A Strong Example of and Advocate for Women Empowerment
Location: New Orleans, LA
Services: Cambodian-Owned Luxury Hair Care
We connected with Kandy through Instagram and we were amazed to find out that she is a one-woman show behind her hair-care brand. During this interview, I could right away feel the confidence and strength that she takes with her everywhere she goes, including when she runs her brand and takes on projects to give back! Read about how Kandy has pursued having her own business on top of having a family and what she looks forward to do in the future.
I am Kandy Robertson, the Founder and CEO of ‘Emprəs™ Luxury Brand. On my team, it is just me, myself, and I.
What drove you towards creating a luxury haircare line with the mission of empowering women?
When I created this business, it was on the basis of creating generational wealth for my family. My parents came to the United States with nothing after they fled the Khmer Rouge genocide. It is important for me to be able to pass something onto my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.
The idea of ‘Emprəs™ came from when I was trying different hair-care products to find one that my family and I could all use, as my husband and my kids each have different textured hair. I realized that I wanted to create products that could work for different types of hair - wavy, curly, coarse, straight, coily and very coily. My mission is to have women conquer the world while looking and feeling confident about themselves, one hair strand at a time.
The name ‘Emprəs came from years ago when I was doing a podcast called, "#DatingiKandy." My listeners often called me the Empress, the Asian Queen. My Cambodian last name also means royalty which matches the meaning behind ‘Emprəs™.
Tell us about your products or services!
With my brand, I want you to feel luxurious. Our products are made in the United States and are infused with chia seed oil and baobab protein which repairs and protects your hair from damage. All natural, organic, vegan, cruelty free, and gluten free. It is formulated with special protein blends and antioxidants to help nourish your hair to keep it healthy while styling your hair!
My family is my inspiration, so I wanted to make the products safe for children to use. Our products help promote hair growth because the proteins protect your hair from the pollution and damage that we encounter in our day-to-day lives.
What is your favorite part of owning your business so far? What are the challenges?
My favorite part is the process of creating my own products. I usually try it on myself and then invite my family to try them out as well. I am currently testing our newest hair growth serum. If I get the okay from my family, then it is okay for everyone! I use all of the products that I sell on our website.
The challenge is funding my own business. When you don't have any capital, you have to use your own money. This taught me the importance of being a self-motivator. I was a nurse for 15 years and I used the money that I saved during that time to fund my dreams.
I sought information on how to start my own businesses and picked up skills that I could do by myself. I learned how to be my own marketer, designer for my websites and flyers, basically every role that you can think of. You have to be creative as a small business owner. I don't have the money to hire people on my team and I'd rather use my money towards buying and marketing my products.
What else would you like for people to know about you and/or your business?
I want to encourage people to not give up on the things they want to do. Growing up, it was just my parents, brother and I. I am now married with a bigger family with my husband and six children. They are my whole support system. Even though I have a family, I didn't give up on my dreams. Instead, I include them in my dreams which makes the process much more fun and allows me to get more input.
I enjoyed being a nurse and value giving back to my community. On the side, I am a human rights activist. In the future, I plan to make my own scholarship for single mothers to have the means to chase their dreams. There is a stigma that single mothers cannot achieve their dreams because they are ONLY to raise their kids.
I am always a dreamer and have been through a lot in my life that could serve as valuable lessons for others. I am working on writing a book to share my journey so that others can have a blueprint on pursuing your goals against all odds.
We had a great time connecting with Kandy and we are excited to see what she accomplishes in the future! If you are interested to read Kandy's e-book, "Top 10 Must Have Resources: To help and grow your online business," you can click here to purchase for $9.99!