BAKERSFIELD,Calif. — A local entrepreneur is leaving her mark in Bakersfield and Hollywood with her homegrown business, Knappy Hair. Now, she is encouraging other women to do the same and follow their dreams.
Keandra Sandifer or KJ is the owner of Knappy Hair Extensions, which celebrities like Oprah Winfrey and Serena Williams have been styled in.
The company specializes in natural hair extensions and products for women, especially African American's.
Sandifer says she is changing the once derogatory term Knappy Hair and reclaiming it as a positive one.
"Knappy Hair stands for natural hair redefined," Sandifer said. "We have been able to align that with the mission of my business, which is helping women, specifically black women with their hair. There are a lot of struggles around their hair and unfortunately, that stems back to generations. So, I have been able to just connect with women on a personal level and provide them a product."
Knappy Hair is now a global business and Sandifer makes it her mission to encourage other entrepreneurs to take that leap of faith.
"What someone can do today to start, is to get clear on their intentions of what it is they want to do," Sandifer said. "The majority of businesses out here and entrepreneurs are solving a problem, so figure out a way to solve the problem."
Sandifer when not working on the Knappy Hair company can be found sharing her journey and encouraging others, at events like the Manifest Vision Board Party.
The Saturday afternoon event at Locale eatery was dedicated to networking, creating vision boards full of goals and encouraging female entrepreneurs.
At the Manifest event, Sandifer discussed financial literacy, branding, and the importance of a business plan.
Therese Dozier, one of the organizers for the event, calls the Knappy Hair founder an example of women empowerment.
"Keandra is amazing and she has such zest for life," Dozier said. "I admire her journey and career from absolutely nothing, to this huge company."
Sandifer's product has been featured in several national magazines and outlets.
She tells 23ABC that Knappy Hair extensions are used in Issa Rae's latest movie, The Photograph. Throughout the film, Rae is wearing her Knappy Hair product. She adds she has more projects coming down the pipeline.
"The photograph was the first featured film that I know of that I worked on," Sandifer said. "I do have a show coming out in May where Knappy Hair will be in three-to-four episodes."
She leaves this piece of advice for those budding business owners out there; just start.