KENDRA COSEY| FOUNDER
Kendra was born and raised in the heart of St. Louis. Nearly homeless at the age of 16 and unsure of her future, she made a vow to herself that she would become successful, despite her gloomy circumstances. In 2003, she graduated high school with honors and started college soon after. In 2007, at the age of 21, with nothing but a box of clothes and a few hundred dollars, she moved to Atlanta, GA with big dreams. “I didn’t know what success looked like, but I was determined to define it,” she states.
She soon enrolled into Georgia State University, where she continued pursuing her degree in psychology. In 2008, she founded her first business, Joocie By Design, a hand-made, natural lip gloss and body care line. The success of the amateur business peaked her interest as she wondered what more she could do. In 2010, while still a student at Georgia State, the idea of Sew St. Louis was birthed.
Sew St. Louis, STL’s Original Home of the $50 Sew-In, opened its doors in the Spring of 2011 when Kendra was merely 26 years old! "With little money and absolutely no knowledge of the industry, all I had was Google and prayer, literally." While simultaneously attending school and building her business, she drove thousands of miles back and forth between St. Louis and Atlanta over a period of several years. In 2012, Sew St. Louis was so successful that it prompted her to open a second location. Servicing between 300-500 clients per month, it is now one of the fastest growing independently owned salons in St. Louis.
Following the success of Sew St. Louis, Kendra also founded Celebrity Hair Depot, a hair extension retail store. That way, clients could purchase their hair extensions and have
them installed all in one place. Sew St. Louis is literally a ONE-STOP-SHOP! “I felt bad for women who would spend hundreds of dollars on poor-quality hair extensions that would tangle, matte and shed,” says Kendra. “These women would be in my salon literally in tears because they were deceived into spending their hard-earned money on fake hair. So I decided to do something about it by offering top quality hair extensions at affordable prices. That way, the deception stops and the revenue remains in our own community.” Her husband, a contractor and entrepreneur, is her biggest support system. “We call ourselves the Dream Team. Whatever I envision, he builds, literally,” she laughs. “I would not be such a great business woman without him." Together, they actively seek ways to use their businesses as a means for helping others.”
As her business’ mission statement says “It’s not just about hair. By operating with a sense of integrity and expertise, we aim to build confidence, evoke inspiration, and uplift the individual, thus enhancing the community and ultimately changing the world.” Therefore, Kendra uses her businesses as a means of uplifting, empowering and encouraging women. It’s not just about hair! From 2011-2014, she taught Bible study inside her salon and in 2014 she received her Masters degree in Ministry. That same year, American Diamonds presented her with the Business Leader of the Year Award. In 2015, Radio One, First Bank and Old School 95.5 presented her with the Pinnacle Award for Outstanding Female Entrepreneur. From 2014-2015, she also hosted a bi-weekly segment on Fox 2 News as a hair correspondent, where she often did makeovers on deserving women in the community.
In December of 2015, Sew St. Louis and Celebrity Hair Depot expanded to the Delmar Loop. She is also in the process of re-releasing her makeup and body care line, renamed, K. Cosey Cosmetics. As she strives to be a role model for women of all ages, Kendra has owned three businesses (with multiple locations), received two college degree and became a wife and a mother, all before the age of 30! She is definitely a trailblazer of her time, to say the least. She is living proof that a person does not have to be defined by their circumstances. “Growing up, I was told that I wouldn’t amount to anything and I have been on my own since I was 16. But look where I am now. I want my life to be an example of what’s possible with God’s guidance and a lot of hard work. All that I do in my life is not for me, it’s for others to see and be inspired. I wasn’t born with a silver spoon. I came from the same neighborhood and attended the same schools as many of my peers." As a successful entrpreneur, she also aspires to become a mentor, inspirational speaker and a business mogul. " I want to dedicate my life to helping others realize their own potential and the power of stepping out into the unknown and walking by faith. "
“God is within her, she will not fall.”
~ Psalm 46:5