Entrepreneur Profile: Victor Sandifer
Run The World | Fashion | Atlanta, GA
Tell us a bit about yourself: I was born and raised in Oakland, CA. I graduated from Castlemont High School and earned a degree in African American Studies with a minor in education from UC Berkeley.
What inspired your business? Run The World helps MOC (Millennials of color) impact the world around them by creating socially conscious apparel, curating community events and providing resources that support their personal and professional goals so that they can use their passions to give back to world.
I grew up believing the only way for me to make an impact on my community was by becoming a professional basketball player. This mindset changed once I read Malcolm X’s Autobiography in the 11th grade. At that moment I decided that whatever I decided to do I was going to make sure that I was an agent of change.
In college I studied African American studies and education because I believe that knowledge is power and the way that society keeps Black folks mentally oppressed is by teaching them that they have little to no contribution to the world. This is usually done through the curriculum taught in our schools. Learning about other historically important Black figures and the Black perspective on different time periods gave me a since of pride and purpose.
I decided that I too wanted to be a part of sharing information with others so that they too could be empowered. Upon graduating I planned to pursue a Ph.D. in Education but first I wanted to take some time off and work. I worked as a high school English teacher, a program coordinator for two different non-profits: East Oakland Youth Development Center and Youth Radio, then a program coordinator in the African American Development office at UC Berkeley. Though I loved the impact I was making on students I was not satisfied.
My mentor asked me a question that would forever change my life; he asked, “Without thinking about it, what is one thing you are naturally good at?” The first thing to come to mind was style. I had a natural gift for dressing in such a way that others really appreciated. My question to myself was “how could I use style to positively impact my community?” This question inspired the creation of Run The World. I decided to create an apparel company with a mission to empower, inspire and educate. However we are more than just an apparel company, we also curate community events and we are creating a scholarship/grant fund for scholars and entrepreneurs. So we are really practicing what we preach.
Dreams/plans for the future: I want RTW to be a global company that uses apparel to make consciousness, knowledge and community service cool. We will be the company that helps inspire and impact the next generation. I want to provide millions of dollars in funding for students and up and coming entrepreneurs.
My ultimate goal is to create a program for up and coming designers from around the world to design socially conscious apparel that we will sell and give a portion of the profit to a community service project in their community.