Everyday Lexie Aufdenkamp opens the doors of Rich Hair Academy in Dyersburg, Tennessee, with the mission to inspire.

“You know with a background like mine, I know other people feel like they can’t do or live out their childhood dreams but you know I am doing that,” said Aufdenkamp.

Before becoming a successful entrepreneur, Aufdenkamp was in and out prison for 13 years. She even birthed one of her children while behind bars.

“I was never able to complete anything. I went to college, but I was never able to complete it. I went to cosmetology school, and I was never able to complete it because I was always locked back up,” said Aufdenkamp.

Now, Aufdenkamp has completed schooling and accomplished a lot.

“I’ve been home now for almost seven years, and this is longest I have ever been free since I was 13 years old,” said Aufdenkamp.

Aufdenkamp has an associate’s degree in business management. She is also a wife and proud mother.
Rich Hair Academy now helps hundreds of women learn cosmetology skills.

“We go through things (and) it’s always to help someone else,” said Aufdenkamp.

One of Aufdenkamp’s post describing her past now has hundreds of likes and shares. It has sparked the conversation about life after prison and how hard it is for felons to succeed.

“Everybody is not going to welcome you with open arms, so you can’t let it get you down. You just have to keep on pressing forward. Find jobs that are felony friendly,” said Aufdenkamp.

Statistics say more than 40 percent of people released return before the first year out of prison. Aufdenkamp is working to lower that number.

“I’m thankful that God chose me to go through it, because I made it out and I’m able to tell people ‘Hey, it’s going to be ok (and) you can make it out, too,'” said Aufdenkamp.