Photo of Lauren Be

The hair and makeup industry can be notorious for its competitive nature. Discover how Kristin found community and true friends here in Bakersfield.

Kristin Palm • Onyx Styling Co.

As part of the Onyx Styling Co. team, I help provide special occasion and commercial hair styling and makeup. I moved to Bakersfield from Holtville and have lived here for 7 years.

When I moved here, I didn’t know anyone. I had to get over my fears and put myself out there to build both personal and professional relationships. I networked my way into the Bakersfield community, making friends with people who weren’t necessarily ready to be my friends. It was a challenge, but it was the only way I could get connected. I didn’t join any club or group at first. I started by using social media to find and connect with like-minded people and those who were in the creative community. If I happened to see someone in person, I worked up the boldness to introduce myself. Ironically, many of those I initially connected with were already attending my church, Resurrection Church, which meets in the historic Nile Theatre.

I’m always intentional with conversations, looking at every interaction as an opportunity to create something together. That’s why I love local places like Café Smitten. The city is full of cultural hubs to connect with like-minded people and create new and amazing things.

The hair and makeup industry in my hometown was often competitive and even ugly at times, but Bakersfield is a very different environment. I love the city’s communal approach to creative professions. Everyone is willing to collaborate, spur one another forward, try new things and create something beautiful together.

Creatively and culturally, Bakersfield is in a renaissance right now. Our community is pushing past our reputation as a has-been country music scene and is embracing an exciting future.

As we continue to grow, my hope is that people think of Bakersfield’s distinct culture in the way they think of Seattle, Portland, Los Angeles or New York. We are crafting a lifestyle that will attract new people to come here and grow roots.

I also hope that we continue connecting with one another.

Don’t be afraid to find your same kind of weird people here in town. Be intentional about reaching out to them — even the people you don’t jive with as well. You may be surprised by the good things that happen when you do that.

Be INTENTIONAL in Bakersfield.

Connect with Kristin: @gollykristin

Click here to watch Kristin’s story firsthand

Be In Bakersfield