We had the good fortune of connecting with Kayla Simone Kaufman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kayla Simone, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When it came to starting my own business I can honestly say I was scared. My thought process in all honesty was all over the place and as many may know starting your own business can be terrifying. When I first started my business/ the journey of being my own boss I was a sophomore in high school and knew I had a talent for creating. I fell in love with marketing and becoming my own CEO for as long as I could remember. So I started making gift boxes for special occasions such as weddings, birthdays, anniversaries, and more. I began to see that people love receiving gifts in baskets and bags and decided to put my own twist upon it. Eventually, I expanded into graphic tees and included them with making special self-care kits that came in decorative safe keep boxes. This was inspired by my mother and grandmother because as a child they would have these boxes filled with mementos and beauty care products so it made me want to carry that on with the rest of the world. I knew I needed to create something not just for the consumer but create something meaningful and that buyers would appreciate more. Now Years later I am a sophomore in college with an aspiring youtube channel called KaysTruths and a podcast that I am starting very soon called Truly Voiced: A Black Narrative.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The list can go on and on about my work and the things that I’ve done but, what I am most proud of is finally taking my youtube career seriously and starting my own podcast. Starting my youtube channel and podcast was something I wasn’t sure about. My friends and family kept telling me that I should express my knowledge to others around me because I never know how my words might help others. I take pride in all things I do but my youtube channel is something I am excited about and happy I took the leap of faith on.
For many years I could say my professionalism lacked in some areas, if it hadn’t been for God sending me to work for Genesys Works in high school I don’t know if I would be the businesswoman I am today. It took a lot of growth and observation. For many years when it came to professionalism I studied the greats such as Oprah Winfrey, Angela Bassett, Supa Cent, Jesseca Dupart, and many more. In order for the student to become the master, you have to observe and study, learn and apply. After applying what I’ve learned to my professionalism it’s helped me get very far in my career.
I’ve had many challenges over the years no matter if it was my tone of voice, my professionalism being criticized, or even coming off a certain way to others. I had to learn that I can’t try to please everyone and that no matter what I do, no matter how much I show growth people are always going to have something negative. Peoples PERCEPTION are ones of their own and I can not control that. I learned to smile through the hard times and that I am doing my very best. As long as I try I haven’t failed. My biggest lesson when it came to becoming a businesswoman or even my professionalism was that in life you will never be perfect the only person that can be perfect is Jesus and even he would admit he was flawed as well. So I learned to lean on God and push forward.
As far as what I want the world to know about my brand and my story…I want them to know this brand isn’t just some business that happened overnight. This took years of starting over and plenty of healing and self-discovery. Sleepless nights and asking God when will it be my time to shine. I am a product of women who fought hard for me to get every opportunity in life and I will be sure none of their hard work has been done in vain. I am a young black woman in America who fights for her dreams and aspirations. The future of my brand is important to me and my story will be heard to inspire others to follow their dreams and let absolutely nothing get in their way.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
This is a tough question! There are so many wonderful places in Houston that I love to visit but if I had to choose the first stop would be Discovery Green. I find Discovery Green to be so peaceful it’s often where I go to get away or to write. There is a restaurant in Discovery Green called The Lake House and they have the BEST chili cheese fries!! Afterward, the next place would have to be a stop at Sweet Bribery it’s a small ice cream shop right in midtown and I love their variety of ice cream flavors. For some sightseeing, I’d go to Herman park just to walk around and enjoy nature’s views. The last and final activity would be a beautiful carriage ride around downtown Houston. Not only is it fun but its an adventure into something so beautiful.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
In all honesty, there isn’t just one person I could shout out. I have so many people that love and support me in everything that I do and I couldn’t ask for a better support team. However, I would love to show some recognition to my big sister Deborah Collier, owner of DebbiesKakez! When I tell y’all that my sister makes the best cakes in Houston you will not find a better Black-Owned baker than her!!! Though we are not sisters by blood she has always been there for me and supported me through everything and she is truly one of my inspirations.
Deborah if you read this please know I love you and not only are you an outstanding mother but a wonderful baker! You inspire me to follow my dreams and use the hate as motivation. It’s not only because of you that I am motivated today but the love and care you give as my big sister. I wanted to give you your flowers because since I was 10 years old you have given me mine. LOVE YOU DEBBIE POOH!!!