We had the good fortune of connecting with Kellie Thomas and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kellie, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The success behind my brand has been my PASSION and PERSISTENCE. No matter the circumstance, I have always pushed forward. There were many times when my youth camps consisted of only three to five campers! My mindset was that if I give up now because of a small group, and no-profit I will never have the opportunity to grow with profit. “Start where you are. Use what you have. Do what you can.” – Arthur Ashe. That mindset has been an important factor behind the successes of Camps by KT.
Prepare for the long haul, the rise and fall, and let neither define your sense of self is also what I always remind myself as I move forward in this journey of success.
“There is no such thing as a self-made man. You will reach your goals only with the help of others. I have been fortunate to have a community of families, friends, and staff that greatly support “Camps by KT. My mother; Angela Thomas-Pope is a Speech Therapist and is one of the reasons for my success, she offers Public Speaking to my camps, and also would help me with my weekly camps when I had no one else to fulfill a camp counselor role! She has been my rock and has added a unique entity to my camps. My friend, Ashley has a snow cone business; The Cool Bus. She would come to my camps giving the children snow cones, and a mini-lesson of how to make snow cones without asking for anything in return. My father; Joseph Thomas is constantly motivating me, and speaking my success into existence. My classroom parents who have become family have been my hugest advocates; they are relentless in ensuring that I succeed! My family and my friends are always available with resources, and support. They say it takes a village, and I can say with confidence, and experience that it absolutely takes a village. Without my support system, CAMPS BY KT wouldn’t exist!
I am fueled by a passion for helping children elevate and thrive in life. My Great-Great-Grandfather, J.R.E. Lee served as the third president of Florida A&M University (FAMU) and also founded the National Association of Colored Teachers. My Great Grandfather, Dr. Joseph Thomas was a pioneering entrepreneur, and philanthropist that developed Turners Station of Baltimore, MD! With that being said I come from four generations of passionate educators, entrepreneurs, activists, and philanthropists…my PASSION and PERSISTENCE come from my ancestors and my parents.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Camps by KT is over a decade in the making! It has not been an easy journey, but it’s been worth EVERY challenge! I’m super excited that after over a decade, we have two locations in Houston; Sugarland, and Missouri City.
Camps by KT is a cornerstone of elevation for the youth of Houston, TX! Providing innovative, and fun day camps since 2007! Each year the goal is to get campers thinking, moving, exploring, and creating. We provide the ultimate experience for children to ELEVATE. Our camp equips learners with vital skills that empower them to navigate life’s unchartered territories, and thrive!
We offer Empowerment, Public Speaking, Arts, Science, Engineering, Culinary, Physical Activity, and of course FUN, FUN, and FUN! Knowing the importance of our youth’s understanding of the many elements that the world has to offer, we have decided to create a program that is not only fun but also a powerful movement of awareness for our youth. We strive to nurture the youth to become well-rounded individuals through educational, and fun hands-on programs that cultivate creativity. We are on a mission to empower youth to grow physically, mentally, and emotionally; to achieve their own version of success.
Another amazing contribution of Camps by KT is the Teen Leadership programs that we host.
What makes your business stand out?
The best part of Camps by KT is EVERYTHING! We literally cover all entities of fun, and education! I love the keepsake crafts we create because of it being something that the families of Camps by KT will keep forever! Our cooking classes with Chef Bland of Flavor Fetish are phenomenal! Public Speaking with Speech Therapist, Angela Pope, is incredible; she has taught the campers so many inspirational poems, and tactics to being confident, and secure! The amazing, Mrs. Collings teaches our science classes; full of creative hands on science ideas!
We studied, and imitated the work of Amy Sherald; (she painted the official portrait of the First Lady Michelle Obama), she loved our art work so much she posted it on her social media page! An exciting moment! There are so many wonderous moments with Camps by KT; you’ve got to experience it to believe it!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
ShoutOut to The Illuminating Fireflies, The Poised Pineapples, Relentless Church, my family, friends, and all of the families, and campers of Camps by KT!
Sasha Q Photography