We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyla Lee and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kyla, what do you attribute your success to?
The most important factor in everything I do is my spirituality. God is first in everything I do. I always pray to God about anything I do because I truly believe that He is the creator of my purpose. As a result, I can never attribute my fortune or success to luck or hard work. While I do work hard, God is the reason for my success because it was apart of my path. I am just walking in my purpose.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My brand is unique in the way it encompasses a creative fold of all avenues. When starting my brand, I began to teach myself everything through reading, taking certification courses for entrepreneurship through Cornell and watching endless YouTube videos. My brand is KY Lifestyles Association or Know Yourself Lifestyles Association. The initials of the brand spell my name. The reason behind the brand is while in Teach for America, shortly after graduating University of Illinois, I still didn’t have it all figured out yet. My boyfriend and I had just moved to Milwaukee at the delicate age of 22 and I was still getting to know myself, thus the brand was born. Initially, the brand started as a personal blog that served as a virtual diary with self help tips and personal lessons, then I branched to a podcast that still has well over 7,000 streams. I really enjoyed the feedback I was receiving but the more my life increased I started to lose touch with my foundation. While dreaming one day, the newest and my most precious idea was born. God revealed to me that peace is a gift of the Holy Spirit and it is indeed something that is owed to me even while I work diligently — this KYS Goodnight was born. KYS Goodnight Luxurious Wellness is a luxurious wellness branch of KY Lifestyles that is dedicated to the working woman who needs to find rest in her daily life. The products that I sell have been thoroughly researched to provide quality and relaxation. I offer a subscription box with all things great for bedtime routines: body butter, bath salts, silk pajamas and the list continues. My goal is to eventually turn into a Luxury bedtime brand and have duvets and silk sheets, but for now I have been working diligently on perfecting my online store. The biggest trial I’ve faced on my journey is time and discipline. Time is on no one’s side and you have to have discipline to conquer time and also get the rest that is owed to us for our sanity. Discipline is different from motivation because you have to keep going sometimes even when no one is supporting your vision and everyone thinks you’re crazy. I think my hobby which has also been extended in my series of services offered is yoga. With my being able to center my energy with stretching and breathing and meditation , I have the ability to stay more focused and provide quality more efficiently. If I had to tell anyone a piece advice that I’ve learned along my journey is provide yourself grace. Discipline is important and time is on no one’s side, but being is also sufficient. Everyday people are taken away from earth prematurely and sometimes you choosing yourself and putting one foot in front of the other with gratitude to God is more than enough.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I recently moved back to Chicago. After college, I moved to Milwaukee for 3 years for my Teach for America placement, so exploring the city would be an adventure to me as well. I live in Hyde Park which is about 10-13 minutes from the city’s South Loop! I would take my bestie on Michigan Avenue to take pictures at the Bean and Millennium Station. After that, we’d head over to the Sky deck to look from the 95th floor. From there, we’d get a city pass to enjoy some of the best museums: Shedd Aquarium, Museum of Science & Industry and Art institute. We would definitely have to attend the Van Gogh and Womanish exhibits as well! In regards to fine dining, we would have to visit two of my favorite spots for tacos Azul Mariscos and La Luna! We would have to get dressed really nice to enjoy Maple & Ash , Carnivale, & Tao. If they were up for partying on the weekend, we’d hit wrigleyville bars and be in bed watching Netflix by 10 pm! If weather permits we’d also spend a lot of time at the lake which is only about 3 blocks from my home!
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?
I have a strong foundation in my maternal family. My mother, grandmother, aunts, brother, sister in law and cousins are all very supportive. We help each other out by pouring into each other. They support every idea I have and share my ideas with others.
I also attribute some of my educational success to Teach for America. Teach for America was a program I did right after undergrad. While the program gets poor stigma, I was selected of 10% of Americans who apply to represent a non profit organization as a teacher with no background in education or teaching. I was a science major and premed in college and teaching was far from my radar, but when Christina emailed me I was inspired. I saw the reality of my future still being a possibility in the journey of teaching while also being able to make a direct impact. I was certain I was going to make the impact in the classroom, but I was also forced to grow. Some of brightest business ideas were sparked due to some of the advice given in this program. Learning the value in work life balance and self care was pivotal in the program and I attribute that experience to a lot of personal growth.
Instagram: kysgoodnight, kygetthat_cake