My business funded my college tuition believe it or not. While in college I was able to maintain my grades and build a lucrative business.”
By Hadassah Deleveaux (née Hall)
From extravagant fascinators that may include wired stones, jewels or pearls, in addition to corsages and boutonnieres, to silk floral bouquet and jewel encrusted bridal head pieces, K. L. M Designs is the diverse business of 25-year-old Kya L. McPhee.
This young lady was born and grew up over the hill. From a child, her creative side was always stirring within. But it was summer 2010 when the gift of designing was awakened.
“I was afforded the opportunity to go to a jewelry making class…I grew up in the straw market with my grandmothers watching them plait straw and make hand bags, so I’m certain the gift transferred through generations,” said Kya.
Kya launched her business shortly after that summer camp. She was just 17 years old and recently out of high school. She began making jewelry sets, but quickly transitioned into fascinator making. She has become a force to reckon with in the field. The work is quality and can be simple or flamboyant. And a plus is her creations are reasonably priced compared to competitors.
“My business funded my college tuition, believe it or not. While in college I was able to maintain my grades and build a lucrative business,” said the 2016 College of The Bahamas – now University of the Bahamas – Media Journalism graduate.
“I do not regret the sleepless nights, the many short films, documentaries, radio shows, newspaper articles, magazine production, a nerve wrecking thesis paper and the list goes on. I’m forever grateful for that experience but the opportunity to have such a blessed business is worthwhile. I give God all the credit because He had another plan for me,” she exclaimed.
This young woman of promise does not regret channeling her energy into the creative arts as opposed to media.
“I love what I do even with the multiple personalities I have to work with daily and the challenging tasks some clients give; I won’t trade it! I’ve had many opportunities to speak and teach girls clubs and youth groups about being educated and still owning their own businesses,” said Kya.
Whether it’s a wedding, funeral, christening, tea party or other special occasion, Kya has a natural talent of creativity.
She is also an entrepreneur with vision. Six years into the business, Kya decided to launch out into the deep and host her first fascinator show at Mario’s Bowling Alley in Nassau, Bahamas. She took it up a notch the following year by showcasing in Cocoa Beach, Florida and in February 2018, her vision took the showcase to Tampa, Florida.
“I give God all the glory for the doors that were opened for me…it’s been about eight years now I’ve been in business and I would consider myself a designer extraordinaire, continually aspiring to become better as the years go by,” said the young lady.
Questioned as to what the future holds for this over the hill business, Kya disclosed that expansion is in the near future.
“I love working from home but the work overload has become too much for home, so getting a studio for my business is definitely in the making. I always say God knew the plans he had for me: plans to prosper me and not to harm me. Whatever God does is well done,” she said.
Although Kya lives over the hill and is aware of the negativity around her, she remains focused. She has sage advice to those who decide to fall in step with such activities, as opposed to separating from the pack.
“Do not let your circumstance dictate your life path. We know of many persons who are now powerful leaders, entrepreneurs, doctors, journalists and the list goes on, who were born and raised ‘over the hill,’ but did not let their environment stop them from reaching their goals. Keep a tunnel vision, don’t lose hope, keep the faith and press towards your aspirations. There is someone out their rooting for you, who wants to see you win,” she stated.
Kya admits that not everyone was born to be an entrepreneur. However, she does encourage everyone to do what they love.
“Don’t live your whole life just so you can pay bills. Do what you always wanted to do. Jump out in faith. Build those apartments. Make those investments or even help someone who’s less fortunate,” remarked Kya.
“Make sure you’re doing what you love and then it won’t ever be a ‘job’ but it would be a passion. 2018 is the year to make something great out of yourself. We all have talents, gifts and abilities, so do what you love and don’t be afraid to fail the first time because I promise you, if you keep trying, you’ll make it,” she said.