Girlz B Sweet, had the rare opportunity to interview the CEO/Founder of Rainbow Me Kids, an entertainment destination for kids ages 2-12, focusing on diversity and main characters of color. Kya Johnson is ambitious and thoughtful, making her the perfect example of how to flex your girl power! Originally from Greensboro, NC, Kya currently resides in Durham, NC, but continues to work in her hometown. She practices Worker's Compensation and Social Security Disability law by day and works diligently on ideas for Rainbow Me Kids during the rest of her time.
We asked Miss Johnson what she likes to do for fun. Traveling and trying different foods were at the top of her list. She loves to travel to any place tropical with water and white sand. Aruba happens to be her favorite. When it comes to food, she considers herself a novice foodie, who enjoys anything Asian. Whether it be Vietnamese, Thai, or Japanese food, she's willing to try it all.
In speaking with Kya, Girlz B Sweet appreciated her passion for her work to bring more diversity to kids' programming through her company, Rainbow Me Kids. She explained that Rainbow Me Kids was first publicly launched April 30, 2016, and is currently adding over 900 additional episodes at only $4.99/mo. Parents and educators can access the app in the Google Play store, and will be able to access it on other platforms in the future. In addition, these resources can be accessed directly at rainbowmekids.com
Girlz B Sweet, asked Kya how she got to be where she is today. "I received a lot of support. I come from a very supportive family, and I’ve always been that kid that had crazy ideas, and my family and siblings encouraged me to try it." She emphasized the importance of getting in front of the right people in order to leverage your success. "I don’t believe that anybody does anything without someone else’s help. There is going to be someone in your path that is going to help you."
That is exactly what happened for Rainbow Me Kids. A former Vice President of HGTV, TV One, and Discovery Channel crossed her path and was very interested in the idea, at the time. It was through his knowledge and connections that helped Rainbow Me Kids get to the next level. "It’s always important to emphasize that there are more days where nothing is happening and you may question why you are doing this. It is definitely a roller coaster in getting to a successful place…hard, difficult, sacrificial work." Miss Johnson reiterated the point that people must recognize the fact that it takes a lot of effort to work as a company and build a company from scratch. She noted that she was very fortunate to receive several breaks by being recognized by the right people, which led to national notoriety. Before they even had a product, Rainbow Me Kids was featured in USA Today. At that time, the company was just an idea. Despite the pressure that came from being thrust forward into a larger platform, she and her colleagues were encouraged to live up to the challenge set before them, and they continue to live up to the challenge every day.
Girlz B Sweet asked Kya about her inspiration. When she was a girl, her family was her biggest inspiration. She stated that as she's gotten older, she now realizes the privilege she had when she was younger. She was surrounded by excellent role models within her own family, and did not have a need to go beyond her own family to see excellence manifested daily. Miss Johnson earned her undergraduate degree from the University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill, where both her parents also attended. She earned her law degree from North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC, and began practicing law, following in her father's footsteps. Although her father was an attorney, she noted that he's always had the "entrepreneurial bug" and was a huge supporter of her goals and dreams of becoming an entrepreneur. Her mother, who was the first African-American physical therapy major at UNC-Chapel Hill, also supported her ventures prior to passing away, but her mother's passion and legacy continues to live within her.
Currently, Kya draws inspiration from powerful women in entertainment, specifically, Issa Rae, an American actress, writer, director, producer and web series creator. She is best known as the creator of the YouTube web series Awkward Black Girl. Miss Johnson explained to Girlz B Sweet that Issa Rae's struggle stood out to her. Initially, major networks weren't interested in Rae's idea, so she built her own audience and now she now has a show on HBO. "She [Issa Rae] inspired me to know that I can build my own audience, and that I don’t necessarily have to reach out to anybody. Any woman who is really doing her thing in the entertainment business, particularly behind the scenes, is inspirational."
Kya connects with her community mainly through social media. Rainbow Me Kids has also been involved in local events, such as hosting multicultural fairs at local elementary schools in Greensboro, NC. At the fairs, the Rainbow Me Kids app was made available for the kids to use. In addition, diverse groups entertained the kids, which included a Latino dance group and a Caribbean drum performance.
Girlz B Sweet asked Kya what she would say to young girls today who need motivation to achieve. "Always look outside of the box. I think we kind of get stuck with what’s put in front of us all the time - what we should do and what we should be. Be proactive by trying to find what all is out there and what’s available to you. Look for your passion. If you like to be outside, look for opportunities that involve the outdoors, like being a biochemist. Take a moment to look out there and don’t just wait for it to come to you." So girls, you must go to it.
Kya shared such a profound statement at the end of our interview. "You can only do what you can imagine you can do." We find it evident that she lives up to this herself. Learn more about Rainbow Me Kids at rainbowmekids.com/
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