Each week, our Friday Feature celebrates powerful women from our tribe who share their magic with the world in unique and inspiring ways. This week, we chatted with Kylee Jo Cook, creator of the do-good brand hurry.to.be.kind. This sales rep turned social entrepreneur shares her experience building her brand and gets real about overcoming roadblocks.
When you were a child, what made you the happiest?
Growing up in Montana, I lived near a barn that was the home to a few horses and a donkey. Whenever I was feeling down, I’d jump on my dad’s four-wheeler and drive down the road to pay them each a visit.
What inspired you to launch your company?
I was so unfilled in my job at the time as a medical sales rep in Los Angeles. I needed a creative outlet. I felt stagnant. I honestly never had any dreams growing up of having my own business. This just kind of ignited during a period of extreme self-growth – and for that I am grateful.
What does your brand stand for?
My vision was to create a brand that empowers others to do the right thing, even when no one is watching. It stems from the idea of doing something nice for someone else without expecting anything in return. It takes courage to make that split second decision to go out of your way and offer a helping hand to a total stranger. HTBK is a reminder to be conscientious of your kindness. Every now and then, we should all pause and ‘hurry to be kind.’ At the end of the day, being kind is pretty bad*ss.
Can you give us a story that exemplifies why you get fulfillment out of the work you do?
Last year on Christmas Eve, we sealed up envelopes of cash and went around to various stores like Walmart and Salvation Army that were filled with last minute holiday shoppers. My sister and I took turns walking up and handing the envelopes to random individuals and then just walked away. It was a feel good moment knowing that we might have brought a little bit of light to their holiday season.
Is there a roadblock you had to overcome to get where you are today? How did you do it?
Honestly, I think I’m still in the process of overcoming the roadblock of where my next chapter lies. I’m still trying to find my place in this world. At the end of the day, overcoming an obstacle comes down to the power of your intentions to do so. I get to have the courage to choose myself every day and follow through with whatever I know deep down will serve me best in the long run. I’ll let you know how it goes. ;)
What does choosing yourself mean to you?
Choosing myself means treating myself to an acai bowl. It means chasing down the sunset while blasting my favorite music. It means taking the time to feel the sunshine on my face. It means saying ‘no thanks’ when I don’t want to do something. Choosing myself means continually forgiving myself for past mistakes.
When's the last time you had to be super brave?
A couple of years ago I endured an uncomfortable and hurtful experience. It was the universe giving me a chance to practice what I preach – to stand in a place of power and grace, while rising above the situation and the individuals who were trying to bring me down. It took courage to remember their actions were not a reflection of my own worthiness. Rather, maybe they were just in need of a few extra doses of kindness themselves.
How do you practice self love and care on a daily/weekly basis?
I wear a crystal necklace almost daily. Depending on my mood, I choose the stone that will best serve me and support my intentions for the day that lies ahead. Usually, I just feel like a bad*ss with a big stone around my neck.
What is your advice to your 10-year-old, 18-year-old, and 25-year-old self (as applicable)?
10-year-old self – Keep being creative and kind. Your shyness will fade away. As will your awkwardness – maybe. Who am I kidding – you’ll always be a tad awkward and you’ll rock it.
18-year-old self – Enjoy the next four years in college. Spend less time in the library. You end up doing your own thing later in life rather than following a career in biology anyways. Ditch the books for one night, and go to the damn party.
25-year-old self – Be present. Enjoy what’s right in front of you. Listen to the voice deep down while hustling for what you want. Pay attention to what moves you. Embrace your journey of self-growth.
What do you love most about yourself?
I love that I’m continually learning to love myself more. I have a love/hate relationship with the fact I leave a little bit of myself wherever I go. Whether it’s a trip to Target or a trip to London, something always moves me.
Why is uplifting/celebrating/empowering women important?
The more we uplift each other now, the stronger our future generations of little humans will feel. It’s up to us to raise kind humans – and we can do that by celebrating each other through our highs and through our lows.
What do you think makes being a woman special?
At the end of the day, we hold the power. As women, we are privileged to the divine feminine energy. We are the healers and the shakers. We’re strong yet soft, doing all that we can to hurry to be kind.
Finish these sentences:
Women should: own their power + use it for good.
Women can: ignite kindness, starting with their bad*ss-selves.
Women will: rise up with heads held high + hearts wide open.
I am: worthy, I am capable, I am powerful.