“We Wanted to Inspire Other Kids!”: Kam & Niya Launch Children’s Empowerment Business
Kamryn Johnson and Saniya-Symone Scott (Kam and Niya for short) are nine and eight years old, respectively, and they’ve already started a business. What are you doing with your life? Now I don’t say this to be condescending, I say it to knock down the many excuses we often use to justify our complacency. If they can do it, you can do it!
“I don’t believe you are ever too young or too old to chase your dreams,” Niya told MadameNoire.
Through the power of social media, Kam & Niya empower all of us to channel own youthful, carefree can-do attitude and aim for the stars — anyone who tells you that you “can’t” should rue the day they ever doubted you.
When faced with skeptics, Niya says, “I don’t believe them; [I tell them to] watch me show them how it’s done!” Yeah — she’s eight.
Now, without further ado, let’s hear what Kam & Niya — and their mothers Keshla Johnson and Ebony Towns — have to say about their new entrepreneurial endeavors. Get ready for the cuteness overload!
MadameNoire: Why did you two decide to start this children’s empowerment business?
Niya: Kam and I want children to know that they can accomplish adult-sized dreams. We wanted to inspire other kids to just be who they are, and don’t let other kids affect them by what they do or say. We also wanted kids to be confident and work on their dreams.
Kam: We wanted to inspire other kids to just be who they are, and don’t let other kids affect them by what they do or say. We also wanted kids to be confident and work on their dreams.
MN: What is it that you love the most about empowering others?
Niya: I like that we can make kids feel good about themselves. I see a lot of teasing and bullying and I want kids to know that it’s not cool to make other kids feel unhappy.
Kam: We like knowing that we’re helping kids of all ages, and can be a person that they look up to. Then maybe they can be someone that other people can look up to.
MN: Kam — We will see you on HBO’s upcoming biopic, Bessie! How was it working on set?
Kam: It was really fun because everyone was so nice! Ms. Latifah, Ms. Tika, Ms. Khandi, and [the director] Dee were super sweet and helpful. Mike [Kenneth Williams] was soooo funny. I can’t believe I’m going to be on HBO! Last year I got to work on my first movie with Jordin Sparks in Left Behind. She is so awesome!
MN: Alright. Let’s turn this over to the moms. What is @KamAndNiya all about?
Keshla Johnson (Kam’s Mom): @KamAndNiya are on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Their social networking pages are built to showcase past and present history makers, children entrepreneurs, and overall youth positivity.
Ebony Towns (Niya’s Mom): Social media can be such a negative place with cyber-bullying, videos on fighting, “twerking”, etc. We wanted to show the positive things that our youth and children are doing, and hope they encourage others to use their platforms wisely. It’s sad that many don’t realize how what you post today can haunt you tomorrow. Also, with its popularity, we thought it would be a great marketing tool for their upcoming business ventures.
MN: What made you decide to team up your kids and start this children’s empowerment business?
Keshla Johnson: Our kids are both passionate about being entrepreneurs… They are always coming to us with their grand ideas, so we thought why not work together, and let the dynamic duo do amazing things together.
Ebony Towns: Keshla and I are behind our children 100 percent in all of their personal and joint endeavors. Our kids saw a need to empower children and we believe in the cause as well.
MN: What inspired you to instill entrepreneurial values into your little girls at such a young age?
Keshla Johnson: I feel it is important to remove the fear of failure from our children at a young age so they won’t be scared to take risks. Many things we are instilling into our children now are ideals that took me many years to possess.
Ebony Towns: As a full-time mom, student, and entrepreneur myself, I wanted my daughter to be her own boss, and be skilled in many arenas… I believe if you have something of your own that drives you, and you’re passionate about, do it! If it can be profitable, that’s even better. Invest in yourself.
MN: How do you plan to evolve the children’s empowerment campaign into a profitable business?
Keshla Johnson: Kam and Niya are currently building their brand. They are working on building their YouTube and social media following as well. The girls are currently finishing up their first book which will be out later this year. The brand in which they are building encompasses speaking engagements, books, and workshops. The plan is to become a profitable business while remaining focused on the overall goal which is empowering all children.
MN: Any advice for women with kids who want to start a business as well?
Keshla Johnson: Many times moms feel guilty for wanting to fulfill their dreams, go back to school, or enter the workforce. I think it’s about finding a balance and that you have a goal in mind. Keshla and I work in corporate America, run multiple businesses, and take care of home. I believe that when you put your all into the things your passionate about and create positive energy, God will send you the resources and people that you need.
Keep an eye out for @KamAndNiya and be sure to check out Kam, who plays the younger version of one of the greatest American blues singers, on HBO’s Bessie on May 16.