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Kelechi ‘Kay Kay’ Uchendu: “I wish someone had told me to be grateful for where I was”

A leader inspires people to reach their greatest potential by their actions and the decisions that they make every day. For example, I am a leader because I inspire people all over the world to overcome their past trauma by the way I have taken painful situations and have used them to help and teach […]

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A leader inspires people to reach their greatest potential by their actions and the decisions that they make every day. For example, I am a leader because I inspire people all over the world to overcome their past trauma by the way I have taken painful situations and have used them to help and teach others. When someone reads Bully Friends, they learn that one can become more than a conqueror even after such a devastating experience.


As part of my series about “individuals and organizations making an important social impact”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kelechi (Kay Kay) Uchendu.

Kelechi Uchendu (Kay Kay) is the founder and CEO of Kay Kay’s World, LLC. Kay Kay’s World, LLC includes Kay Kay’s Fashion (a fashion brand that has been featured in British Vogue and other media outlets) and her website Kay Kay’s Way. Kay Kay graduated from Michigan State University with a BA in Political Science Pre-Law and a specialization in Environmental Studies in 2013. She then graduated from Vermont Law School with her JD in 2016 and her LLM in 2018. Kay Kay also has a Master’s degree in Business of Fashion from LIM College. Kay Kay is the author of Bully Friends (a non-fiction book that is sold in retailers around the world and around the United States of America like Books-A-Million). Bully Friends discusses bullying in friendships which is a major source of bullying that is not often covered by the media. A cool fact about Kay Kay is that before the age of 22, she had been to every continent (including Antarctica).


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

Thank you so much for taking the time to talk with me! I dealt with bullying in some of my friendships in middle school and high school and those experiences were very hurtful. I published Bully Friends last year because I wanted to help people that were being bullied by their friends.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company or organization?

I will never forget when British Vogue reached out to me to be in their magazine. My business wasn’t even up to a year-old at that point. Interestingly, a smaller magazine had promised to feature my brand in a certain way but never did. It is funny that they said no but the biggest fashion magazine in the world said yes.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When I first started, I did not think about how to package my product when it was being shipped. One would have thought that this would be one of the first things to have in place. I remember being so naïve that I thought I could mail products in an envelope that you would mail a regular letter in. The lesson I learned from this is that you need to think about every detail when you are growing your brand.

Can you describe how you or your organization is making a significant social impact?

Bullying is a huge problem in the United States of America. “One out of every five (20.2%) students report being bullied. Students who report frequently bullying others and students who report being frequently bullied are at increased risk for suicide-related behavior and suicide is one of the leading causes of death among adolescents aged 15–19 years. In addition, 30% of young people have been bullied by a friend.” I am making a significant social impact by raising awareness about bullying in friendships. My book is sold across the United States of America and across the world. I am helping people from all walks of life to heal from their pain and I am helping to prevent this major source of bullying.

Can you tell us a story about a particular individual who was impacted or helped by your cause?

I received a heartfelt message from an adult woman who had been bullied by her friends. This woman had been bullied by some of her adult friends and had recently ended those friendships. She reached out to me to tell me that writing about bullying in friendships is very much needed.

Are there three things the community/society/politicians can do to help you address the root of the problem you are trying to solve?

Yes, there are three things that society can do to help me address the root of the problem I am trying to solve. First of all, society can heavily invest in teaching students about the dangers of bullying. Secondly, society should discuss bullying in friendships in the media on a regular basis. Finally, society can also make adults feel safe to openly discuss the trauma they experienced in their childhood and teenage years.

How do you define “Leadership”? Can you explain what you mean or give an example?

A leader inspires people to reach their greatest potential by their actions and the decisions that they make every day. For example, I am a leader because I inspire people all over the world to overcome their past trauma by the way I have taken painful situations and have used them to help and teach others. When someone reads Bully Friends, they learn that one can become more than a conqueror even after such a devastating experience.

What are your “5 things I wish someone told me when I first started” and why. Please share a story or example for each.

  1. I wish someone told me that success is not necessarily linear. For example, there are highs and lows that people go through to become successful and that is completely normal.
  2. I wish someone told me that you need to praise God even when you are not happy. I have had moments where I encountered a problem and instead of staying sad I praised and thanked God. After that, my problem was quickly solved in a miraculous way.
  3. I wish someone had told me that it is fine to not be perfect. As your business grows things will keep getting better and you will keep elevating.
  4. I wish someone had told me to be grateful for where I was. A lot of times people are looking to get to the next level but if you are constantly in that state of mind then you will never enjoy and appreciate life.
  5. I wish someone had told me that it is good to frequently stop and look at how far you have come. Doing this really encourages me and keeps me grateful.

You are a person of enormous influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I would love to inspire a movement where people that are dealing with CPTSD share their stories because CPTSD is barely spoken about. I want people to know that they are not alone.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

Oprah Winfrey once stated, “You get in life what you have the courage to ask for.” This is relevant in my life because I am not afraid to ask God every day for my wildest dreams to come true. I remember crying out to God when I was in high school to use me to touch people’s lives in a meaningful way. When I prayed that prayer, I did not know that over a decade later my voice would be used to heal hurting people around the world.

Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would like to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this, especially if we tag them. 🙂

I would love to have lunch with Mariah Carey because she is so beautiful, talented, and genuine. Also, Mariah Carey dealt with bully friends when she was in middle school and she is a great example of how it is possible to overcome bullying and trauma.

How can our readers follow you on social media?

People can follow me on Instagram. My Instagram handle is @kaykaysway92. People can also visit kaykaysway.com and kaykaysfashion.com to learn more about me, Bully Friends, and Kay Kay’s Fashion. Finally, you can purchase Bully Friends at several retailers including Amazon (https://amzn.to/3mLcfyH), Books-A-Million (https://bit.ly/3nNUZdr), and Indie Bound (https://bit.ly/38BpTPR).

This was very meaningful, thank you so much. We wish you only continued success on your great work!

Thank you so much! I appreciate you taking the time to talk with me and it was a pleasure.

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