If I only described Olga Kay as a YouTuber turned Entrepreneur that would not give the breadth and beauty to her story. From her humble beginnings in Russia to joining the circus and moving to the US – to present day as the founder and CEO of MooshWalks. In this episode she serves up sass, advice, and inspiration in what she calls learning by doing – no matter if you are an entrepreneur or in work education – just start and figure it out as you go. We’ll learn more about her vision of bringing socks to life at MooshWalks and how she uses social tools like Musical.ly to connect with customers.
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Notes from this Episode
Draw My Life: Olga Kay
MooshWalks Doc Series
Follow Zack King on Musically (@ZachKing)
Facebook Post on New Years with Knee High Socks
#iResistBecause … I have legally immigrated to America over 18 years to perform with Ringling Brothers Circus. I was 16 years old. USA truly is the land of opportunity as long as you work hard at building your American Dream. I became a Green Card holder few years later – I was on my way to become an American Citizen. After having my Green Card for over 10 years, I applied for an American Citizenship and was denied because of a hiccup in my immigration case not related to anything that I have done. I paid my taxes this whole time, I’ve never done anything illegal and all of the sudden I found myself in a 3 year long immigration limbo which cost me over $7000.00 dollars and constant worrying about what might happen next. Immigration is time consuming, money draining process already and little hiccups can really throw everything off balance that you’ve spent years building. To think that if I was immigrating today, I might say things like: “I am so glad I am not Muslim because I won’t get the same chance” makes me sad that the fundamentals of this country are being destroyed by fear and as a result, it affects innocent legal immigrants who happen to be Muslims. I am Olga Kay and I finally got my American Citizenship on February 23, 2016. 📸 by @lindseybyrnes I Resist Because Project by @iresistbecause @cam_eliza
More about Olga
Growing up in a tiny village in Russia, I was extremely poor. I dreamed of owning a pair of jeans and new shoes for every season. My dad taught me how to create a candle out of a gauze and olive oil so I could do my homework in the evenings when our electricity was shut off. I learned the value of hard work and persistence at an early age. At 14 years old, my family and I ran away with the circus for a search of a better life. As a small village girl there, I often felt invisible. As my family cleaned animal droppings, I struggled to learn new skills alongside my peers who had been training for years.
Because the circus moved so often, every month I was forced to change friends and schools. I studied some subjects twice and some never at all, so I always felt behind academically. Ultimately, this drove me to work even harder to accomplish my dreams. I practiced juggling 8 hours a day, after school and on weekends. My mother once told me, if I didn’t want to go to college, I would have to work extremely hard to become successful in life…It was the best advice she ever gave me. At 16, I came to the USA with my aunt to perform with The Ringling Brothers Circus. At that time, I didn’t even know how to speak English.
I discovered YouTube a few years later. I taught myself how to create videos from start to finish. I worked 24/7 building a following. My viewers gave me confidence, and for the first time in my life, I didn’t feel invisible anymore. I had an army of cheerleaders cheering me on. After creating 2000+ videos, I realized I was exhausted. For the first time in my life, I decided to slow down and get serious about following my true passion – MooshWalks.
I didn’t want to create another colorful sock company. I looked for socks that felt alive and told their own stories and when I couldn’t find anything out there, I knew I had to make it myself.
My MooshWalks characters were an extension of me – and an opportunity to share them with the world.
Fashion isn’t just a representation of what you wear, it’s a representation of how you feel about yourself. That’s why MooshWalks is so much more than a sock company – it’s the story my own struggles to stand out in a world where I once felt invisible.
Connect with Olga:
Instagram: instagram.com/olgakay/ (@olgakay)
Connect with MooshWalks:
MooshWalks Website: https://mooshwalks.com/
MooshWalks Twitter: https://twitter.com/MooshWalks
MooshWalks Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MooshWalks
About Josie and The Podcast
In each episode, Dr. Josie Ahlquist – digital leadership author, researcher, and speaker – connects tech and leadership in education. This podcast will bring you leaders on-campus and online. From Senior Vice Presidents on Snapchat, YouTubers receiving billions of views and new media professionals. All through the lens of social media and leadership. Josie hopes you will not only learn from these digital leaders but also laugh as we all explore how to be our best selves online and off.
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