I had a fun conversation with Kaelyn Keala, a member of our Empowered by Fused Hawaii community. I just wanted to meet as many women from our community and be able to shine the light on your stories.
Kaelyn talks about her story as a teenager who played rugby in school without knowing she’s 5 months pregnant, being a single parent, doing different kinds of jobs to provide for her family, and to starting her own business as she was going through postpartum. I mean, if there’s one word I can use to describe her story, it’s “brave."
I’m just so proud of her journey. She was invested in her growth, she did the uncomfortable and she’s well on her way to success.
As a girl who grew up on an island, there are certain expectations placed on you. Growing up, I had this thinking that "not having the right education, she wasn't gonna make it anywhere.” But then you hear stories like this one! Like what I always say, “ don’t ever be afraid of dreaming bigger than the islands."
So listen to this conversation and get inspired.
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Aloha and welcome to the Dream Into it Podcast. I'm Roxelle Cho coming to you from my hometown, Kailua-Kona, Hawaii. After building a multiple seven figure swimwear brand from a dream starting in my garage, I became curious into learning how my thoughts created the reality around me.
This is the Dream Into it Podcast where we will look into how powerful inspired, motivated women like myself are able to rewrite the stories of their lives and step into their power. I am so excited to be able to join you on your journey of stepping into your potential and creating the life of your dreams. Mahalo for being here today, let's dream into it!
Kaelyn: Can you hear me?
Roxelle: I think. Try to talk now?
Roxelle: Yeah. That's clear.
Kaelyn: Okay. It's telling me, "Click. If you want to switch to a different", Oh okay now I don't have another phone but where am I?
Roxelle: I think you gotta turn your camera on.
Kaelyn: Oh, right there. Hello!
Roxelle: Where are you calling from or where are you at right now?
Kaelyn: Washington state.
Roxelle: Okay. So when did you move from Hawaii? Where were you living?
Kaelyn: We were on the Hilo side.
Kaelyn: Last year (like spring break), my husband entered the military and so we had to go with him.
Roxelle: So you have to move or you're just moving now?
Kaelyn: Yeah. But we really want to come home. We are thinking about it. We are so excited.
Roxelle: You won the year's worth of bikini.
Kaelyn: This is one of them. Yes, they're currently in the closet. I'm not giving any of that. Cause it's been so cold and it's finally getting warm here.
Roxelle: Yeah. So we just started these conversations. I just wanted to meet as many women from our community and be able to shine the light on your stories.
The whole part of Fuse Hawaii was to start off sharing my story, to inspire others, to be brave with theirs. And so this conversation is about you, and we want to highlight your story. When I was reading through, I learned that you're a single mom, and the value that can come from your story just around that topic is huge.
I read that you started your business. So we're gonna talk a little bit about that journey as well. Cause I know that there are ups and downs and all kinds of stuff that comes with that. I'd love to just let you take the floor for a little bit. Introduce yourself.
Kaelyn: My name is Kaelyn Calla, and I'm 23 years old. I'm a mommy of two, of McKenna and Rhythm, and then my husband is Raymond. So I'm going to start with my story. When I was in high school, I was playing rugby. And then I got accepted into Notre Dame to play rugby for them.
While I was playing there, I ended up leaving school early because I found out I was pregnant with my son, and I was about four or five months pregnant while playing with him. I had no clue. I ended up telling my parents, and it was really scary to tell them. Especially after how much they did for me to go to school, get into school, and get seen for rugby.
It was really scary. They told me to stay there. They were willing to relocate our family up there so that I could stay in school, and they could help me take care of him. It ended up, I was homesick. So I told them, "No, I wanted to come back home. Like I wanted to get on the next flight and get out".
So I ended up going back home, and I left all of that behind, probably a couple of months after I gave birth to McKenna. And for about three years, I was a single mom with him. I started work for about three months, two or three months, right after I gave birth to him.
There was just a, I don't know, it's like the push - like no, now you have someone to take care of. You gotta get out there. So I ended up working as a security guard - like one of those game rooms, something to pick up something. That didn't cut it. So I ended up moving on forward to like Target. In all of those retail-life, I was working overnight so that during the day I could watch him. And then at nighttime, he could be with my parents.
And it's just crazy being a single parent, but you just make do with how it is. I don't know. You just have that push - you have someone to take care of.
Roxelle: Yeah. You know, I have certain women I know who are single moms too. And every time I think like my life's hard, I remember their situations. And it motivates me and inspires me because it's like all the things I think are hard, I think of them like they're on their own.
They're doing it themselves. So I give you credit for that. You inspire me every single day. You wake up, and you do that, and show up in that space. So I want to let you know that because I can't imagine. So, you know, all these payless jobs that sometimes we do as women that don't get acknowledged because there's no paycheck attached to it.
That's what this community that I've grown, and building that's my dream. How do we say thank you to each other so that we're aware of all the jobs that get done, and sometimes are thankless because there's like no paycheck attached to it or no title. But those are some, you know, those are the biggest jobs.
Roxelle: While we're on this topic too, of having the baby, I read in your story, you've also gone through postpartum. I'm very familiar with myself, and you know, I've had that. I think three times I've had four kids, but I think I went through it three times. And like each time was very much different for me, it was like, "What's happening? Why am I like this? I'm like a horrible person, or I'm weird, or I'm feeling something that's not explainable, so it's not okay".
Kaelyn: Yes exactly.
Roxelle: That kind of norm. I like to talk about it so that we can normalize it.
Kaelyn: Yes, nobody talks about it. You'd hardly hear people talking about it. And it's what made me realize I had it after I had my daughter, when we moved here, I was pregnant with her.
Like how you said we, I was going through so many different stages. I was thinking about things like a lot of different things. It's crazy about the number of things that you could think of. And it made me realize when my sister in law reached out to me, and she kept reaching out to my husband to ask if I was okay, like, just checking on me.
I've always wondered why she was checking on me? But it's because she had it. And so she was checking on me, making sure I was okay. And then I thought about it when I had my son. But I never knew.
Roxelle: I got chills, when you said that. Cause it's true, you don't even know and just get through it.
Roxelle: My eyesight is 20, 20. You're like, "Oh, that's what was happening".
Kaelyn: Yes. And when you go to the doctor, you don't want to fill out the forms when they ask you those kinds of questions. You always just say, "No, no, no, you're not depressed, or you're not thinking about all these other things". But inside you are thinking like that.
Roxelle: I realize like when the doctors or the advice we get, unless we check the box that says, "Oh, suicidal". Then we get attention as they care about me before. So yeah, it's very much an emotional roller coaster.
Kaelyn: Yes, so I thought to put it out there because I figured if I didn't know about it, imagine how much other women are going through it. And maybe they don't know it, or maybe they don't have anyone else to talk to about it.
Roxelle: You were young.
Kaelyn: Yes, I was 18.
Roxelle: Yeah, and I was 24 with my first. So my experience was that I was older, but at 18, imagine how many women are gonna find value through your story. And that's the beauty of this podcast, of these videos. I can't wait to get these stories out there because it's like another woman will hear it, and might not relate to my story, but for her to relate to yours is powerful. And I'm excited about that.
And, you know that exchange too. You're going to be able to see, you know, your value as well, that you're bringing it. Cause a lot of the times we don't take the time to look and reflect, and look at our reflection.
Kaelyn: Ourselves are the last people we take care of, or even look at. We always try to, I mean, I always hear the saying that to help someone else you gotta be good or your cup has to be full before filling someone else's cup. But it's difficult to do that.
Roxelle: It's easier said than done.
Roxelle: Yeah, I got off another call this morning, another interview with one of our group members. And she's like, "I don't know how you do it. You've got all of these things going on". I'm literally looking at my three year old pound on my glass store right now, trying to get into my room while we're talking.
And so, you know, I told her the way I do it is that this time that I'm taking for these conversations, it fills my cup. So these conversations with you, because I know that it's going to change someone else's lives, and the value it's going to bring here. The impact of that is I don't have to feel guilty because I'm attending to my children for 24 hours a day.
I don't have to feel guilty for sleeping, not like taking a nap. We don't have to feel guilty for taking care of ourselves. All along the way, we get better. And I'm sure you've seen that in your own story. Right? I mean, right now you're starting a business, or you are, I'm gonna let you talk about that.
It's also interesting to me because I also went through all parts of that journey as well in my way. And so I love hearing from another person's perspective how that looks and what that feels like for you.
Kaelyn: Oh, it's a crazy journey. There are ups and downs to it. I started the business because of me going through postpartum.
I kept telling myself because I see my husband doing what he wants to do. He wants to be an electrician. He's being an electrician in the military. And I told myself, I was like, "Why did I keep seeing myself blaming him? Why is he able to do these things when I'm not doing anything?"
We would always get into arguments because I would try to pick fights about it. I should be able to follow my dreams also. And it was postpartum that just really pushed me into starting something. I was trying to look for stay at home jobs online. And then I came across this lady named Lauren Golden on Facebook. She's a founder of the free mama movement.
She's just like this group. I just shared with them the other day about this, and part by Fuse group. It's just the same, like how you guys should inspire, empower others to do, and be themselves. That's how she is too, but being a business owner and she helps mothers become business owners.
And that's how I started. I purchased her online course, and then she taught me how to get all the business stuff going. Because of me from Hawaii, I don't know.
Roxelle: That's a whole nother conversation, like girls understanding a business. I try to get that point across to my whole team, my audience like I'm the owner. We don't compute like people think, "You're joking". No, I don't get it.
Kaelyn: Yeah. So that whole technology is like a whole nother thing. I'm glad I purchased it, and she showed me all the ropes of it. But it's crazy, to myself, I don't even think I own a business.
Roxelle: What are you doing now?
Kaelyn: I serve business owners and entrepreneurs by doing their administrative or organizational work in their business. I also do social media management - like engaging, like how Cardi does or schedule their polls or like advertising. And I'm also in CFD design school where Catherine Jones from Automate Academy. I did another course, and she taught me how to do website building.
Roxelle: Ah, nice.
Kaelyn: Website building within click funnels.
Roxelle: Oh yeah. That's a good one to learn.
Kaelyn: Yes. So it's called CF design school. So that's what I'm in right now. I just got off of an email with him. I was trying to learn some ropes, and I used her website and her husband's business website, and she gave me a lot of awesome feedback. So that’s what I've been trying to base my business with more back home.
Growing up, you know, seeing everyone and all our role models, you just want to be like, or do business with. That's what inspires me. So I've been trying to go back home, do it for people back home, and do all of those kinds of things.
Roxelle: I'm going to watch your journey. So I'm going to hold you accountable to continue to grow and learn. And when it gets hard, like I'll be watching you. I'm going to be following your journey. I am excited for you. And I want to hear more about it as you continue to grow. I know what it's like. Just know you can never dream big enough.
My life now and where I started, I just told my mom the other day - I was just having coffee in the kitchen with mom and looking around our living room, I was like, "Mom, remember when we used to wake up in section eight housing, it hit me. We got out of that system. We weren't supposed to get out of that system. That system's made to trap us there."
Roxelle: That is like the coolest thing ever. And when I started Fuse as well, I just wanted to inspire women like me, but even on a smaller micro where my heart was. That little girl like me, that Hawaiian girl on an Island growing up, thinking she's stuck in the system.
Thinking that not having the right education, she wasn't gonna make it anywhere. But I want to let them know in our community, especially for me just being native Hawaiian - you know the feeling. Sharing that with the young girls coming up through that, I know for me, If I could just tell them don't ever be afraid of dreaming bigger than the islands, right?Don't ever be afraid to pick up that book and read it, listen to the podcast, like learning. And it's okay to learn something outside of our box, outside of our culture.
I'm excited for you. I commend you for going and doing something uncomfortable. Growing even in Washington, outside of your home, I know probably you get homesick.
Kaelyn: There are days that it comes back.
Roxelle: If I could frame it from an outsider looking in, I am going to look at your example as being brave. With your story, being homesick, and being away from home, it's uncomfortable. Learning new things and the value you'll be able to bring to your community maybe five years down the road or whatever you're going to learn through this experience, and bring it home, and share it with our community as well.
Kaelyn: So thank you so much. You just summed it all up of how I hope to inspire all of the girls growing up right now, or coming into the real world to see, never stopped dreaming. We were so stuck like how you said we're so comfortable that we don't see or understand. Some may not understand or see what's out there. We have our culture like we're set to stay home, but there's more out there. There's more out there for us.
Roxelle: I'm so excited. Where can they find your services? Where can we direct our audience to work with you?
Kaelyn: Okay, my email is email@example.com and my website is kkvirtualservices.com.
Roxelle: Yeah. I think we can network our community and be able to have resources for our network of women able to work and support one another.
Kaelyn: Yes. I hope to be coming back into the Facebook group, how I used to be. It's crazy. Like I keep telling myself, "You always dream of having a business and then it comes, we just have to learn how to appreciate the craziness. "
Kaelyn: Because it's what you dream for. And I don't know how to put it.
Roxelle: Even with this call right now, it's in the middle of my day, you see our shipping delays, you see all of these people, and the things that I need to fix in my business. You know, I have four kids. You know, that I just got off Instagram live, and we're here, and I'm here now.
The reasons for these things, even though these are hard steps, I'm going to show up here because it's part of me. I visualize it like the universe is showing up for me. You showed up for me. I view that as a sign. This woman showed up for me. Probably if I show up for that as well, something else is going to open that I couldn't even dream up. But if I don't show up here for this phone call, that was a gift to my world, it's like I don't get what's next.
So you always hear the quote, "Life gives you just what you can handle", and until my auntie put a twist on it for me. And it was mind blowing. I was just like, she said, "Life gives you exactly what you can handle until you let life know you can handle what's right in front of you, and then it'll give you more."
And I was feeling so depressed one day in my office. And I was just like, I couldn't get out of this funk. And I was feeling like I can't do anything. And I had noticed later it was like a self-sabotage type thing, not being able to want to step into my success because that's scary.
And instead of telling me like what everybody else was like, "Oh, you got this, you're going to handle it. You'll get through." She's like, "No, Life showing up for you. It's giving you exactly what you can handle when you show life, you can handle more than it's going to give you more."
Kaelyn: That's the best one. They're straight up, like they're on your side. She's on your side though.
Roxelle: Yes. So you know how our aunties are and they're moms. So, you know, dealing with negativity on social media, it's very much like, "Girl, my grandma told me that when I was like eight."
In our culture, I was like, "I was doing a good job." Then like, "Yeah. Didn't we tell you that?" I'm like, "No, you didn't. You told me that I could do better." "You did good. But yeah, yeah, do better."
Well, thank you for this call. Is there anything I can add? As a growing business myself, a mom going through the same things as you are, is there anything that you have a question on, or I can somehow direct you and add value to your day?
Kaelyn: You know, I've been thinking recently about that whole postpartum thing, and I did see a comment on my posts that one time I posted that one of our few sisters said how postpartum hardly gets talked about. And I've been thinking about writing a book. I don't know if it's going to be an ebook or a book, but I told myself since the business whole thing just started, it is going to be a goal.
And I hope to put it out there one day. I told myself, maybe it's not going to be about postpartum itself. Maybe I can put my story into the book. So when others read it, they can relate.
Roxelle: Did you want my view or what I think about that? Or is there any way I could add value to that?
Roxelle: I mean, my thoughts are on that. If I see that it's something you love, and you're excited about it. Do it. Do it, but don't have to perfect it. Like, for instance, I have my blog. If you look at our few sites, you can find our blog somewhere. I never really like to put it out there. I never wrote a blog.
I speak pigeon. I write bad grammar. Like I grew up in Hawaii, so I'm like, "Oh, I don't even spell right. I don't know where to put the comma. I don't know where to put the periods sometimes. I have run-on sentences."
But I love writing because I wanted to document my story, my journey as an entrepreneur going through this.
So I put it away on my website, and I just journaled. I journaled when I felt like it. And so bloggers would come, and they're like, "Oh, you need a better blog than that. That's not how you do blogs. You need SEO. You need keywords. And I was like, "But I'm having fun."
Yeah. So I'd always encourage myself every time I get wrapped up in all the technical parts, even in my marketing website design, like I'm learning things that I still don't know - my finances, all those things. What's going to give you the energy to get through the hard parts? So I have to wake up, and I have to do all these things that I suck at that I don't enjoy, I don't love. But what gives me the energy is making sure that every single day I get up, and I do something that I love. Whether these phone calls might not equate to ROI or any value in a return. I do believe that the biggest value is to fill your heart with joy in life.
We all know watching people whose lives are shorter than they should have, that we should have lived life to our fullest. So we never want to live with that regret. So every day do a little bit of what excites you - if it's writing in a little journal about your book, writing something down, that's a dream of yours. I do believe that if you're consistent with it, you believe in it, and that's where you're directing your thoughts, and your energy, it's going to manifest into something that you've probably never dreamed of.
So 10 years later, I might be talking to you again like a bestselling author.
Kaelyn: Oh. You know, I never liked books growing up until I got older, you realized.
Roxelle: Yeah. There's nothing that you can't even imagine. I feel like our biggest dreams, whereas a limitation because there are more paths. And I think the more we can expand on our dreams and our minds, I mean, life surprises us. So that's it for you.
Kaelyn: I don't have any words. I'm so excited and so happy right now.
Roxelle: I can't wait for the day we can meet people, more intimate levels, even from our community, like face to face. And that's one of my biggest dreams too.
When I started the brand was how do we have these networks of women? It's like a big friendship minus all the drama.
Kaelyn: Yeah, you can see everybody's showing up for each other. And it's so amazing seeing that every day. I see the pulse, but once my phone goes on, my kids are right up in there. And it's amazing to see every single one, a lot of them, you can see the same names over and over, and then you'll see new names. Just cheering each other on. And that has made me.
With my postpartum, I always told myself like, "I'm so fat." I just keep telling myself that. And then all of a sudden I never talked about it, and my husband, I'm pretty sure he wandered. And I told him one day I was like, "You know, this in part by the Fuse group that I'm in now made me not think about my weight, and I don't care about the number that's on the scale anymore."
Roxelle: Yeah. It's very interesting when you talk about all those things postpartum - whether it's our weight, the word fat, the word postpartum. It's like, I think of the words, depression, anxiety, and the connotations. I get emotional with every word, right? Like the word fat. I get the emotion in my body. The word postpartum, I get an emotion and a judgment almost towards that word.
Having depression and anxiety, I realize now looking back when I was a kid and I was told, "You're ADD. You have anxiety. You have depression."
It held me back further because I had this label in my mind - depressed people are this, and then this is their future. Anxious people are looked at like this. We can't show that part of us.
And now looking back, I'm like, "Wait a minute. I'm going to teach my kids that depression is just feeling sad, and it's explainable. And that person still deserves love". When I was anxious, I couldn't show it because it was embarrassing. I had to hold it in, and it got worse.
I'm going to teach my children, "You're a little anxious right now, and it's okay. And we're going to get through this. And you can get through this, and you can breathe, and you can love yourself because you still deserve love."
That's when you were talking about all those feelings, I actually got these emotions in my body.
Roxelle: No, it enlightens me because I'm like, "Whoa! Those are just labels."
Roxelle: At the end of the day, people deserve love.
Kaelyn: So inspiring.
Roxelle: Thank you for inspiring me and adding fuel and water to my cup today.
Kaelyn: Thank you so much for having me or letting me join you on this.
Roxelle: Even before I go in your name, I was like, "Oh! That's an easy conversation. We're just going to chat like a local girl from Hawaii. Okay, that's quick"
Kaelyn: If anybody wanted to reach out to me to chat about anything they're going through, I'm open to speaking to anybody about my journey in helping them.
Roxelle: Yeah, and I want to even put these videos together for our group members to be able to meet one another too in these ways and have these real conversations with real people, and just showing up in themselves.
Kaelyn: Yes. Conversations with real people are important, and not just looking at all those Instagram. All those other photos that we see and we try to sometimes compare ourselves to.
Roxelle: Thank you.
Kaelyn: Thank you. Have a great evening. Love home for me.
Roxelle: I know. I'm like, "Oh! Even that I'm like, Oh! I'm homesick for you".
Kaelyn: I had two for the first time in my life, get me a babysitter.
Raymond called me, "Don't do that."
Roxelle: I know. But I did that. I gotta do it. I mean, I tell people all the time, even my house, I have cleaners now. When I was growing up, I was like, "Only rich people have cleaners." Then I got cleaners, I was like, "No, I need help. I can accept and receive help and that's healthy."
Roxelle: And then other people will see that, at first they might judge you but you know what, your results are always going to prove and you don't have to argue. We don't have to fight. You just keep showing up and doing the work.
Kaelyn: Oh my goodness. Thank you so much.
Roxelle: Talk to you soon in real life.
Kaelyn: All right, bye.
Roxelle: Bye, Kaelyn.
Mahalo for tuning in! I hope you enjoyed that episode. Keep on dreaming Into It Dreamers. The possibilities are infinite. If you love the show, share it with a friend and subscribe. I'll catch you in the next episode. Feel free to dive into our show notes at www.fusehawaii.com and you can follow me on Instagram as well @roxellecho.
I'd love to hear from you. Comment on my recent post. What did you learn? Tell me your takeaways.