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Life & Work with Kelli Lecy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelli Lecy.

Hi Kelli, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstories.
As a young single mom at 18, I didn’t have much of a community or even friends for that matter. So, when I married my husband of almost 14 years at 22 and then proceeded to have two more children before the age of 25, I felt very alone. While trying to conceive my youngest I found a community of women who were also trying to conceive on YouTube and thought, hey, I can do that, I can make videos with these women, and that’s how it started. Not only did I meet a ton of people through the TTC (trying to conceive) YouTube community, but I also ended up donating eggs to someone I met through the group and helped her start her family that way as well while also documenting it on my channel for those who were considering doing the same. From there I got very passionate about sharing reusable menstrual products with world which really did launch my YouTube into a large viewership, and then now I’ve settled into sharing sustainable products, things I love, my family life, DIY things, travel, and local events on my channel and Instagram account.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
Definitely not. When I started on YouTube over a decade ago, there wasn’t a road map to handling trolls, businesses, taxes, and all the other stuff involved. For the first 6 years, I didn’t even monetize things because I wanted to keep things pure and honest, and that really hit my family financially because I was spending a lot of time creating content and wasn’t benefitting monetarily to help my household out, so making that decision to start asking for money from companies, and putting ads on things was one of the first things that was really difficult for me. Trolls were another thing that were hard to get used to. When you’re in your early 20’s trying to navigate life and parenting, it’s hard to hear people who don’t even know you tell you are a bad parent, or you’re a horrible person. People would go so far as to comment on my looks or my kids’ looks for no reason at all! Gossip sites would start popping up about me and my family and eventually I had to turn all google notifications off because I just couldn’t handle it along with post-partum depression and all the other things I would go through during that time of my life. To this day I still get DM’s and comments that are nasty, a lot of the times commenting on my bi-racial marriage. My husband is white, and I am Asian. The other hard thing is not comparing yourself to others. It took me a long time to share as much as I do now because I always was afraid of sharing too much with the world. I am not and never will be like other YouTubers and social influencers who share every millisecond of their or their kids’ lives on the internet, and I know that that has affected how much my channels have or haven’t grown. It’s decisions like that that have been hard to make, but in the end, protecting my kids’ rights to their own privacy has always been my biggest goal.

As you know, we’re big fans of you and your work. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about what you do?
Right now, I work part-time as a rehab specialist which has been an amazing experiencing. I’m currently working on getting some certifications which will help me both personally and professionally in my line of work, and I’m really excited about it! I think one of the things that I learned after a decade of being a social media influencer, is that I truly thrive on having outside of the home work and having a job that helps people. My biggest joy is seeing my hard work benefit other people.

Other than donating eggs years ago and helping a family grow, I’m really proud of all the menstrual health education that I’ve put into the world. Growing up I was really ashamed of my body and the things that it went through every month, and I never want another person to feel that same way. I wanted to be a resource for people who menstruate and I did that, and it’s a great feeling! Last thing I’m most proud of is my family. I got pregnant with my daughter at 17 and then had her at 18. I met my husband at 21 and then married at 22 and then had my other two kids right after that. I built this family that isn’t perfect but is functioning well and all my kids are happy, healthy, and doing so well in the things they love. My oldest will be graduating this year from not only high school, but also college, and I could not be prouder.

I think what sets me apart from others is that through all the years I’ve tried really hard to keep my integrity and again protect my kids’ privacy and my husband’s. While I do share about being adopted, what we do for fun, and our travels, I never show my kids if they don’t want me to, and I ALWAYS ask if I can share them in photos. In my household, everyone has a right to say no and it is not expected that just because I am on social media for the world to see, that they have to be as well. I don’t want them to grow up and regret what I’ve shared of them, so I’ve always been careful about that which I don’t think a lot of people do these days. I’m also not click baity. I want people who follow me to follow me because they relate to me and they like me, not because I’ve shocked them into thinking I’m someone or something that I’m not. Honesty has been a big thing for me, so making a big deal over nothing just to get engagement and views is not something I want to do and working with companies or brands that I don’t trust and believe in is also something that I will not do. I’ve walked away from many lucrative business opportunities because they didn’t align with my beliefs or views, and while it’s hurt me financially and career-wise, I can sleep well knowing that I did the right thing by my viewers and myself.

What was your favorite childhood memory?
I had a pretty difficult childhood. Being a Korean adoptive in the Midwest in the ’90s wasn’t easy, but I do have very fond memories of traveling and camping with my family. Even though I hated at times having to bike MILES and MILES to campsites where we would pitch our tents and eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches day after day, some of my favorite memories now are of those experiences, like my mom chasing raccoons away from our food at night, and running down to the water spigots to fill up the tea kettle for hot cocoa over the fire. Catching little fish with our hands down by the stream was also a really fun time. Basically, all the outdoorsy things my parents forced us to do out of lack of money, those ended up being some of my favorite memories.

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