Link & Light, Little Lantern Books

blog books boutique

Kayla Linkous is a busy woman with many talents. Apart from being a literacy advocate for a children's publishing company for over two years, she also runs a blog for moms called Link & Light and is in the process of launching her virtual mom shop, Missing Link Boutique, with custom items related to parenthood, literacy, and self-acceptance. 

Little Lantern Books encourages a new generation of readers to find self-acceptance, community, and memory-making in literacy. Through social media and in-person events, Kayla can share the amazing high-quality, super interactive books that keep kids entertained and make learning feel like play.  

Link and Light serve to unmask the reality of parenthood that is constantly glossed over in the media. "Being a mom is hard and takes a lot of work, and there is no one way to be a good one, so I share simple tips and tricks for the busiest moms to be able to have those beneficial moments with their children to strengthen the relationship foundations. I also share information about the importance of self-care and prioritizing ourselves as humans outside of the mom lens, which will allow us to be better moms in the end. Missing Link Boutique provides custom items with a lot of heart and a touch of humor. Every mom should feel comfortable and confident in herself and her parenting, especially when she is not a Pinterest Parent," Kayla elaborates. 

Little Latern Books is for new moms and busy moms who want to find easy and fun ways to create learning opportunities and special times together with their children. Kayla also partners with local nonprofits for fundraising opportunities.  

Through Link and Light, Linkous helps busy moms that feel they are struggling in their roles. Moms that are short on time, patience, or ability but still want to do all the fun things, also felt alone or like an outsider in their motherhood journey.  

Kayla inspires me to work with moms, coffee lovers, and book lovers, who enjoy a bit of humor. Missing Link Boutique will cater to the normal moms doing their best, working on themselves, and raising good humans. 

Our country is in a major literacy crisis in which a ridiculously high percentage of adults read well below average level. Low reading levels are statistically linked to difficulty landing and keeping a job, poverty, poor medical care, a greater likelihood of participation in illegal activities, and incarceration. The best way to help the future generation of adults is to give them the most opportunity to not become a statistic as a child. "Through my community partnerships, I’ve been able to donate books and cash to local organizations including the University of Kentucky Children’s Hospital, For Hank’s Sake & Pages for a Purpose, Pike County KY Foster Care system, and The Marco Shemwell Foundation," Kayla said.  

She offers easy-to-implement tips and tricks for the busiest of moms. From reading with children, and crafting for kids, to self-love and mindset for moms. Kayla offers gentle reminders and guidance in her blog posts as well as entertainment, cute, and affordable ways of self-expression for moms who love books, coffee, and mindset work! 

"My mother raised me on books. She was always reading for herself, reading to me, and exposing me to the joys and benefits of literacy. When I had my child, I knew I wanted to offer him the same. When I found out that I could earn income while benefiting my child AND my community, both my local community and my community of fellow mamas, there was no question. I had to. From there it just grew into all the other things," Kayla explains. Her upbringing contributed to her decision as a mother and entrepreneur. She was raised by a single mother. "My family dynamic is an odd one, as I had a basic relationship with my half siblings whom I shared a father with. My father was active in their lives growing up but due to his alcoholism, my mother chose to keep him out of mine while I was young and impressionable. I watched my mother struggle, hustle, suffer, and fight for everything we had – and she did an amazing job. I never wanted anything; she always found a way. I watched her go back to college and earn her degree when I was in middle school. I subconsciously learned the importance of challenging work, dedication, and independence from watching the example she set for me along with my grandmother. I 100% credit the strong women I was raised by for who I am today," she elaborates. 

The journey of motherhood and entrepreneurship has not always been easy. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Kayla's son was 9 months old. "We went into total lockdown, so it was just me, my husband, and our baby in our home all day every day. That is when my mind and emotions started to struggle. I felt alone like I was failing in my roles as a social worker, mom, and wife, and hit an all-time low. Around that same time was when I launched Little Lantern Books, which sounds counterintuitive to take on more responsibility when I already felt like I was failing, but it honestly saved me. I still hit roadblocks with my business, though. There are lulls in interest and the struggle of building an online presence for the first time," she explains.

 

Maintaining consistency has been a challenge as well. "it’s so easy to think “This just is not working. Time to give up.” But reminders of how much just showing up can do for you personally and professionally and surrounding myself with uplifting and strong women has been an immense help to change my habit of inconsistency." 

When she started to lose interest in her normal activities and struggled with completing work tasks, Linkous knew she needed to make a change. She sought out a therapist via telehealth. "I put a lot of work into self-reflection and mindset shifts and began psychiatric care for medication management. I was diagnosed with Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Depression, so it was going to take a combination of medication and therapy to get me back on track. 

Starting my businesses and blog gave me a creative outlet and something that was MINE that still benefited my family, too. It forced me to be social since it is a social selling business model, so I had to step outside of my comfort zone and could not isolate myself any more than COVID was already doing. Through this, I sought out business development opportunities like free online training and podcasts, and when you dig into business development for social selling or entrepreneurs, you will find it is mostly focused on working on your mindset. It naturally works in self-improvement to business building, so it has been immensely helpful in all areas," she explains. 

Her blog has been a wonderful way to get her thoughts out instead of bottling them up. Through her blog, Kayla can help others work through their problems. It made it easier for her to take the negative thoughts she was having and transmute them into something positive to encourage other moms. "The key is understanding that consistency is where you will find real growth and knowing that you have to focus on your goals and vision and not rely on motivation. Motivation can wane, but true visions you have for your life will not. This is how you can power through and keep doing the challenging work when you feel down or behind or defeated. My therapy and self-development related to business also allowed me to grow as a mom and a human being. I learned how to set better boundaries for myself, so I do not spread myself too thin. I learned how to ask for help when I needed it. I learned that things do not have to be perfect all the time and sometimes it is okay to just take a break," Kayla advised. 

Because of the impact her mother had on her and the passion she has for other moms as well as herself, Kayla was able to overcome those challenges by celebrating every small win. "I know my personality, and if I set huge goals and then don’t reach them, I get discouraged and it affects my motivation. So, I set small goals that through accomplishing will reach a larger goal that I do not “track,” per se. Each month when I schedule an event for LLB, that is an accomplished goal. Every book in the hands of a child is an accomplished goal. Getting my blog up and running was a huge accomplishment because I’d had it in mind for a while and couldn’t break through my mental roadblocks to make it happen for a little while." 

Here at Jay's Intuitive Life Coaching and Inspired Healing, LLC we have a saying that we like to use. "Healing is not a journey, it's a destination." We asked Kayla Linkous if she could give moms who aspire to start their businesses and continue their healing journey any advice, what would it be? She offered this, "It’s a process and a journey and you’re never too old or too settled to keep working and growing. I think the most important thing to always remember is that the beginning and a lot of the 

middle will be hard. There will be difficulties, there will be times you will have to choose which ball to drop and which to keep in the air. Some days I do not get my business tasks accomplished if I need to focus on my home or my son a little more. It is normal, and a mom should NEVER feel guilty about this. Anything you did not finish today can always be done tomorrow. Never feel too embarrassed to ask questions, seek help, or mess up. We are all just human, and without these things, we can never grow. Your success will not and does not have to look like anyone else’s success, but both roads will be paved with setbacks, failures, and probably some tears, but that’s how legacies are made." 

You can inquire about Kayla Linkous's services through: 

Instagram: kaymlink 

Facebook: facebook.com/kay.m.linkous 

LLB and MLB Website: www.thelinkandlight.com