We had the good fortune of connecting with Kyler Nipper and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kyler, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I started Kyler’s Kicks as my own healing at 11 years old. I was stabbed in my chest in school over my shoes. After emergency surgery saved my life, I struggle with PTSD. I wanted to prevent what happened to me from happening to others, so I started collecting, cleaning and giving away shoes to those in need. After my own family became homeless due to my medical bills and lack of mental health coverage, I expanded Kyler’s Kicks to include Kyler’s Kicks Lounge to provide free teen inspired mental health therapy to any teen in need . My thought process is always focused on changing the world by healing through giving.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Kyler’s Kicks is 100% teen inspired. We have a Teen Board of Directors and every teen gets a vote. When I was going to “regular” therapy, I wasnt finding healing by sitting in a room and talking to a strange adult. At Kyler’s Kicks we heal how we feel helps us best as teens. Some days we need to give away 1500 ice cream cones to all of the kids in town to heal and other days we need to do art and music. The biggest lesson that I have learned is to keep trying until it works. I must have had my 1st business license for the first free mental health lounge for teens denied at least 20 times before the City Planning Department finally approved it. Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I wouldn’t be here today without my amazing parents and our entire Kyler’s Kicks Family. I will always have an extra special place in my heart for Tony Hsieh, the Founder of Zappos. Without Tony, Kyler’s Kicks would not be a nonprofit. Tony believed in me, when I was struggling through my PTSD to believe in myself. Tony taught me to get back up,and make an even bigger difference no matter how many times that you get knocked down.