Monday, February 6, 2012

A Day In Their Life: Kozi and Kyra Kyles

Sister Duo Give Tips on Running a Business with Family and Friends
By Lenora Houseworth
So, you’re thinking about going into business with your sister or best girlfriend, are you? The idea of spinning your dream into a successful venture with your BFF sounds good, but are you actually prepared for the journey that lies ahead?
One set of Chicago-based sisters Kyra and Kozi Kyles prove you can indeed go into business with your sibling or best friend, and have fun while doing it. As creators, writers, and producers of the comical sci-fi web series “Human Resources” starring puppets, the Kyles sisters are breaking new ground humorously addressing touchy workplace issues in the recession-era with the online project released under their entertainment company Myth Lab Entertainment, Inc.
“It is definitely based on our work experience,” said Kozi, who came up with the idea for the show based off her experience surviving a company layoff earlier in her career. “What stood out to me was the poor way it was handled. It was kind of eerie. Nobody talked about it. You would see your coworkers get up from their desk, go to the conference room and it was almost as if they had vanished and their personal items left with them. It struck me as something I had seen on the X-files.”
The sisters have been a collaborative team their entire lives, writing mock-magazines and play filmmaking as young girls, so it was only natural that they would eventually become business partners.
The talented twosome shares their best tips on how to start and maintain a business with someone you love.
You are not twins.
“Embrace the individual strengths and weaknesses. I think sometimes people mistake a partnership with doing everything in lockstep and that is what leads to problems because you’re different people. Even if you’re best friends, even if you’re sisters, you are different,” says Kyra, who takes the lead on marketing while Kozi takes the lead on the production. “What you need to do is say ‘You do this, I do that.’ You definitely want to be collaborative but you also have to let the individual talent shine and that way you will get more out of working together.”
Honesty is a priority.
“You need honesty and open communications at all points to make sure everything goes smoothly. You are definitely still friends but you also have to work together in a business environment, and the only way that is going to work is if you are honest with each other about what your goals are,” Kozi says.
Agree to disagree, diplomatically.
“I think you definitely have to acknowledge it is not going to be perfect, even when you are working with yourself,” Kyra says.
You just have to deal with it, and we deal with it with a sense of humor. We make fun of a situation and how silly it was and we are back talking within a few hours… Kozi is known in our family as the diplomat. She knows how to talk to people. She might not agree with you but she doesn’t ever make you feel bad about the fact that you two don’t agree, and I appreciate that quality in her. I would advise people that if you are working with someone, someone has to be the diplomat.”
Kozi adds, “We just have a lot respect for one another. Even if we don’t have the same viewpoints, I am very open to listening why she wants to do it a certain way, and I think that helps us get through some of those more difficult situations.”
Get organized.
“We are working evenings, weekends, and mornings; we definitely have to have a system in place. That is the way we orchestrated things,” says Kyra, who works also works full time as a journalist. Kozi, who works in marketing for an entertainment company says delegated tasks keeps everything “streamlined.”
Encourage each other.
“Starting a business can be a really freighting and overwhelming experience so having someone constantly encouraging you is definitely a benefit and helps you persevere over those more difficult times so having someone you can laugh with is definitely a perk,” says Kozi.
“I think unfortunately in this economy people find themselves often times working with people they don’t like,” adds Kyra. “Whenever I work with Kozi on “Human Resources” I always start the day laughing and I end it laughing. I wish it was like that for more people. So I treasure the time we have together.”
Keep up with the Kyles sisters at and check their blog for fresh content.
Featured Writer: Lenora Houseworth is a published writer, editor and social media strategist. She can be reached Find her on Twitter: @LenoraTheScribe.

A “Day in Her Life” blog series gives an insider view into the professional lives of successful women from various fields with the intended purpose of educating and inspiring the next generation of BOSS women.


  1. What an amazing story! Understanding that there is a balance between family and business in a positive manner is refreshing. Great job Lenora!

  2. I know Kyra personally and she is truly a BOSS. I am excited to see her growth and I wish her and her sister the best.

  3. AWESOME! What a beautiful piece featuring two beautiful sisters in such a positive light! We need more of this to show our young sisters there is hope and there is still good reason to plan and follow their dreams. All is not lost and that which is lost can be found with a little discipline and perseverance. There is hope for us all. Thanks Kyra, Kozi and Lenora for bringing this story to the forefront. Please... keep it coming.

  4. Thanks ladies! Love what these two sisters are doing!

  5. Good advice. I know first hand how difficult it can be to start a business with a friend and still try to maintain the friendship. Keep up the good work ladies