Olga Kay came from nothing. In fact, that's not even her real name.
After growing up in the kind of poverty most Americans only read about, the Ukraine-born entrepreneur ran away with the Russian circus, became a YouTube star, and now is building a minor retail empire built on animal-themed kneesocks.
"I feel like I was born to be an entrepreneur," said Kay, the 34-year-old CEO of Mooshwalks.
She was born Olga Karavaeva in a tiny village in Crimea. "Every day was like, 'How are we going to survive another day?'" Her parents were paid in grass seed, sugar and pasta, instead of money. "We used to make candles out of olive oil and gauze because we didn't have electricity."
Kay said she wasn't an especially good student, but she daydreamed of a life entertaining people. Her mother told her, "Olga, if you want to be successful in the entertainment business, you'll have to work soooo hard if you don't want to go to school." Kay's response? "I'll work hard!"
Instead of becoming a better student, Kay decided to get a job.