"I was going to school as a single mom. I know that people doubted me but I just kept going."
I heard about Kelsey’s soon to be launching store from a friend (thanks Aubrey girl). After seeing some of the feminine/boho/effortless goodness I knew that I had to meet the heartbeat behind the business.
Kelsey’s welcoming and happy energy is so inviting. I felt as though I was just hanging out with a friend as we chatted about fashion, family, and the small world that is West Michigan. I love the strength that she has. A single mama working to make her dreams come alive…Kelsey knows something about hustling to create your own reality.
Can’t wait to add some of her items to my closet. Make sure to circle April 1 on your calendars so you can get in on some of her great picks just in time for spring…if we hope it, maybe it will come (that’s what that baseball guy was referring to, right?)
How did this all begin for you?
I graduated last spring from Western with a degree in Textile and Apparel Studies with an emphasis on Fashion Merchandising. I had started looking for jobs hoping to be a fashion or corporate clothing buyer. I wasn’t finding positions that I wanted and had always dreamed of having a clothing boutique. I just decided to do it. I announced on Facebook that I would be opening a clothing store and thought okay, I’m doing this!
What is the meaning behind the name?
It was inspired by my grandma-Arla Ruth. She really likes fashion and clothing…we share that passion so thought using her initials would be a nice way of highlighting that.
What is the hopeful future of the company?
I really want to find an old house in this area and sell the clothes but also have some other vendors…home, jewelry, things like that rent from me. Would love a place where other people can sell their products and have a busy store!
Who are some of your fashion inspiration/icons?
I really love Lisa Prang who has a fashion blog. I am really inspired by her clothing and what she puts together. As far as stores go I always love Free People and Anthropologie. Anything with a pretty, boho vibe I like.
Any advice for people who want to start a business or just ‘begin’ a new project?
Some people are afraid to start businesses because it’s a risk…the thing is that it’s totally worth it. I was going to school as a single mom. I know that people doubted me but I just kept going. My family helped out a ton and were super supportive. A support system is key. I guess I would encourage people to chase their dreams…you have to do something.
What are things you like to do when you aren’t focusing on the business?
Spending time with my son-he’s 4 now which I can’t believe. I ran track in college and still really enjoy running. I actually coach at Byron Center Christian. Shopping, spending time with my family, going to the beach.
How have you connected with customers and got your name out there?
Social media is probably the biggest way I have promoted the business and gotten the name out there. I host a lot of contests and giveaways which people really like. I am also going to a few local events. There is a flea market I am a part of on March 18 and the Hands at Work Craft Hudsonville.
If people want to buy items where should they go?
I am happy to do pop-up parties at your house. I would come out, bring the product, and you have a bunch of friends over and shop. For now, people can send emails or shoot me a message right on Facebook. On April 1st my website will launch and then people can buy online.