Current City: Venice, CA
Hometown: Sanibel Island, FL
Occupation: Designer + Small Business Owner
"My name's Kelsie. I'm 29-year old ladyyyy who has lived and worked in Venice, CA for the last 5 years. If this was the 7-year-old version of an "about me" section I would say I love animals and stickers (plus animal stickers duh), boat rides, and taking photos of dogs- which still sums most of it up. I have a business called Beast and Babe where I make rad dog goods. I'm from a little island off the coast of Florida called Sanibel, I was born and raised in the same house at the end of a dirt road on the water and have since lived in Miami for 3 years, Paris for 6 months, Buenos Aires for 8 months, NYC for 2 years before coming out to LA. "
What's the origin story of Beast and Babe?
A couple years ago, I bought a hello kitty sewing machine, not because I liked hello kitty but because it was on sale and I had the idea to make my dog a leash out of my very favorite vintage blanket that was ready for recycling. I learned how to sew (badly) via Youtube videos and after an obsessive few month period realized I had made some pretty sick dog leashes so decided to open an online store.
Tell us about some of your favorite adventures with Yogi?
Well, there was the time he got skunked on our cross-country road trip and I had to ride 6 hours with him in the car (ON MY BIRTHDAY) until we got to our motel where he then got a tomato bath- revenge. Most of my adventures with Yogi happen when I leave him somewhere and he refuses to accept that answer. One time he broke out through my friend's 4th story apartment window, walked along the 4-inch banister railing and broke back in through the fire escape, only to be let out by someone onto the street. Another time he ran off while we were hiking in the Sierra Nevadas and didn't come back all night or the next day so we hiked the 8 hours back to the car, all off-trail mind you - he had tracked his way back to the car and was sleeping under it.
What are some challenges you hit at this point in your career and how do you navigate through them?
Let's see the major challenge is my business has gotten to a point where I can't do everything myself and outsourcing things cost money. So for me, budgeting, strategizing and knowing what to spend money on - and what not to- is a challenge. I navigate through this by 1) drinking wine and talking to my girlfriends and 2) reading everything I can, talking to everyone I can to learn more, get better and practicing patience.
Are there anything radical things coming up with Beast & Babe you'd like to share with us?
Always!! Let's see we have a little studio in Venice where we'll start doing some pop-up shows. I'm excited because it's always such a treat to really get to know our customers and talk about life and dogs. We also have some new products in the works and a couple press publications I'm excited about BUT we'll see them when they come.
Let's dive into the future, describe your dreamlife?
Dreamlife: getting to have a sweet community with customers, collaborations, employees, friends, family etc etc. , split half of my time in Venice and the other half somewhere mega rural with a sickkkk garden, lots of ocean, surf trips, heaps and heaps of rescued animal friends and getting to do a lot for animal welfare while also continuing to make the sweetest dog goods of all time. Also, maybe some writing/painting and some long haired barefoot kids.
When you're not cranking out chic bohemian dog goods or cuddling Yogi, how do you fill your time?
Right now I'm working a stupid amount but I've come to peace with that being this stretch in time. Otherwise, I'm visiting family, taking trips, hanging with my dude-friend, clipping Eucalyptus and lemons from my neighbor's trees or Buddhism books on Audible whilst cooking.
Discuss the importance of female friendships in your life.
I have different groups of women from different periods of my life. I can honestly say that there are probably like 10-15 women I absolutely love like a sister, consider "my best friend" and can be completely myself around. My high school friends are very different than I am or the world I live in now - different styles and political beliefs but I'm so grateful for that because they are some of the best people I know. I think it can be easy to get trapped in a bubble of like-minded people. I was in long-term relationships for most of my early 20's and so my female friends from that period tend to be more one-off while my friends from LA are some of the most ambitious, creative, talented people I have ever met - honestly feel so inspired that they want to be my friend too! Winning! Finally, I'm really close with my mom and my aunts. They are amazingly strong (and occasionally crazy) women. I'm usually extremely proud to take after them.
Who are some of your greatest influences?
Mom and aunts for sure. Also, I read a lot. So, whoever I'm currently reading, I usually get a major crush on.
If you could have dinner with any woman in history, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Either a huntress badass cave-woman from like 20,000 years ago or Maya Angelou, I feel like she really gets it.
What are you grateful for?
I'm grateful for dogs and also that humans love them so much. They always remind me that life is happening in the present.
Quote to live by?
“A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.” - Albert Einstein