Kelly Keiser is an entrepreneur, a wife, a designer, a step-mom and a cannabis designer. Kelly grew up in a small town in Oklahoma and moved to the big city of San Francisco after college. She has lived in California for 20 years and is launching her second company, KellyGreen: a cannabis lifestyle brand for the chic + discrete™.
To Kelly, beauty is the key to everything. It changes how we feel about a place, a product, and even a plant. Design matters. Kelly’s thoughtfully designed accessories are coveted, swooned over and sought after limited edition items for the design-obsessed. KellyGreen cannabis accessories help ease the stigma and provide acceptance through high-design.
The bridge between stigma and consumption is education. Kelly is the Guide. The trusted girlfriend. The non-stoner. The chic designer. They never saw her coming, but the information she provides is helping change not only the stigma of cannabis but also, the way in which people are using the plant for both healing and recreation.
Kelly grew up in Mustang, Oklahoma, a small town with a population hovering just over nine thousand. She studied Interior Design at Oklahoma State University and, upon graduation, left Oklahoma for San Francisco to pursue her interior design career.
Kelly cut her teeth at an architecture firm in the Silicon Valley during the dot com boom where she focused on designing spaces for tech startups (think foosball tables, beer lounges, and brightly colored walls). As the markets shifted and the dot com boom went bust, Kelly made a quick career change. Young and far from home, Kelly quickly assessed the economy and decided to take a leap back over to one of her favorite places on earth, the cosmetic counter. Benefit Cosmetics was still being run by the original owners (it was later sold to LVMH during Kelly’s tenure) and since Kelly worked at the Clinique and Estee Lauder cosmetic counter back in college, running a Benefit Boutique in San Francisco on Chestnut Street made perfect sense. It also gave Kelly a unique opportunity to run a retail operation before she launched her retail shop on the same street only one year later, Kelly Keiser Splendid Interiors.
California is a diverse state. Adventures to the mountains, beaches, wine country and desert lead to the discovery of artisan goods, antique treasures and off-the-grid pottery studios creating stunning ceramics that soon filled her shop. Travels to New York and Paris brought back hard-to-find French candles and soaps, bespoke pillows, art and swoon-worthy fabrics. The ever-changing storefront windows provided inspiration for the entire neighborhood. The pint-sized shop bustled with energy and soon became a hub for local homeowners and designers alike. With that followed a young, high-end clientele looking for a designer that was approachable yet well-traveled and could turn their houses into magazine-worthy homes. Business was booming and Kelly was doing double duty as a shop owner and interior designer with a small staff. Long days were the norm. From screen time to arranging furniture, the issues were stacking up. Kelly soon realized she needed to cut back on her ibuprofen and find a long term solution to pain management and wellness.
Enter: exercise and cannabis. In 2012, Kelly quietly obtained her medical cannabis card and began her journey into what is now KellyGreen. Starting with topicals for her back and flower for evenings when being altered was an option, Kelly started to find comfort in her body and mind.
Because Kelly hadn’t used cannabis in any real way for over 10 years, she realized there would be a learning curve and that education was key to her success. Dressed in skinny jeans and a blazer, Kelly drove to the heart of the Emerald Triangle to find out what was really happening with cannabis. She dropped in on a local Boonville Women Grow meeting, and there, she met the farmer’s, manufacturer’s and activists who were risking it all to grow cannabis. The beginning of her education had begun and there was no going back.
From packaging to tradeshow booths, Kelly’s design skills were quickly recognized by the cannabis community as something that was in high demand and she quickly found herself in the role of Creative Director for female cannabis brands who needed a little style push. Kelly was recruited to design over-the-top trade-show booths, smoking lounges and female-friendly escapes from the floor of the male-dominated cannabis trade shows. At first, it was a strange gig, but one that provided a unique opportunity. Kelly was seeing all of the products California had to offer in one place and she also saw a clear gap in the market. There was an entire demographic being overlooked and Kelly aimed to fix that. Armed with her courage and the desire to fill a void, Kelly launched KellyGreen, a cannabis brand for the chic + discrete™.
Design matters. Kelly is a seasoned interior designer whose attention to detail, devotion to quality and pulse on the design world will make the ideal cannabis lifestyle brand. As she builds her devoted following and launches her e-commerce platform, she will serve as brand ambassador for the other like-minded cannabis brands as well as creating high-quality, thoughtfully designed products under the KellyGreen label.
Every week, I sit down with people who are smarter than me who's advice and knowledge I am seeking. I talk to anyone who will meet with me. From product designers to spreadsheet junkies, my list is long. I ask all of the questions, even if they make me feel silly. I follow up. I send thank you cards. I am so so grateful. I don't know about you, but I need this tribe more than ever and guess what? It is growing quickly.
On the flip side, Kelly makes herself available via DM, calls, and coffees for those who need what she knows best, design. From paint colors to hand-blocked fabrics, Kelly passes on design knowledge, share inspirational websites and repost her favorite podcasts to keep her fellow creatives and DYI'ers inspired. It's her little contribution.
Build your tribe. We all need one another. And if you want to take it to the next level, invest in the brave female companies that inspire you most.