Why/Who I'm Kelly Ann, a graphic designer, sassy redhead, and cancer survivor from California. I own a design studio (& write a little blog) called Spirit & Haven, and I have so much fun collaborating with small businesses, rad brands, and enthusiastic creative types. I love coffee (of course), music, my dog Stella Bird, the sounds of the ocean, the magnetic energy of big cities, and the calm and clarity of mountain air. I also like inappropriate jokes and Leslie Knope.
I'm a (mostly) self-taught designer who spent years and years learning the ins and outs of design, practicing for a million hours, and asking a ton of questions. I officially got my start creating cool stuff for friends and bloggers, which lead me to some interesting opportunities with different companies and collectives. I tried a few different things before realizing that I would be much happier, and more creative, starting my own business. So, I took the leap and figured it out as I went along. I'm still figuring it out. I don't think that ever stops. The financial/business side of things can be a little terrifying for me, and looking back at the start of this journey, I was not at ALL prepared. Sometimes I think how on earth have I made it this far holy crap. But I'm really proud of myself for just doing it and putting the pieces together as things happened. Maybe I didn't have the smartest strategy, but it's part of my story, and I honor that.
This whole business thing is such a learning process, and a scary process, but also a freaking amazing process that, for me, has been really eye-opening and fulfilling. I'm stoked to be on this adventure - it's not at all where I thought I would be (I actually have a degree in film and thought I would be doing my thing in that industry), but sometimes being spontaneous and taking a totally different path ends up being the very best thing.
FAVORITE MUSIC: Choosing my favorite music is seriously the hardest question ever. So hard it's painful. I'm serious. How do I even begin?
At this very moment, I'm enjoying these albums:
Ledges - Noah Gunderson
Awake - Tycho
Lion's Den - Little Chief
St. Vincent - St. Vincent
Native Dreamer Kin - Joseph
Listen. Love. Share. Repeat.
Moorea Seal: my dear friend's online shop, and soon to be brick-and-mortar in Seattle, is basically a treasure trove of good stuff for your wardrobe, home, and life. And, a percentage of their proceeds go to great causes!
Record stores: There's nothing like rummaging through stacks and crates and shelves of vinyl. So much history. And stories. And talent. And art. I love it. Here in southern California, Amoeba Records on Sunset Blvd is the place, and a must see if you're in the downtown Hollywood area. I live south of Los Angeles, near the ocean in Orange County, so I usually pop on over to some small record shops in Huntington and Laguna. You usually have to commit to digging through piles and piles, but when you find those gems from time to time? So worth it.
Trader Joe's: Is it weird to have a health food store on the list? Ha! TJoe's is the best - they have everything and I'm in love with them forever. Amen.
The O.C. Mix: I live really close to the Mix, and it's such a unique little place to hang, the shops & restaurants are really cute. Grab a cup of coffee from Portola and explore. It's fun.
True & Co: My best kept boob secret, and it's not Victoria's. Bra shopping was always such an unpleasant experience for me, that I would end up wanting to burn all the bras in the world by the time I was done. (Those bra-burning feminists really had the right idea) But now? I don't mind it so much. The process is easy, True does all the work for you, and you don't have to leave your house. Or your nice, warm bed. Or put pants on. It's a real win-win.
FAVORITE FOOD: All of it. Ha! I love avocados, sweet potatoes (I'm obsessed with potatoes in general), blackberries by the carton, and big bowls of spaghetti squash with lots of veggies and lemon pepper or hot sauce. I've always been a huge veggies girl. But I also really love pizza. And most carbs. And honestly, there's nothing better than a grilled cheese sandwich and tomato soup. Comfort food, so good.
COFFEE WITH: like my coffee with half & half and a little vanilla.
INSPIRED BY: Off the top of my head...
VSCO Grid: This site brings me complete joy. Gorgeous photos. Cool community. The entire VSCO brand is fantastic - I love their enthusiasm. VSCO really inspires me to get out there and not only take awesome photos, but be proud of them.
Rdio: Rdio is my absolute favorite way to listen to music. (besides vinyl) I only use iTunes to purchase albums I absolutely cannot live without (lookin' at you, Beyonce), and Spotify's user interface seriously gives me the sads. It's so clunky and gross. I really wanted something that not only played all my fave tunes, but was also easy on the eyes - and Rdio is proof that if something is designed well, the whole experience is that much more enjoyable. I think it was my pal, Brandon, who pointed me in Rdio's direction. And I haven't looked back. Their music library is growing every day, and their site & apps are top-notch.
Books: Making time for reading is so important to me. Danielle LaPorte's books have brought a lot of clarity lately. (They're beautifully designed, too) And anything by bell hooks - everyone should read bell hooks. I have learned so much from her. Her words are wise and powerful.
Home: I'm a California native, and I really do love this beautiful state. It's certainly not perfect, but man... I have so much gratitude for this place, and the fact that I've gotten to call it home for 26 years. And I still find myself filled with wonder over the beauty I find here. We have a little bit of everything - bustling cities, gorgeous mountains, vast deserts, and that roaring, beautiful sea that will always call my name.
Women: Women always inspire me. Every single day. I love seeing them shatter/obliterate glass ceilings and fight for equality and just love each other in really empowering ways - makes me so proud to be a woman. We're fierce, strong, capable, brilliant - YES.