We had the good fortune of connecting with Keely S. and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Keely, what principle do you value most?
At the end of the day our values and how we live out those values are what define us. To me, caring is the most important value above all else. As a human being genuinely caring about what I do for the short period of time I am on this earth and the impact I leave. As a maker, caring about the quality of my products, where the ingredients come from, how those materials and ingredients can be reused, and that my customers know that I care about their experience. As a business owner, caring about what my brand represents and the people that it helps.

Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
As an artist/maker I can finally say that I am proud of how far I have come. I use to base my success on how quickly I finished something and what other people thought. Now I am in a place where I just make what I feel and as long as it represents who I am and allows me to give back that’s all that matters. It definitely wasn’t easy, as an artist a large part of you has to get to a point where you just don’t care about what other people think. That’s what make’s one artist different from another, we all see and experience things differently. I’ll never overcome the challenges that come with being an artist but that’s what’s so exciting about it. I’ve learned that it’s ok to mix things up, experiment with new materials, change direction, and embrace things as they come.

If there’s one thing I’d want the world to know about myself personally it’s that I wouldn’t be who I am today without some incredibly hard losses. The loss of my mother to suicide in March of 2015 and the loss of my grandmother to cancer in December of 2015. Without those losses I wouldn’t have created a brand that’s mission is to give back.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Being a recent transplant to DFW I’m just starting to scratch the surface, but I have to say I absolutely love Bishop Arts the people and atmosphere make me feel right at home and its the perfect place for a good date night. Drinks at Casablanca on the BOHO Moroccan themed patio, eating dinner at Written by the seasons, their Grilled 44 farms steak and Dayboat Scallops are two of my favorite dishes and absolutely to die for. Exploring the Dallas Arboretum during the day and I’ll never get tired out touring the DeGolyer House. A visit to Ruibal’s Plants of Texas and and Oasis plant shop are always a must, Hiking in Cedar Hill near our house is a great way to get away and disconnect then getting takeout from Harris Bar-b-que (their smoked chicken and brisket are two of my favorites). I’m always down for a trip to Buccee’s I don’t care how many times I’ve gone there’s always something I haven’t tried and my kids think it’s the best place ever invented. I also love market season! Being a vendor and meeting so many new people and connecting with other small business owners and makers never gets old.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My childhood soccer coach, one of the most patient and compassionate men I have ever met and can’t thank enough for all of his time and dedication. For 10 years he was a constant in may life and a rock when I didn’t even know it. He taught me the value of giving back without expecting anything in return and the value of hard work and patience.

My mom, who inspired me to create and taught me how to see things in a new light.

My little sister Kendall, who has always encouraged me and been a constant cheerleader in all aspects of my life.

My kids, they are always the biggest confidence boosters and unconditionally loving.

Website: www.theblackoutco.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/theblackout_co/

Facebook: Facebook.com/theblackoutco1

Image Credits
Chelsea Green photography

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