kelli smith be youEvery week I write a column called BE YOU for one of the local papers (The Times of Acadiana) – Each week someone different answers the questionnaire – the paper often has to edit them,  so here are all the answers, unedited (the whole truth.) This week is Kelli Smith.

Kelli describes herself as a problem solver. She sees design as the art of “making something better”. I first sat down with Kelli after I got an email from her explaining she was inviting 30 people to coffee, people she was inspired by or wanted to know more about. She is keen to learn from people, from herself, and from her surroundings – I have a feeling that Kelli will go far, and it’s going to be an exciting journey both for her, and those of us that know her. All I can say is that if she invites you for coffee, go – you will both coming away better for the experience. Kelli currently has an Etsy store (KellismCo) where she sells beautiful hand painted Toms and other art – you should check it out.

What was your first job?
Working concessions at Village Bingo.

Describe a typical day in your life.
Wake up with two dogs in my face, eat a cliff bar, drink tea, work on inventory at The Greenroom, come home to happy dogs, hopefully eat something delicious and work on art projects.

What advice would you give the younger you?
Stop worrying and taking life so seriously, most of the stuff you stress about won’t matter in days, months or years to come.

What event in your life most shaped who you are now?
Art class in Middle School.  That marked the beginning of a never-ending passion.

What values do you live by?
Be a good person.

What do you most appreciate?
So many things, but mostly having wonderful parents who have always loved and supported me.

What is your favorite journey?
My journey is the only one I know!

Where is your favorite place to be alone?
In my art room, in the zone, painting and crafting.

What living figure most inspires you?
Anyone who has created a job doing what they love.

What was the best advice you were ever given?
There is light at the end of the tunnel, things WILL get better.

What book would you tell everyone to read?
Ready Player One

What is the best thing about where you live?
Food, food, food.

How do you “let the good times roll” ?
It involves friends, family, food and laughs.

What did u want to be when you grew up?
An Architect.

What is your motto?
Everything in balance.

How would you like to be remembered?
As someone you were happy to have known.

What do you say to yourself when you doubt yourself?
Usually a lot of negative things, then I try to distract myself.  Then I go back to the point and think about it with a clear head.

What three things are vital to BEing YOU?
Creativity, Love, Hope

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“You’re retarded,” which is a term of endearment to close friends as they are being silly.

What is your favorite word?

What do you collect?
Art, cute dresses, Bicentennial Quarters (which are actually not worth anything).

What food could you live on for a month?
Anything my mom cooks.

What would you change about yourself?
I would like my hair to naturally grow out as teal, does that count?

What literary, movie or cartoon character do you most identify with?
Invisible Woman from Fantastic Four, because I want her powers to be invisible!

Describe yourself in five words.
Creative, short, intelligent, smiley, friendly

What is your idea of happiness?
Having friends over, laughing, cooking, drinking wine and playing board games.

What is your favorite movie?
The Labyrinth!  If you haven’t seen it, go watch it.

What music defines who you are?
The 90’s.

What do you most regret?
I try to think of regrets as lessons and try to learn from them.

What question do you wish I’d asked?
“Kelli, would you like to partner with me and make something awesome happen?”

What would the answer be?
Yes Aileen, yes I would!