HIGHLIGHTING KEYSHLA L. DE JESUS
Meet Keyshla... wife, mother of one, and hotel wedding and event up and comer who was just starting to make her mark when the pandemic hit. Now going on nine months of furlough and needing an outlet, Keyshla has decided to put her event and creative side to work. She's created two businesses, Events by Kay (an event planning company) and Crown Works Creation (a custom branding company).
H&F: Describe your career prior to furlough.
Keyshla: I was happy where I was in my career path. I was in my current role for two years and I was finally getting to dip my toes into larger groups, wedding sales, and other tasks to prepare myself for the next step, manager. The hotel was and still is growing which met better opportunities and promotions. I loved where I worked, I felt comfortable and at home so knowing I had the chance to grow within the same four walls was great news for me! I was still learning, growing, and the pandemic robbed me of this.
H&F: How has your career prepared you for what's next?
Keyshla: In regard to my Events By Kay company everything about my career had shaped me for it. I know what questions to ask a bride or a mother planning a sweet 16 for her daughter. I know how to lay everything out so both clients and vendors understand the flow of the event. My career has taught me to show up at a venue and own it so that my client can have a stress-free enjoyable time and I will be the one in the back pulling my hair out. Haha.
H&F: Tell us about how you’ve redefined yourself.
Keyshla: I went through an emotional roller coaster when the pandemic first hit. At first, it was great, I would be home with my little man and enjoy seeing him grow! Then I went stir crazy! I didn’t have that disconnect from home, from my child, and from my husband. I felt horrible having those feelings. I went from always working a full-time job since the age of 16 to nothing! I couldn’t grasp the concept. My businesses saved me. Crafting has always been my form of therapy something of my own and now I get to share my joy and create joy for others.
"I went from always working a full-time job since the age of 16 to nothing! I couldn’t grasp the concept. My businesses saved me." - Keyshla
H&F: How did your project get started?
Keyshla: Events By Kay was something my best friend pushed me to do. I had the honor to coordinate her wedding day back in May of 2019. I received so many compliments from family and friends that everything went smoothly, even an "I wish you would have done my wedding." This was such a great feeling that I knew I would love to create these same memories and feeling for others. Now I have a sweet 16 in March 2021 that I am so excited to coordinate. What I love most about this sweet 16 is that the family requested to have small businesses only for the event. We found two ladies from church who do décor, a DJ/Videographer that started his own company, I am helping with the invitations and small gifts. It's great that they want to help know we are all in a difficult situation.
Crown Works Creations was never something I had envisioned to do or start. As I created, I would post on social media for family and friends to see. Crafting has always been a form of therapy to escape from the rest of the world for a little while. For years family and friends would tell me to open a shop and sell my creations, but I never had the time with being career-focused and starting a family. The pandemic was a great push to take the time to figure out what I wanted out of my own crafting store.
H&F: Tell us something unique about your brand.
Keyshla: Everything is handmade with love and nothing is one of the same. Everything is made to order how you request. I take great pride in my work and I want it to be perfect! My husband has always been big on if you are going to do something do it right!
H&F: What is the meaning behind your brand name?
Keyshla: “Be a pineapple, stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet in the inside.” I have always loved pineapples and what they represent in the hospitality world (warmth and friendliness). The “Crown” is for the crown I wear while standing tall and proud. I have three pineapples included in the logo to represent my family of three.
H&F: How do you find your inspiration for your crafts and designs?
Keyshla: I spend too much of my time on Pinterest, YouTube, and social media following what’s trending and other crafters learning different technics and crafting hacks. Most of the items come from the ideas of my clients. While other ideas come to me while listening to a song, church, reading, etc. If something pops up at me I write it down to then later sit down and see what colors and prints work best until I find one that works.
H&F: Who is your target audience and clientele?
Keyshla: I am still working out who I want to target. Currently, I feel like I am all over from sports fans to families. I have a few ideas I want to execute that would be geared more towards events such as brides/bridesmaids, grooms/groomsmen, birthday crews, family reunions or vacations.
H&F: Anything else you want to share?
Keyshla: I launched my “brand” but still working on so many ideas and learning so much as I go. Its not easy with a toddler running around who wants to type on the computer while you are trying to design. Haha. I know that if I keep pushing, posting, and creating everything will fall into place. God has a plan and honestly, I feel like this is the only thing that has worked out since March when I first got furloughed. "Baby steps Keyshla, baby steps," is what I tell myself daily. Trust in Him.
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