When we stumbled on @HelloHappyPlants, we were psyched to discover a new fun, uber pop culture take on ceramics. Airplanters in the shape of things like Tab soda cans, American Spirit cigarette and Nerd candy boxes! We had to know more about the designer, Kelsey. When we discovered she follows like 5 squirrel Instagram accounts, that was it! We are just among the first of what we predict will be many, to introduce you to this rising star and to what makes her tick. Turns out Kelsey's personality is just as energetic, fun and optimistic as her art! She's a breath of fresh air!
Where are you from, where do you live now?
I was born/raised in Clearwater, FL and I now live in downtown Orlando.
How did you discover your niche?
TBH, I was in a rut. I didn't know what I wanted to do, I was working at a job I wasn't super stoked on and out of ideas. So I began trying anything I was even slightly interested in. I guess it all began with my first love, Carol, my lil sewing machine. I got her for christmas... along with some paid lessons at Joann's for sewing lessons (that I secretly returned and traded in for fabric and some cool ass scissors- sorry mom). I've always loved plants too! Since I was little, my porch/yard has legit always looked like a scene out of the jungle book, I'm super grateful to have grown up with a family who has always cared about keeping/taking care of plants. Now I propagate and grow the majority of all my own air plants, succulents and house plants, which i'm pretty stoked on. I started putting myplants in vintage, thrifted planters and selling those and my little pillows at farmers markets and craft shows. Then I met this awesome human, @franchewy (go follow / luv her), who sparked my interest in molding and making my own homes of whatever I want for all of my plant kids. So grateful for that girl. my brain has been in a REALLY FAST whirlpool since :-}
What’s your background/training?
Besides my impromptu lessons on molding and late night youtube videos on how to thread a sewing machine without the urge to hurl it through a window, I would say my background and training is very...minimal which makes this all so funny. I would never have dreamed mixing silicone/cement and painting Budweiser can planters would be my golden ticket but let it ride...amirite?
Who are some of your biggest artistic inspirations?
Gosh I'm so inspired by so many people every single day, it'd be hard to narrow it down. But honestly, I think I'm more inspired by things, rather than a particular person/people sometimes. Like the fonts gas stations use for aisle signs or like, REALLY looking at how tight some candy boxes are, or just under appreciated/over looked logos and items in general. IDK, stuff that we all either love or use all the time but never really give it the appreciation it deserves. Haha it sounds so weird. Like actually being inspired by a bag of pop rocks and a big gulp...but I am!
I'd also have to say, the human that inspires me every single day and keeps a fire under my ass is my boyfriend Bear. He does photography and he's so frickin talented, like-able and humble. I feel like i learn so much from him on how to be your own boss, love what you do, and make other people happy with what you do. Like when i was all bummed on life for a while because i didn't know what i was good at yet, everyone was just babying me...but he was like "GO! DO! MAKE! TRY!". IDK he's the coolest person I know fa sho. Luv that dude.
Favorite Instagram accounts?
Yikes i truly follow every single "animal videos" and "hood comedy" Instagram my fingers find. I follow at least 5 squirrel istagrams......:) BUT @peggynoland , @superchillandcool420, @lorienstern, @tropicalcontact, @artbabygirl , @aliea_, @kaleyflowers, @napkinapocalypse... AHH SO MANY MORE I LOVE EVERYONE
Biggest advice you’d give to a girl in highschool?
Yoooo!! Don't bug out if you "don't know what you're gonna be". Just try to be a good human, surround yourself with funny/kind/go-getter-type people and try to do the things that make you happy and benefit your life in some way!!!!!! AND EAT CHIPS!!!!!!!! Not animals!!!! :D :D :D :D