We had the good fortune of connecting with Kellz Cocktailz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kellz, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
I am a simple gal! Being around friends and family makes me happy! Making people laugh always brings joy to my heart. I can’t stand to see people struggle, but there is only so much financially i can do to help others. Bringing kindness and laughter into their life is FREE ninety-nine though, so i can provide that all day!
You never know what people are going through so seeing them laugh uncontrollably lets me know for at least that moment, they forgot about their struggles. They may hide their pain but they cant hide their joy. Have you ever tried to hold in a laugh! Impossible!
I have people tell me all the time, “I look forward to going on your page to see what foolishness you have posted” or “I know if im having a rough day, i can check your posts and im guaranteed a good laugh”. Those types of messages make me happy!
Interacting with people and watching their mood go from down to upbeat is so fullfilling and one of the reasons i love bartending. You wouldn’t believe how comfortable people are telling their problems to the bartender! Cracking jokes with customers and talking them through their ups and downs is a big part of the job. Where else can you get paid to talk at length with customers and get extra tips for making them laugh? Its a win win situatuon and that also makes me happy!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Kellz Cocktailz is my mobile bartending company. I started bartending back in 2009. After getting licensed I was amped about getting hired in a bar but that was no easy task. For a while I thought it was due to my lack of experience. I was fresh out of bartending school and thought if I had more experience on my resume, I would get hired. So I started offering my bartending services for little to nothing, just to get the experience and comfortability of the job. I was doing events for free, only making the tips customers gave and that got old pretty fast.
After a year of working for free, I amped up my resume with all the events I had worked, but still had a hard time getting hired at a bar. I finally got frustrated and asked a bar manager in Hollywood why I wasn’t a good fit. He flat out told me I did not have the look! Sex sells drinks and I wouldn’t be able to fit in the half naked uniforms they were required to wear. Pretty much, he told me I was fat and not sexy enough to work there and although i did not agree with him, it made sense as to why the other bars were not hiring me. I have been plus sized my entire life so i didnt even think about that effecting my bartending career, but when it was brought to my attention it lit a fire that would start Kellz Cocktailz.
Although my ego took a bit of a hit, I figured if the bars wouldn’t hire me, I would put all my efforts into mobile bartending. Ultimately, you get more money and you can pick and choose your own schedule, sounded like a plan to me. I prayed on it, I thought of a name, got my legal documents together and BOOM, Kellz Cocktailz was born!
My first big event for Kellz Cocktailz was a 300 person wedding in Pasadena. I walked in and asked a man where my area to set up was. Of all the people scrambling to set up, I dont know what made me ask him, but boy did i ask the right person! He didnt even answer my question about where my set up area was, his reply to my question was “you are the bartender? My birthday is next weekend, if you can handle this crowd today, you are hired!” I started laughing and said ok, let me show you what I can do! My team and I ROCKED that wedding and before the event was half way done, he came to the bar and told me i had the job AND he wanted to gift open bar services to his sister for her wedding and wanted me to handle it! Talk about the Lord hearing your prayers! I walked into one event and walked out with 2 more large scale events on my calendar! It was at that point that i knew Kellz Cocktailz would be just fine!
Ironically, after starting my own company because no bars would hire me, i started getting bar gigs. One Sunday, I got a call to help a friend at a bar in Beverly Hills called H.O.M.E. It was a Memorial Day weekend and 3 of the bartenders called off and the owner was desperate. He told her to call whoever she knew that could help so she called me. I went to help her, the owner loved me and hired me at the end of the shift! I ended up being the assistant bar manager there and stayed for 2 years.
Working in Beverly Hills helped introduce me to some pretty important people and helped grow Kellz Cocktailz even more. I went from working there, to the Queen Mary in Long Beach, to The Living Room in the Crenshaw District, to the Hollywood Park Casino in Inglewood. Over the years at those various bars, I learned alot, improved my craft and continued to build the fan base for Kellz Cocktailz!
My path to success was definitely not a straight line and i had some bumps along the way that definitely bruised the ego but ultimately turned out to be the fuel I needed to succeed! I definitely learned to believe in myself more and keep the faith! I learned to NOT let what others say discourage me because there are haters everywhere, you just have to learn how to ignore them and beleive in your dream and keep pushing! I am extremely proud of my dilligence and ability to grow and am thankful to everyone who has supported me along this .journey!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would start the trip with a visit to Hollywood! Let them get the full experience of all the craziness here in Cali. There are some awesome eating spots out there as well so dining on Hollywood Bl and possibly seeing some celebrities is definitely on the list.
The next couple days would be sight seeing days and i would make sure they got to know MY city Inglewood! I would show them the Sofi Stadium, The Forum, take them to Roscoes and have the obligatory photo shoot at Randy’s Donuts. BUT, i would also introduce them to some of the lesser known Inglewood gems that are just as important such as:
Jamz Creamery- black owned ice cream shop with THE BEST shakes and sundays!
The Rusty Pot- black owned soul and cajun food spot.
The Nile Bar- strong drinks and the best Karaoke!
I would also make sure they got to experience our beautiful beaches and beach sunsets in Palos Verdes, Redondo Beach, etc.
If time permits and they are not scared I would end the trip with a visit to Magic Mountain or Knotts Berry Farm for rides, excitement, funnell cakes, churros and candy apples!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would not be as successful as I am today if it were not for my friends! My house was always the hangout spot and I was always making drinks. My friends encouraged me to go to school and get licensed and actually make money doing it. After getting licensed, they pushed me like no other, referring me to freinds and family who needed bar services. They helped me build my following and have always supported me. Eventually, I made 3 of them get licensed as well so when I needed extra assistance at events, I could use them. With no hesitation they took the course, got licensed and help Kellz Cocktailz whenever I ask. That type of support does not go unnoticed! To all my friends, sorors and family members who constantly support Kellz Cocktailz, whether its by referring my company, sharing my posts, buying my drinks or supporting my events, I TRULY APPRECIATE YALL!
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