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

Hi Kelsey, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
I never really thought taking risks was going to make such a difference in my life until I started my own business. It began with my realization that a lot of risks I had to take were involving my relationships. For example, I had a lot of push-back whenever I told someone about a new idea I had or a new venture I wanted to take. I never understood why I was left feeling lonely, unsupported and defeated after talking to the people I thought were the closest to me. So over time, I had to take risks to do what I thought was best and what was going to make me the most happy. Whether it be to join markets, invest money into my business or collaborating with other makers; I had to make these decisions by myself without the fear of what the end result would be. Taking risks isn’t always about being successful 100% of the time, but it’s about trusting your own instincts and knowing that you are capable and smart enough to make decisions that will launch your business and make it grow!

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.
I like to define myself as an abstract artist. I work with resin and create ocean scenes in wall hangings and lots of functional pieces such as trays, bowls, etc. My work has definitely evolved over time because I first started doing calligraphy! After calligraphy I got more into abstract art and painting and gave dirty pours a try. (You know those insanely fun pouring videos? That was me!) But soon after that I had a customer who wanted a piece with a high shine finish to it. My boyfriend told me about resin and once I tried it, I was hooked! So now I do anything and everything with resin and I’m constantly trying to find new projects to use this medium with. It definitely hasn’t been the easiest making a name for myself and growing in my own style and design. And it also wasn’t easy having to constantly “prove” myself to family who just wouldn’t take being an artist as a serious job. But over the years and with the more experience I get, I realize that I know what I’m doing and I am proud of where I’m at!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
2020 was a crazy year for everyone! So going out has been hard but if I were to suggest a place to go I would say the beach. (If it’s open of course) There’s soooo many beach spots that are truly magical and honestly that’s what inspires most of my work! But ultimately I’ve realized that its all about connecting with the ones you love. We spend too much time being busy with work and trying to make a living, but we need to take a moment to think about who we love most and really focus on spending quality time with them. You never know how much time you have with people anymore and it’s so rewarding being able to know that you are completely present and enjoying every second you have with your friends and loved ones.

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?
I want to take this moment to shout out my boyfriend Timothy. If it wasn’t for him, I wouldn’t have ventured into resin which is basically 98% of my business! He never once told me I couldn’t do something and even if I had crazy ideas he would support them wholeheartedly. He helps me with my schedule and makes sure I’m on track but ultimately hes a huge support system for me and I would be struggling so much more without him. I also want to shout out my mom. She has been there for me my entire life! (duh!) We stay up super late working on different projects and she is someone who I can trust has my best interest at heart. I wouldn’t be anywhere without my mom and I love her to death!

Website: etsy.com/shop/lovekelseyrae
Instagram: instagram.com/lovekelseyrae

Image Credits
@aimeejoanmatias @king_collective @ispitsushi @janaeboupha

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