KISH: Tell us about you..
Kelli: I’ve been in the sports industry ever since graduating college (taking a mini break when getting my masters), specifically the side a lot of people don’t know too much about: hospitality. I worked in the private/special events sales & operations side of professional football, and transitioned my love for being behind the scenes, and being apart what makes something great into my own business. I’m also a big sneaker enthusiast…it’s a tad ridiculous.
KISH: What is your dream and how will accomplishing your dream benefit you and others?
Kelli: I am such an advocate for women breaking down barriers in the sports industry. I’ve already accomplished one dream, starting my own apparel line for women in sports, Play Like a Girl Apparel, and the reward has made my heart so full. To see women in the industry proudly wearing one of my tees or sweatshirts to represent us is such an amazing feeling. My ultimate goal is to own a sports consulting firm with agents, managers, life coaches, and accountants who are all women.
It’s something that many of us have never seen before or could even imagine in the industry. I want little girls who love sports to be able to look at the foundation I’m creating and feel like there’s hope. They can do it too.
KISH: Who or what inspired you to pursue this dream?
Kelli: Even though it terrified her when I made the decision to work in sports, my Mom has always been my number 1 fan with anything I have set my mind to do. My Pop is really the person who’s inspired my love for sports and pursuing anything in the industry. I don’t know a person who advocates harder for women sports and women having the spotlight they deserve in the industry.
KISH: What challenges have you encountered while pursuing your dream?
Kelli: I’ve dealt with everything from the “Good Ole Boys” Club, assuming I only work in the industry because I’m either dating a player or want to date one, the “mean black girl” in the office card, to being talked over in meetings by other women in the room.
Sports is naturally competitive by nature, but there’s an unconscious “competition” between women in the industry and it’s sometimes exhausting because we really should not be trying to diminish one another. There is room for every single one of us to eat and support one another’s growth and accomplishments.
KISH: Who or what inspired you to keep pushing regardless of the challenges you’ve encountered?
Kelli: I’m a very ambitious person by nature, so anything that comes as a challenge to me, I refuse to back down from.
I refuse to let things stop me from reaching any goals I set for myself, no matter how small they are.
You’re going to deal with challenges in every aspect of your life, don’t let them reroute you from your purpose.
I also have an amazing network of other women in the sports industry, and we constantly pour into each other, give constructive criticism, pray with and over each other, and help one another reach our full potential.
KISH: Please provide final thoughts/advice for others by finishing this sentence… dream.
Kelli: Dream as if there are no limitations on the levels of success you can reach. Once you know there are no limits, the only limit stopping you, is you.