We had the good fortune of connecting with Keli Murphy and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Keli, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Risk is true surrender and trust mixed with adrenaline that fuels action. It is something you have to be willing to do in order to grow! RELAX, LET GO, AND ENJOY THE RIDE is a constant theme song in my life. While so many run away to avoid taking a risk or doing something risky, my whole life I have embraced it. From wishing my 1st airplane ride, at a very young age, would go upside down and jumping off roofs in my pre-teen years to a Professional career as a Dancer and Stuntwoman, you could say I am not afraid to take a risk! On my 30th birthday I went sky-diving and was waiting to feel nervous or afraid, instead I couldn’t run out of that plane fast enough! That was one of the best rides of my life. Risk is something that excites me. It reveals worlds I would have otherwise not discovered. You find your grit and strength when you take a risk and are able to tap into your true potential. As a passionate entrepreneur, the confidence to go for it and enter into territories unknown have led me further than I could imagine and so much I owe to not fearing risk. By all means, you need to prepare, train and own what you are intending to do. When you have what you need to move ahead, risk is taking things to the next level and separates the doers from the dreamers to get it done! When we hold back, we stop the momentum which slows us down and often gets in the way of our dreams. My dad always said to tell myself “I got this!” Those three words have been a driving force in all that I have done and still do. On “ACTION” before my 1st stair fall, when surfing bigger waves than I expected them to be, anytime that little voice says “what are you doing?” I tell myself “I got this”. In order to take a risk and succeed you have to believe in yourself and not hold back. That courage allows you to relax, let go and enjoy what could be the best ride of your life! You never will know unless you try!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
AS A MULTI-PASSIONATE ENTREPRENEUR I have reinvented myself several times throughout my journey! A Professional Dancer and Stuntwoman for 25 years turned Beauty Professional with 20+ years in the beauty industry as a Master Stylist, Salon Owner and Kevin.Murphy Educator. Somewhere within that mix I also earned my degree in Japanese and became a Jewelry Designer. I recently just launched Whimsy Sugar Scrubs, an eco-friendly line of scrubs and oils. Born from a passion project too good not to share, this was my silver lining in the midst of a pandemic. Staying open, being flexible and adapting to change is something I know very well and how I continue to push through even the toughest of challenges. DID ANY OF THIS COME EASY? Absolutely not! Actually since I entered this world, I had some odds against me. Born with no optic nerve, I have been blind in my right eye since birth! To some this would be a disability, but to my family it was an ability to see things differently (literally)! My parents chose for this not to be a problem, so I was incredibly lucky to embrace that perspective and move past any limitations. They taught me to not let the circumstances define you. This I took to heart and definitely chose careers that required constant adjustments with my, let’s just say, unique vision! MAKE THINGS HAPPEN! I strongly believe when you are actively involved towards something you want, things will happen. I was about to retire as a dancer and start my jewelry line when my agent got a call that changed that plan rather quickly. A few weeks later I was in Mexico filming, working as a Stuntwoman, which to date was my best stunt job ever! Can you imagine if I said no to that opportunity?! Life has a way of pulling you in directions, often off course. Staying open to whatever may come your way is so important. Widening your perspective helps you see those opportunities when they present themselves. Often the least expected are the best doors that could ever open! LIFE HAS ITS WAY OF WORKING THINGS OUT. The past few years I have been the main source of income due to some medical complications my husband has been juggling. Like me, he is a warrior and handles challenges with grace, never making it anyone else’s problem. A blessing in disguise when this all started. I had just downsized from a 7-chair salon to a private studio. Of course, at a time when I thought I had finally “settled”, I came across a sugar scrub in the summer of 2019. Not super happy with how greasy it felt, the chemist in me knew I could play around and create my own scrub to my liking. Pounds of sugar later I had concocted something too good not to share! I sold out of everything I made for the holidays and knew I could grow this line, the question was when? March 21, 2020 my salon was shut-down due to the pandemic and continued to be closed for 11 ½ weeks. You tell me I can’t work…I will show you a way that I can! Not one to sit around, I saw this unusual “gift” of time as my prime opportunity to use to its fullest to work on my line of Sugar Scrubs. I researched, tested, created and finalized everything for my packaging, ingredients, and shipping. I did a photo shoot and was just in the beginning phase of designing my website when I got the news to re-open. That was for only 3 weeks and then the 2nd shut-down happened for 8 more weeks. My SILVER LINING, a lot of time to do a lot of work, research, design, final decisions to ultimately get it all figured out and I launched my e-commerce shop August 1, 2020. Pretty much a one woman show, but my husband is my best partner and photographer! My two boys (12 + 14) got to witness all it takes to jump start a business and I was able to launch a brand at a time that everything else we do wasn’t possible. It has been just a few months since the launch and it’s growing at a steady pace. I am back in the salon and excited every day to work on my WHIMSY SUGAR SCRUB line and grow it to its true potential. This year has been a whirlwind, to say the least, but I am excited for this new venture and that it came from a place that would have been otherwise a huge loss. Instead, I was able to lean into the gift of time and develop products we all can feel good about! My take away from all I have done and where I continue to go is to stay true to yourself, always. Dig deep to find what you want, why you want it and connect it to something greater than yourself. When you can understand that, you truly will become unstoppable. I also am a firm believer of writing EVERYTHING down. It brings clarity, ownership and accountability. I started this interview talking about Risk. Whether you are a risk taker like me or one that would avoid it at all cost, dive into the fear of the unknown. Face it with wonder and the thrill of unchartered territory. When you take a risk you really do discover who you are meant to be and the path you were meant to embrace. WE ALL HAVE A GIFT WORTH GIVING My favorite part of the beauty industry is helping to make people feel as good as they look. In the midst of this pandemic, being stuck at home and having to take on so much more than most of us “signed up for”, Whimsy Sugar Scrubs can offer an experience for some well deserved self-care and help even more people feel good! I am thrilled my journey led me to this space to create so I too can give back in ways beyond myself. With all the resources at hand, I feel lucky to have this opportunity to craft products using eco-friendly materials and ingredients. It’s a responsibility we have as a new start up to be mindful in the decisions we make. Whimsy Sugar Scrubs has the best interest of you and earth in mind. From our vision to your shelf we handcraft, package and ship sustainably. We also encourage customers to reuse/repurpose our jars post scrubbing with our jar accessories. The choices we make do matter and we choose to be part of a solution for generations to come. We have chosen 4 organizations to contribute to seasonally (4Ocean, Surfrider, One Tree Planted + Best Friends Animal Sanctuary). The more we grow the more we can give and that in itself fuels our quest to succeed! Whimsy Sugar Scrubs is more than just a scrub, it’s a chance to not only make our customers feel good but also to make a difference, one scrub at a time!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am a South Bay girl and love anything near the water. I think it is very interesting how each beach town is so different and unique. The best way to hit up our local beach spots is by bike. I would take my best friend on a bike ride from my home town, Redondo Beach, to Hermosa Beach and go to GUM TREE on Pier Ave. Its’ a super cute boutique and perfect little stop for coffee and a little something to eat. We could shop Pier Ave. for a bit and then continue north to Manhattan Beach. After perusing around the downtown, I would take her to the STRAND HOUSE for its amazing views as it sits right above the pier. We would have drinks and small bites so we can sample the menu while we watch the surf and catch up. If the ocean calls us and there is swell we would head on back to Redondo, suit up and go catch a few waves ourselves! My friends love to shop so post surf, or if no surf at all, we would hit up Catalina Ave. in Redondo Beach. To finish off this fun-filled day we would eat dinner at HOOK + PLOW and try to catch the sunset along the Esplanade on our way back to my place. The next day we would leave early for a coastal drive to TERRENEA, my heaven on earth!. It is here I would show her the ways of an entire spa day!!! Eat, drink, and relax all day from sunrise till they kick us out of the spa! We would end this perfect day of self-care with dinner at NELSONS and watch the sunset, cocktails in hand, and may even get lucky and spot a whale! Our final day would be a day well spent at the beach to soak up the sun and embrace paradise.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
It’s been quite the journey and with each road I have taken there have been so many that have helped along my way! A Shoutout to all my friends and mentors ~ we are not meant to grow alone and I’m I truly blessed to have crossed paths with some incredible souls! A Shoutout to my parents ~ I would not be where I am today without them. They were all about exposure, finding your passion and doing what makes you happy! My parents always had the perfect thing to say just when I needed to hear it the most. My final Shoutout goes to my husband, Mark, and our 2 boys, Shane + Ian. They are my sounding board, support and tough critics when I need them to be. They are a big part of the WHY I do what I do! I love the perspectives they each bring and that we constantly cause each other to grow!