We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelly Turner and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelly, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
If you asked 18 year old me who was shopping in the mens clearance section of Zumiez, my answer would be to create badass clothing for women in skateboarding and snowboarding. Don’t get me wrong that is still 100% the case, but Lleky has evolved out of the absence of female support and product in the snowboard and skateboard industries. As a female who has been snowboarding most of their life, skating, and has been working in the industry for 10 years, there has always been minimal product in skate and snow shops for women. Just to break it down, it is common that women’s clothing fills a tiny corner in a shop and is usually at least 50% past season product. As an art student in college, I thought, why not design my own tees to wear. It wasn’t until a few years back that I fully realized, I wasn’t alone. Many girls in search of rad clothing and something that fits every body type. In addition to clothing, we host ladies skate meet ups around Colorado skate parks to encourage progression and support inclusivity. Saying these meet ups are fun is an understatement. The goal is to build accessible resources for women and continue to grow the recognition of how epic these women are. Lleky is a ride shop dedicated to the ladies and inclusive to everyone.
Please tell us more about your work. We’d love to hear what sets you apart from others, what you are most proud of or excited about. How did you get to where you are today professionally. Was it easy? If not, how did you overcome the challenges? What are the lessons you’ve learned along the way. What do you want the world to know about you or your brand and story?
My creative spark started young, technically progressed in college as an art student and fully started to grow post college. I was actually a photography major and apparel and merchandising minor with little graphic design experience. All of my graphics are created using techniques I have translated from apparel design to graphic design. I am constantly evolving as an artist, which I think, is something to be proud of – an ever growing artistic expression. That has also been a challenge among many others that I have encountered. Challenges are faced daily with building this business, and no, definitely not easy. Worth it, yes. I think we are often in search of our big break but realistically it is the small wins that add up and ensure constant growth. Growth is good, and that is something that needs to be remembered.
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?
This list could go on forever but in a Covid free world, we would wake up with Snooze for breakfast. Hang out at the Arvada skatepark for the day. Enjoy a few beers and some punk rock or heavy metal at Ratio Beerworks or TRVE Brewery. Wander to El Camino for some taco Tuesday specials. Enjoy some good competition at 1UP with retro arcade games. Then chill out at Carbon Coffee & Habit Doughnut Dispensary with a drink and Wu Tang tots. These tots are actually the best thing ever.
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 remember sitting in my car with my mom in a parking lot discussing the struggle of finding a career after college. She told me that if I wanted to build my own business, that she supported me. I don’t know about you, but having moms approval of a huge career change definitely put my mind at ease, and I thank her for the support along the way. Sitting at a close number 2, Austin. He has listened and been my rock from the beginning. Sometimes you just need a person, and he is my person. Moving to my acceptance speech at the Grammy’s – I want to thank all my friends who have helped with events and supported along the way. Jessi, Drake, Alasdaire, Scotty, Christy, Jake, Candace, Trevor and all the amazing girls who join our skate meet ups and rep my designs. I appreciate you all.
Hanson Cheng, Daniel Fickle