I started my career when I walked out of graduate school at the University of Tennessee in 1988, to embark as a generalist in New York City, my chosen home to start a new life pursuing something I never studied or gave two thoughts to. I all knew was that I wanted to live in New York. I started as a fashion model then a bit of divine intervention took over. I became a magazine editor/writer at a succession of top fashion lifestyle titles such as W, Town & Country and Flaunt.
Around the turn of the century (this one!) the media editorial world began to shift, and I went with it. I was still searching for my purpose. I then became a public relations and events executive, opening my own boutique firm, Kelley Blevins Group, known then as KBG. For greater than a decade, I represented such “general” clients as Chupa Chups, M&M Mars, Flybook computers, the Sunset Marquis Hotel in Los Angeles, Custo Barcelona, Tasmanian Rain, Emporio Armani, Diane von Furstenburg, architect Alison Spear, Irene Marie Models and Miami Beach’s Hotel St. Augustine, Still I was unsatisfied.
It was at the end of my PR run that I began to dabble in the emerging concepts of sustainability and consciousness, first with fashion, and then I started moving into architecture and design. In 2012, I answered the call of world-famous Barcelona-based architect Ricardo Bofill, who I had met back when I was an architecture editor at Town & Country Magazine. Mr. Bofill appointed me as the firm’s head of global business development. Meanwhile, I still saw myself as a master generalist. After all, I was not an actual architect. I discovered I enjoyed it and was successful in my role.
It was not until I was about to turn 50 years old that I found my footing, my calling, my purpose. I found myself working throughout India and had the same time, become awed by the concepts of sustainability and consciousness, I yearned to return to New York and so I did. All of a sudden, as if a eureka moment transpired after all the years of doing a little of this and a little of that, it all began to make sense and I accepted what I felt was my purpose. I wanted to make a difference in my world, my country and my city. I wanted to influence the future leaders of the next generation. I began to suddenly see everything I had done up to that moment in my career through a new and refined lens. It no longer became about wearing designer and tailored suits. I wanted to be part of a network — a movement that was contributing to the betterment of humanity and saving the planet where we inhabit. I became my personal version of “woke.” The planet was being destroyed and I was contributing to it. I started to analyze all I was doing. I had learned about many things, but I was no longer an expert at nothing. I had found my purpose.
In 2018, my career transformed into Kelley Blevins and Partners -the first of which is Mexico City based friend and now business partner, Cesar ESPINOSA and recently celebrating 2021, we decided to launch with our strategic partners, Alison SPEAR and Anna KLINGMANN, our sustainable design platform, Redesigning The World.