Today we had the honor of interviewing Kelly Dooley of Queenofthekngdm.
Please share a little bit about who you are, your background and how you ended up in the Cannabis Industry.
In a nutshell, I am the penultimate boss mama with a fervent entrepreneurial spirit and an innate desire to serve others, whilst concurrently thriving in the cannabis, fashion and technology industries. I am 38-years-old with a beautiful daughter named Zoe, who is almost five-years-old. She is my greatest light source, the fuel to my fire. When your why is clear, as mine is, the how becomes easy.
I was born and raised in Orange County, CA on August 2, 1982. My Dad passed away tragically when I was 7-years-old yet he played an invaluable role in my early childhood development. He inculcated me with a voracious work ethic and helped me develop high standards for myself. He taught me that I am my own competition.
My Mom, who is my true hero, is an incredible human and she has always encouraged me to pursue my wildest dreams, to travel the world and to live life to the fullest. Therefore, I had the unique privilege of studying abroad in several countries from middle school through graduate school, including Australia, England, France, Greece, China, Ireland, Italy, New Zealand, Scotland, Switzerland, and Wales. She has always been my biggest cheerleader as well as my toughest critic, which helped shape me into the woman I am today.
I then moved to the east coast from 2001-2015. I graduated from Boston University with my B.S. in Print Journalism in 2005.
I then moved to New York City, where I pursued my M.A. in Media, Culture and Communication Studies with an emphasis in social media and luxury consumption at New York University. I graduated in 2008.
I honestly do not care about being well-known. I want to be worth knowing and to create a life of significance by consistently making an indelible impact on the lives of others by leading by example and by showing other women that they can chart their own paths unapologetically and to create the life of their dreams on their own terms just as I have done.
I have been heralded as one of the pioneers of the athleisure era with the creation of BodyRock Sport back in 2010, which started out as a sports bra line that combined fitness and fashion in a way that had not been done before. The debut collection names were Keep ’em In, Lock ’em Down, Show ’em Off, and Zip ’em Up, based on women’s respective needs yet each creation was designed to be worn from day to night, thereby enabling women to enjoy the versatility of my creations. The tagline was simple: Look Good, Feel Good.
The brand quickly went viral when I launched the world’s most expensive sports bra in June 2010. As a woman in her late 20s, I felt as though I was living in a postmodern fairytale, dressing every celeb that was on my target list, including Britney Spears, PINK, The Kardashians, and so on. I then became a reality TV star, which albeit heavily staged and the complete opposite of what the producers pitched to me, has served me very well in my plethora of endeavors. I had the honor of doing a TED Talk in 2013, where I tackled the question, “Why hasn’t this been done before?”
This same question has resonated with me in each and every endeavor that I have pursued with reckless abandon. My insatiable desire to find the white space in different industries is ultimately what led me to the cannabis industry back in October 2017.
In March 2018, I saw the opportunities knocking on my door and quickly dove into the commodities side of the CBD industry, studied the vernacular, mastered the lexicon, and immediately realized that I could quickly become THE PURPLE COW of the cannabis industry, as my favorite marketing guru, Seth Godin says, simply by being ME. One of my primary objectives is to create female-centric luxury cannabis brands in an industry that is heavily polluted with cheesy branding that does not appeal to most women that I know.
I have devoted the vast majority of my time developing luxury brands via my latest venture, Luxe Branding Haus, also known as LBH, located in Long Beach, CA.
Luxe Branding Haus is not limited to cannabis. We also provide our branding expertise for fashion, music, real estate, technology and anything else that piques our interest. The projects that we take on are solely based on energy. We all live in the same world but not in the same frequency, If the energy feels right, we’re all in.
Our first three brands will be unveiled this year and I am so excited to share our creations, all of which are intended to elevate, innovate and de-stigmatize the cannabis industry. Cause-based marketing is a cornerstone of Luxe Branding Haus’ ethos, and some of the chief causes that we support are domestic violence awareness, mental health awareness, social equity and suicide prevention.
Luxe Branding Haus is the cannabis equivalent of LVMH for those of whom have fluency in fashion.
Cannabis is true medicine and I truly feel that my calling is not only to normalize cannabis but also to infuse the world with products that enable our customers to achieve a perpetual state of bliss and a clean slate of health. You can have all the money in the world but if you do not have your health, which includes both mental and spiritual health, then, in my opinion, you’re broke.
How important is offering multiple product/service options to cannabis users during this unique time in our country?
Offering multiple products and services should be a top priority. Being dynamic is a necessity, especially in cannabis, which is a new industry. The fact of the matter is that consumers are the new marketers. With social media platforms like Clubhouse, Instagram and TikTok, for example, traditional forms of advertising have become outdated.
I am the lead investor in a new technology platform called Maven’s List, which is essentially a B2B platform that connects brands with celebs and influencers through a unique escrow function that enables our subscribers to accept or decline offers, thereby eradicating the need for agents, who are infamous for taking advantage of talent. At the same time, Maven’s List safeguards brands by ensuring that they’re receiving the service they paid for. Thus, Maven’s List is a win-win for both parties involved in a transaction.
The brands reach their target demographic and the talent gets paid 100 percent of the time. Maven’s List is a profound example of the power that consumers possess as well as the incalculable value of social media as a marketing tool. If Maven’s List had existed when I launched BodyRock Sport back in 2010, I would have saved hundreds of thousands of dollars. The bottom line is that every customer has their own journey. Therefore, as creators, we have the ability to create cannabis brands that resonate with all different walks of life based on their respective desires, their ever-changing needs, and their idiosyncratic realities.
Let’s talk marketing. Since traditional advertising in the industry isn’t available, will your brand be affected by this or do you have an advantage in some way?
NO. The reason I got my M.A. in Media, Culture and Communication Studies from New York University was to become an aficionado in non-traditional marketing. I am essentially a luxury marketing rebel capitalizing on the white space in the cannabis industry by using the innovative strategies that I mastered at New York University and have since implemented throughout my fascinating career.
The name that I built in fashion has continued to serve as a significant advantage in the cannabis industry. My experience–both the triumphs as well as the often painful lessons–have become the penultimate gift, as this unique montage of experiences has helped shape the way that I conduct business now. I have an astute business partner who approaches each and every one of my ideas with black and white logic. He then maps out and executes my creative visions with the utmost precision. He is the yin to my yang, the engineer or architect–if you will–to my never-ending litany of avant ideas.
As he often says, I am a creative genius with a few glitches. He, on the other hand, is a logician, and he is therefore able to strengthen my weaknesses and ameliorate my inherent flaws as a businesswoman due to his unique background and formulaic approach to life in general, which is the polar opposite of how I operate, despite the fact that our eyes have always been fixated on the same finish line. The synergy that we share as business partners has enabled us to elevate each other in ways that would not otherwise be feasible, for which I am eternally grateful.
The brands that we are launching are ALL lifestyle brands, wherein cannabis is merely one aspect of the overarching objective and distinctive brand identities.
We’re doing exclusive drops of luxurious accessories, clothing, furniture, and many other products that elevate the overall lifestyle of cannabis users. I do not want to reveal too many of my branding secrets so I will end with this–I can give you all of my recipes but the sauce will never taste the same because my unique life experience has shaped me as a visionary. Stay tuned to watch our beautiful assortment of brands penetrate the market, state by state, and nationwide, once cannabis becomes federally legal. We also have a CBD brand launching imminently that does not have the same limitations that currently characterize the often precarious world of cannabis.
It often feels as though we’re walking down Oregon’s Trail paving the way clad in bulletproof vests and shaping the industry, step by step. I cannot emphasize how important it is to remain authentic, to pursue your dreams with unwavering intention, to build obstacles into your business plan, to develop a problem solving mindset, to not take the often peculiar behavior of others too personally, to respect the process as much as you do the end result, and to ALWAYS walk with faith rather paralyzing yourself with fear.
Please tell us something that concerns you in the overall cannabis industry and something that excites you.
I am concerned about the overall lack of integrity that defines the cannabis industry.
I look forward to bringing more transparency to the industry by implementing some of the research we are conducting behind-the-scenes that will magnify our strengths as a company once cannabis becomes federally legal.
Where can people learn more about your company?
Instagram: @thenomadfashionista and @queenofthekngdm