We had the good fortune of connecting with Kalen Mehlman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kalen, what is the most important factor behind your success?
Creative insight and personal authenticity are essential components to the success of my brand and its ongoing growth. As an interior designer, developing an ability to offer stylistic, current & personal design services creates a sense of cohesive understanding and trust. As an artist/art teacher, the ability to develop inclusive and inspiring art classes for children is paramount. These elements are integral aspects of my brand. To have true integrity in building long-term relationships creates brand longevity and growth while adding a true sense of trust.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
What I do makes people happy!
Kalen’s Place is a brand that encompasses the “Art of Creative Living”. What does this mean? As a designer, my client’s voice, style, budget & aesthetic is not only heard but honored. How my clients live in their homes, what makes them happy, their vision of design for their family…for me to create spaces that are personal, meaningful-that is my true intention. Providing insight, clever concepts and unique direction is challenging and satisfying as beautiful spaces begin to emerge.
As an artist and art teacher, to provide inspiring classes that are engaging and interactive for my many art students is a pure joy. I am a teacher by nature and have a Masters Degree in Elementary Education. To see my students in the studio-happy, creating, energized & “at home”…really, what’s better than that? As a young person who was a creative and needed a place to shine-and as a teacher now knowing these kinds of places are absolutely essential-I am grateful that my students have access to an art studio where they can grow as their own unique selves.
The beginning to any new business is challenging. It takes drive, self confidence and a firm belief in one’s self. You must be comfortable in the “not knowing” and want to pursue the knowledge, the resources, and the ways in which growth is essential. That requires vulnerability and strength. Never underestimate the power of connections. We cannot as business owners ever expect to do everything ourselves. Outreach, connection, relationships and community are “key”. These beliefs and this process have helped define, grow, and characterize Kalen’s Place.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
My best friend and I would start off, leaving the airport after pick-up, and head down the 51 towards “The Beach House” (aka Two Hippies) off 5th St. and Camelback for delicious tacos and a friendly, funky vibe. Later, we’d pop over to the vintage shops off 7th Ave.-likely Twigs & Twine Home, Sweet Salvage, and a few others. At some point, we’d surely stop in to “Everything Goes” off Cave Creek Rd. for more vintage goodies. Beyond that, we would most certainly plan an evening at “Postino’s”…my favorite is the original location off Campbell. And we’d also stop into “Le Grande Orange” to just simply look at everything! And grab food, iced tea, and a fun gift. A hike off the 40th St. trail head-or Dreamy Draw-is always in the plan. A new, yummy favorite is “PV Pie & Wine” at Tatum & Shea. “Soleri Studios” located off Doubletree Ranch Rd. is a unique & eye-opening “must see”. The creativity, history, and story of this place is inspiring. And then there’s always the Desert Botanical Gardens if the weather permits. The Farm at South Mountain is always one of my favorites!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I tumbled into this world with an innate desire to create. My young world was filled with days dressing up in handmade costumes, putting on plays with my siblings, painting, hunting & gathering for rocks, shells, jewels and fabrics for sewing. This never went unnoticed by my mom. And thanks to her intuition to enroll me in nearly every art, acting, dance, singing, painting class she could find, I was encouraged throughout my childhood (and many years beyond) to try everything and anything that encompassed a creative life & future. Always a source of positive acceptance and a champion of my creative spirit, she’s continually guided me throughout the years in honing those skills. From this incredible support, emerged a personal drive to develop a brand that has come to include interior design services, custom artwork, and children’s art classes. Thanks, Mom. I am forever grateful.
“Did I tell you to be creative to explore the seed within you. Find your creative spirit and let it grow”. Elizabeth Knapp from “Did I Tell You?”.
Facebook: Kalen’s Place
Photographer: Rachel Smak TV Segments: Channel 3 “Your Life Arizona” Design Client: Teresa Strasser Vintage Shop: Everything Goes