Name: Kelly Rooney

Where did you grow up:  Well, that’s a loaded question, lol! My dad is Irish by nationality, born and raised in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe) and my mom is from Veracruz, on the East Coast of Mexico. I was born in Mexico City and soon moved to Quito Ecuador. I lived there until I was 5. We then moved to Adelaide Australia, where I turned 6. A year later we moved to Asuncion, Paraguay. We were there until I was 12, and we then moved to Santa Cruz, Bolivia. At 18 I moved to Boca Raton, FL to attend Lynn University, and, well, here I am!

My family was spread all over, so we visited them all over the World. So I guess you could say I grew up all over the World.

Town you live in now:  I live in Juno Beach.

Why you love living there:  Juno Beach is my little slice of Heaven. It is such a fun, vibrant, active beach town. Its tiny, yet we have so many great places! From the Pier and Loggerhead, to the Thirsty Turtle, Cafe Sole, the Kee Grill and Captain Charlie’s. Not to mention the Tri Store, the OJ stand and The Juno Beach Cafe. I am a runner, and triathlete on hiatus, so I love the active community. My studio is right across the street from my house and I love being able to walk over to it. It’s like my mini Venice CA.

Tell me about your kids:  I have two stepsons in their 20’s who just recently moved back to FL, and a daughter who is 13.
The “boys” are amazing young men, and I love having them back. Joe Jr. is a web developer, who is currently my photographer and graphic designer. Lawrence is a fraud investigator for an insurance agency and is engaged to an awesome girl, Roxy. They get married on March 2nd!
My daughter Melissa is a passionate horseback rider, and would give up just about anything to ride. She competes on two horses, so that keeps us pretty busy. She is (like me) an avid animal lover. We just adopted our third dog, and we also have 3 cats. (And don’t forget the 2 horses, lol!)

Favorite things to do with the kids locally:  Well, as I mentioned, horseback riding eats up a lot of our time. We love going to the Wellington Showgrounds and watching the riders (I happen to have a favorite) and eat the amazing food truck food. There are so many fun stalls and so many talented riders. Its a great time! More locally, we of course love Loggerhead and the beach. The Maltz Theater is another favorite, as we love the theater.

What’s your ‘day job’? How did you get started with it?  I started Josephine Alexander Collective in May of last year, although it seems like it has been forming itself inside of me for much longer. I started with different ventures, all of which snowballed into this monster. Josephine Alexander Collective is a line of accessories handmade by artisans currently in Mexico and Peru. My goal is to expand and add different countries in the near future. It is a socially conscious line. We pay fair wages, use cruelty free materials, recycled and compostable packaging and provide stable income for our artisans.
My passions include fashion and travel, so as I picked up pieces during my travels that then became favorites and popular amongst my friends, I realized there was something there. I always knew I would start with Mexico as it is in my roots. I booked my travel to Peru and Mexico, collected my samples and within two months, JAC was up and running.

What is your best parenting advise. Lay it on us.  That’s a tough one. I feel like I learn every day as a parent. Honestly, I think it is to not take yourself too seriously. You have these ideas of how raising children will go, and what you want them to do, or say or act like, and as any parent will tell you, that’s usually the exact opposite of how things actually go. If you can go with the flow and not get too caught up in the hectic ness of the day to day, things go a lot smoother.

What do you do for self care?  I try to exercise at least 5 days a week, that keeps my mind fresh and keeps my endorphins going. My husband and I have date night every Thursday, and that’s so important for us. I have an amazing group of friends who support each other and are all amazingly talented in their own way. Spending time with them is so important for my mental health!

Anything else you want to share? — —  I have so enjoyed the process of getting to know my amazing artisans and learning from their kindness and generosity. They have such amazing stories, and they’re so eager to help, and so grateful for the work. It is truly heartwarming to work with them. I really encourage everyone to read their stories on my website. They are such wonderful people, they truly deserve the spotlight.
I am so thankful for everyone who has supported JAC every step of the way, including you guy for having me. I love sharing my story, and am so grateful for the chance to tell it. Thank you so much.

 

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