Kelly Pratt 💃 founder Athena Village + So Do It! Salons
Vibrant Bohemian. Artist. Cultural Creative.
Guide to women ready to make sh!t happen.
Goofball. Book Lover (audio or paper).
Sister/ Auntie/ Daughter/Stepmom
I’ve always had mojo. At least I thought I did in my own mind. I never wanted to blend in. But I didn’t exactly want to stand out either. That’s what they call a conundrum! I did small things like wear weird ‘bicycle jeans’ when everyone else was wearing Levis. Or listen to “I’m a Hog for Ya Baby” by the Siegel Schwall Band when others were listening to “Spiders and Snakes.”What a rebel!
But I chose practicality over my own essential self when I entered college and chose to attend business school. My parents didn’t push me either way – although I’m sure I heard a sigh of relief when I chose business courses. But then came Dr. Reed, my Psych professor. He called me on it when he wrote three little words on a paper.
So, do it!
I was minding my own business, studying business – accounting actually – and he pulled out of my paper a something I’d not even realized I’d written. I said I wished I’d pursued dance instead of business. This wasn’t something I’d been mulling over. Just something that flowed from my subconscious into Dr. Reed’s paper.
And he said “SO, DO IT!
Wow! Really? Could I actually do that? Well. OK. So, I did! I walked across campus that day. Enrolled in Eddie Gasper’s “Dance for Stage” class and it changed my life. I auditioned for his new company and never looked back.
That decision seriously rebooted my mojo. I took a right turn into “the creative economy” – a world of performance, theatre, dance and loved it. I wasn’t drawn by the LIGHTS! CAMERA! ACTION of it all, but the creative process. The artists. The imagination. The stories.
after working in several different jobs in “the industry” I eventually landed at the Film and Television Board. I was in my element! Creating community. Advocating for creatives and commerce. It was fabulous…But‚ wait! I forgot to get married! I forgot to have kids!
So in 1995 I gave all that up married. I did what I thought I was supposed to do. I gave up my mojo and my essential self in the process.
(Now one BIG lesson learned is that there are amazing things that happen in these side trips. I became a step mom to two fabulous kids. And a “sister mom” to their mom. We created a community – an extended family that was very cool… but…)
Flash forward 10 years, 40 pounds, lots of depression & much poorer and in 2005 I found myself divorced and in the process of reinvention. I know I’m not alone in having experienced a “ring of fire” (Martha Beck’s term). A painful, growth-ful, never-want-to-go-through-it-again time of my life. It’s something we all experience in some form or another. And these experiences are how we get to our right life..
And then one day…
Then one day, a couple of significant things happened.
I was doing what I thought I was supposed to do. Interviewing for a J.O.B. which I knew was not for me when they told me they required all women to wear panty hose (!) NOOOO!
So I slinked away and, like a good digital nomad, I found a bookstore where I could work, drink coffee, and wander the aisles for inspiration. Perusing the fiction section, art books, business books, architectural books, spiritual books. I love books.
My first nudge came when a phrase on the cover of an O Magazine popped out at me. It said ‘We Should All Work Like Dogs, All the Time.’ The article was by Martha Beck whom I’d never heard of. Her Rule #2 was to “do as dogs do.”
“…we should do what comes most naturally, reflexively, effortlessly‚… my first and last sales principle is this: Love sells better than hate. Find a way to package what you can’t stop doing‚…Use the work-like-a-dog principle to make your career and time-budgeting decisions. Should you? Only if it makes you salivate with desire.” – Martha Beck O The Oprah Magazine
The next nudge was when I found THE CREATIVE ENTREPRENEUR.
Again, it jumped out at me. The spine of the book is orange and purple and the title combined the words ‘creative’ with ‘entrepreneur’ WOW! The author’s methods for planning your business involved visual journaling. This is something I’ve been doing since I was sixteen. I’ve always kept journals. I have dozens of them.
In this book, author Lisa Sonora uses visual journaling and mixed media and other creative means as tools to plan your business. Now that doesn’t sound like work, that sounds like play!
This started me thinking‚ visual journaling makes me “salivate with desire” – maybe there’s something to this.
I bought the book and O Magazine. I went home with my mind percolating.
How can I incorporate everything I love about the careers I’ve had and serve both myself and the world?
(Did I mention that I was in the middle of trying to sell my house? Yeah, it was 2008.)
So, as I was packing to move and percolating on what I’d read, I found a folder “1998 Personal Coaching” 10 years ago! Hmmm? What is that?
Google here I come, and guess who pops up as “the best life coach in America” and also has a training program starting in a month?? MARTHA BECK!!
OK, Universe! I’m listening!
I signed up for Martha’s next session and I was off.
And, Lisa Sonora was doing something called teaching “online” (whatever that meant!) So I started taking courses from her too.
12 Years Later.
Flash forward 12 years, I’m now a certified Martha Beck Coach and Lisa Sonora is a good friend. (the photo below is my workspace at her creativity retreat just before the aha moment when I knew my calling was all about re-booting mojo.
So there you go!
Thanks, Martha! Thanks, Lisa! And thanks bookstores! Still my favorite place to go to percolate (my antonym for procrastinate!)”
My song? – sooo many! Sometimes by Michael Franti or James Brown’s “Get Up Offa That Thing!” and “dance til you feel better!”
but I’ll have to go with Danny’s All Star Joint by Rickie Lee Jones because it’s about “your people”
founder + co-creator of Athena Village
Kelly Pratt is…
:: Founder of the Athena Village + head Salonniére of the So, do it! Salons.
:: making sh!t happen in the So, do it! Salons + Society
:: an artist
:: a life and “genius art coach” according to Martha Beck (O Magazine columnist + author)
:: the creator the Lift Vision Kit, designer of the Creative Rhythm Planner
:: an auntie, sister, (step) mom and the oldest child of a poet and a pilot;
Kelly Pratt was…
:: half of the team Variety Magazine named “hot in Hollywood” for attracting dozens of movies to Minnesota in the 90s
:: the director of a regional theatre and put more than 15,000 butts-in-seats in its 1st season
:: named one of 12 people to watch in the Arts by Minnesota Monthly
:: a dancer with a regional jazz company for 8 years
:: an elevator operator, a parking lot attendant and part owner of a construction company
:: believes that feminine leadership styles and creative commerce will revolutionize how we live.
:: that creative women crave connection and it is the solution for isolation inertia
:: that she’s hardwired to get you clear, and get you there and loves that journey.
And Kelly is having a difficult time shutting off her brain. It’s 3:43 am. Time to PUNCH OUT! 😜