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Meet Kiley Van Alstyne of DedCool

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kiley Van Alstyne.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Kiley. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I moved from a small town in Colorado to San Diego after high school to attend San Diego State University. I didn’t know what I wanted to do so I got a degree in Anthropology because I love people, culture, and it seemed like a good fit for me at the time. Throughout college, I tried to get involved in a few extracurriculars. I ended becoming the President of the 80% male Ski & Snowboard Team on campus and started my own non-profit chapter of Nourish on the SDSU campus.

Through all of the challenges with those positions and school and working, I learned a lot about what I’m good at and what I can improve on. I developed a sense of confidence in accomplishing even the smallest tasks. I knew that after college I wanted to take on a roll in a small company where I could make a big impact. Through a few connections, I met one of the hardest working women, Annie, who started her own small cosmetics company after working for Estee Lauder for 20 years.

I started as an intern doing everything under the sun, and she ended up hiring me on full time to do Business Development. I really started to flourish here and found a passion for small business development, especially for a women-owned (and run by) company. I decided to make the move to LA and started working for a small, family-owned manufacturing facility that produces two brands products – LaNatura and DedCool. I get to do operations for both companies and help run each business on a day to day basis.

I’ve basically gotten a 9-month crash course in product production, operations, logistics, marketing, and creative development of small brands. Every day is a new adventure and every day I get to learn a new skill and develop as a person as well as develop with two amazing brands. I truly love going to work every day, and I hope that one day all of this experience gives me the confidence and skill set to create my own brand.

Has it been a smooth road?
I had a pretty sheltered upbringing, and I think the best thing I ever did was put myself in situations where I had to work really hard to gain respect and prove myself. When I was the president of a mostly male ski team, I had to work ten times harder than my male predecessors. I think what the team needed was a strong female figure because people felt welcomed and cared for like they hadn’t in the past.

I’ve also faced a lot of discrimination because of my age. A lot of people feel as though they can treat you a certain way because of how old you. I deal with a lot of people that are intimidated by my age or right me off because I’m 24. I think that right now being young is actually one of my biggest strengths. I come bearing fresh perspectives and bring new energy to every project I take on!

We’d love to hear more about what you do.
I work for two companies – LaNatura and DedCool. Bother to operate under the same manufacturing facility. At both jobs, I help with any operational projects as well as any creative projects. My strengths are with any logistical situations that need to be taken care of; it’s naturally where I strive.

I also help with creative direction in product production and design which has become something I am really passionate about. It’s so satisfying to create something out of just an idea!

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is a great place to start a small business! It’s a great place to network, and there’s so much inspiration around the city. The possibilities here are endless!

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