encourage womxn : kelsey sheofsky
Q: How did you get the idea or inspiration to start Shelter Co.?
I was working as an event planner specializing in destination weddings and saw a hole in the market. I had so many clients who wanted to host their events in far flung locations and hotel proximity always became a limiting factor. I started to wonder what it would look like to bring the hotel to the event. We were immediately branded a “glamping” company because we started our business right as glamping was becoming a thing which was really fortunate from a PR perspective. Since our launch in 2012 we have grown a ton and are now a one stop shop for all event design and furnishing needs in addition to still being the largest provider of glamping rentals in California. This year we designed all the VIP suites for Bottlerock, produced numerous corporate off-sites for companies such as Sequoia Capital and Reddit, and provided event rentals for 150 events and counting.
Q: What I love most about my job is …
The people. We have such an amazing Shelter Co. family. Our line of work is really labor intensive and requires some long days and a lot of problem solving but the people make it worthwhile. It has been really rewarding to build a unique company culture where hard work is always balanced out with a healthy dose of good times. Even on the worst days everyone is so supportive and still finds things to laugh about. A lot of our work requires us to live together in a remote location for extended periods of time which would be a total nightmare if we didn’t have the team we do.
Q: One of the hardest things about running a business is …
Turning off my brain. I have a really hard time fully relaxing. From social media it looks like I’m constantly in some beautiful place doing something fun. Which is partially true but I’m also constantly emailing, dealing with financials, and talking to my staff and clients. The only time I really stop thinking about work is when I do my daily crossword. Which is usually around 5 am lying in bed because one of my children or the dog has woken me up and I can’t get back to sleep. One of these days I’m going to take a vacation without wifi…
Q: If you didn't run Shelter Co. what would else would you love to do?
Design an event venue. Which we are in the process of doing up in Guerneville on the Russian River. We bought 11 acres last year and have been working on the designs and business plan for the past 9 months. Demo starts next week which is really exciting. We are in the thick of fundraising and are hoping to close the round by the end of the year. Exciting times.
Q: If I had a day all to myself …
I would take the dog for a long walk around the neighborhood and grab a coffee at Farley’s. Then I would head to the Mission and meet a friend for brunch at Tartine Manufactory. Then I’d head to Union Square and shop shop shop. I never make it down there anymore and online shopping just doesn’t scratch the itch. I would then head home to ideally an empty house and take a nap in the sun in my backyard. I would order dinner from Dumpling Time and watch a movie and go to bed by 10 pm. Can I have this day tomorrow??
Q: I love vintage because …
I worked in a vintage clothing store when I first moved to San Francisco and I’ve always loved the thrill of the hunt. Vintage clothing and accessories adds another layer to my wardrobe and allows me to create more unique outfits than I would otherwise be able to do. I also love owning things my grandmothers and mom wore. They are pieces of my family history that I can interact with in a way that you don't really do with other items.
Q: The secret to finding good vintage is …
Having family members with good taste. My favorite pieces are things my grandma owned. And traveling. Most of my best vintage has been found on trips. I recently scored two really amazing dresses in Las Vegas. I like picking up vintage on travels because it always reminds me of the trip when I wear the piece.
Q: I’m always on the hunt for …Jewelry and pantsuits.
Q: Tell us the story behind the dresses you're wearing in this shoot!
The navy dress with the belt was my grandmas. It’s vintage Lanvin.
The neon floral dress was also my grandmas. She wore it to my parent's rehearsal dinner for their wedding and also to my brother’s wedding over 30 years later.
The orange white and black halter dress is something my mom made when she was in college to wear to a wedding.
The white and pink floral dress I picked up on a trip to Marfa.
And the Barbie clothes are all from my childhood that my kids now play with. Classic 80’s perfection.