If you opened your own business, what would it be? 

If I opened my own business it would be in the realm of sustainability education, coaching and consulting. One of my passion projects at the moment has been writing about my own journey to reduce my waste, and live a lower impact life on my blog. I love having conversations with people about easy swaps they can make in their own lives. It would be amazing to get to help people make changes to their personal lives or businesses to be more sustainable.


What advice would you give your younger self? 

When I was young I wasted so much time trying to fit in, and to not rock the boat. I wish I could go back and say stop trying to be who you think you should be, and just be you. When you live for others you are a wallflower, but when you live your truth that’s when you make an impact.


Exceptional Skills- 

You are more likely to find me in the splits at 6:00 in the morning than in bed. Thanks to three years of consistently showing up at Adamantine Yoga every morning.


In all seriousness, I think my exceptional skill is that I am not talented or exceptional, but that I have grit, as Angela Duckworth puts it. When the going gets tough or I find a challenge I don’t give up, but I double down, and give it my all until I succeed. My grit and drive to preserve has served me well, so far, and I believe it has gotten me to the place I am at today.

What makes you feel fulfilled? 

I feel fulfilled when I see results, and I see that the work I am putting in makes an impact. The other day I was checking out at the grocery store with my reusable containers. The cashier told me that since I had been coming in with my mason jars, he had been telling other customers, and they were doing the same. It was at that moment that I saw the ripple effect of my actions.


It’s so easy to think of ourselves as an island, but what we do in our daily lives can have a positive or negative impact on others. I am a huge believer in leading by example instead of lecture.


When asked to describe yourself, what’s the first word that pops into your mind? 

It is actually a phrase, but it is “Why not?” I am someone who likes to push boundaries, and innovate. That phrase lead me to go to art openings all by myself, study abroad in Colombia, travel solo to Toronto for an all night art festival and so much more. I believe that there is so much to experience in the world, and that there is no better time to start experiencing it than here, and now. So if there is something I am apprehensive about doing I ask what’s holding me back.


Favorite Book- 

This is like picking a favorite child. I am a huge bookworm, but I have to say that there is one that I have been going back to a lot lately, and it is Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. She asks the question, “What would you do even if you knew you would fail?” I love this question because it is not asking what you want to do to be successful. It is asking what do you care so deeply about that you would still be doing it even if you were the only one that paid attention.

What makes your heart race? 

I love discovering a place for the first time. When I arrive in a new city or country. I love just spending time wandering the streets taking in the sights, sounds, smells and experiencing the people. If you are someone that loves itineraries I am not your ideal travel buddy because I will walk aimlessly for miles just to get to know a new place.

Organization or cause near to your heart- 

In addition to sustainability I am also passionate about health and helping people to access the care that they need. During the day I work at Primary Health Care a non-profit community health center that focuses on filling gaps in the health care system and providing services to the uninsured and the underserved in our community.


What keeps you up at night? 

For me I know that I am working to do my part to live a lower impact life, but I am concerned about the quality of life that is in store for the future of our planet.


What is a belief you once held but no longer do? 

I used to believe that my voice or actions didn’t matter because I am young. Now I know that there is a lot of power in having the courage to enter a space where I may be the youngest person in the room.


What are you interested in connecting with other women about? 

I would love to connect with other women about sustainability, low impact living and mentor ship in being a leader in the Des Moines community.

Kelly Marble

Non profit leader

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