The Family Room is a place to grab a cup of tea, curl up on the sofa, and read a short memoir on the story behind creating this company for women.
A Note From Katherine
Home is where the heart is. It is the place of children’s laughter, holiday gatherings, warmth under a cozy blanket, a good book on the nightstand, the smell of homemade treats in the oven, and the place fond memories are created. For some of us, it is also the place where ideas are born, goals are reached, businesses are grown, and dreams are achieved.
We welcome and honor the entrepreneurs who have created a life and business within the walls of their homes. My work, and this website, are dedicated to helping you achieve a balance between building your business dreams and savoring life’s precious moments.
Take a quick tour and discover all of the cozy places of our home where you can learn, socialize, laugh, eat, and rest. We hope you will visit again and again to reveal your stories, receive encouragement, share some laughter, and celebrate your accomplishments.
For years I have had people tell me I needed to share my story. For years I have ignored them.
The pragmatic side of me justified that the world doesn’t need one more story about a woman who hits rock bottom and climbs her way back up. The books have been written, the movies have been made, it has all been done before.
I did an incredible job of convincing myself of that lie for a long time.
The truth was that I was petrified.
I was afraid to go back to those dark memories. To write about it meant to relive it. No one should ever have to live through that nightmare once, let alone experience it for a second time.
The truth is that transparency takes courage. While I pretend to have a strong outer shell, bravery is not my strong suit.
We live in an online world where my Facebook photos can be edited, my posts can be made to sound like I am optimistic about life, and if there’s something I don’t want you to know about me…I just don’t type it. My transparency muscles have atrophied.
The truth is that I had nightmares about sharing my story.
For the last decade, I have only had one reoccurring nightmare. In my nightmare it is dark outside, I am in my house and there is someone dressed in black outside. Frantically, I would run from window to window, slamming them shut, locking them, and closing the blinds. I would work as quickly as possible, always trying to stay ahead of the person outside trying to look in. But inevitably I would always get to the last window and he would be standing there, peering in through the window into my home.
In life, I have always done the same, running from situation to situation trying to close the ‘windows’, play things off, pretend I was okay, tell them lies, so that they wouldn’t worry about me and try to look into my ‘home’ to see what was really going on.
The truth is that I was afraid of being judged and ridiculed.
The world can be cruel. No one can judge me harsher than I have judged myself. The guilt I have worn has whittled me down until getting out of bed was too much of a chore. I have scorned myself into believing I was the worst person, friend, mother, daughter, sister that anyone could be unfortunate enough to have.
Hearing judgement and ridicule from the outside world only shoves the knife into my heart that much deeper. It is confirmation that my inner condemnation is true. I wasn’t prepared to deal with that. I wasn’t strong enough to handle it.
The truth is…
I’d like to say I’ve fully forgiven myself and that the fears of my past are far behind me. I’d love to say all of the wonderful, girl power things you hear other women saying. I’d love to tell you that I’m completely free from the torment. But I haven’t, I can’t, and I’m not.
What I can tell you is that over the years my backbone has become stronger through being fused from the fire of the kiln where I have lived; I have become more keenly aware of my intuition, and have learned to trust it; I have become obsessed with helping other women navigate the hurdles of running a successful business from home; and I have become strong enough to begin to share my story.
I heard it again. Every afternoon at 2:00p.m. It was the sound that send my heart rate skyrocketing and my skin break out into a cold sweat. It was the sound that instantly brought to mind the failures, the promises never kept, and guilt for being less-than-adequate. It was the sound that sent a paralyzing fear racing through my body as it reminded me that nothing is ever stable or secure and in an instant my world could be demolished.
I peered out my second story bedroom window to look at my mailbox by the street. The sound of the mail truck grew closer and my mouth went dry. The mail woman slowed to a stop and opened the mailbox with my address on it. She paused for a minute before stuffing the day’s envelopes in my mailbox which was already cramped from previous weeks’ worth of envelopes. She slammed it shut and quickly began to drive away.
As I child, I loved mail. If I received a card from my Grandmother or a letter from a summer camp pen pal I would clasp the envelope in my hands and my heart would beat with excitement. I forced away the urge to immediately rip open the precious gift as I raced up the stairs and slammed the door shut. I would make sure I had settled on my bed, in the quiet of my room, to savor the moment of opening the envelope and slowly reading its contents by myself.
Adulthood has a way of destroying the optimism and joy of opening a mailbox. In my adult life, there have been a few wonderful items that have been delivered to me by mail: my college degree, my marriage license, my children’s birth certificates, my first passport, invitations to my sibling’s weddings, my Grandparent’s 50th wedding anniversary party invitation, and birth announcements of my nephews.
However, later in adulthood, the mailbox became a frightening place. Never knowing what might lie inside, I found myself rarely having the courage to check it. The mail person had delivered divorce papers, electric shut-off notices, denied applications for assistance, courthouse documents, legal bills, eviction notices, and vehicle repossession letters. From day-to-day I never knew what might be inside. The mailbox was the Russian Roulette of horrendous, life-altering news.
There were moments of optimism where I believed that I must have hit the bottom. But the mailbox was always determined to prove me wrong. This small metal box by the side of the road had crippled me. It drove fear into my heart. Now, here I was, listening to the debilitating sound of a mail truck every day at 2:00pm feeling helpless as new, terrifying deliveries were shoved into the mailbox.
I continued to watch the mail truck as it drove down the street. She was focused on her task of delivering mail to the rest of the city and completely oblivious to leaving me petrified, alone, afraid, and fighting tears in my eyes, in her wake.
I am the oldest of three children. My parents had my younger brother when I was two and a half and my sister came along eleven months afterwards. Three children under the age of four and two of those children were under the age of 1.
My father traveled most weeks for his work. He would fly out on Monday and fly back on Friday. Being the only other person in the house who was potty-trained and had minimal communication capabilities, my small skill set landed me the prestigious position of, “Assistant to Mom.” Although I was only three and a half, my Mother said that in between my Sesame Street breaks I took my job very seriously. She lost count the number of times she would call my name each day.
“Katie, can you grab a diaper for me?”
“Katie, don’t let you brother eat that toy.”
“Katie, your sister is throwing up, can you grab me a towel?”
“Katie, get the baby wipes.”
“Katie, your brother needs a new outfit out of the dresser.”
My rigorous motherhood training began even before I was enrolled in pre-school. Although being “Assistant to Mom” was a full-time job, I did get some vacation time in the form of visiting my Grandparents….alone.
At the time, we lived in St. Louis and I was fortunate enough to have both sets of Grandparents live nearby. My maternal Grandmother did not work outside the home and I would spend my sibling-free days with her basking in the silence of a baby-free home.
My Grandmother began playing the piano when she was a small child. She was diagnosed with rickets and anemia, and was forced to spend many of her days inside watching her seven older siblings play outdoors. She missed school most of the time and self-taught her studies in order to keep up with her classmates.
To pass the indoor time, she practiced playing music. My Grandmother was always humble about her talent. But my Great-Aunt once told me that my Grandmother, “…was one of the top pianists in the country. She could have gone to Juilliard if it hadn’t been for your Grandpa.” She said it with a smile and a wink, but later in life I would experience resentment towards Grandma for settling for marriage and not going after her dreams. I eventually discovered that I wasn’t angry with her as much as I was angry with myself for having chosen the exact same path.
It was 1949 and my Grandfather had been drafted into the Korean War. He proposed. She accepted. In 1949, women didn’t attend Juilliard if they had an offer of marriage. My Grandmother’s world can be summed up in the movie, “Mona Lisa Smile,” where women were measured by how well they married.
She was the epitome of a 1950’s housewife complete with the ability to know how to properly set a table, sew and iron clothing, have dinner ready before her husband gets home from work, and make sure the children were seen and not heard.
Dinners at Grandma’s meant that we used cloth napkins and polished silverware. Before I began kindergarten, she had already taught me how to properly set the table, which forks should be used for each course, and the purpose of using chargers.
She loved everything having to do with French culture including her 3 french poodles Gigi, Mimi, and Trixie. Whenever I would ask her to explain something to me that she, herself, could not understand, her favorite response was, “C’est la vie, Katie. C’est la vie.” (It is life.)
There was always music being played throughout her home with a radio or tape player in every room. I always knew where to find her by following the symphony of sound billowing out of a room. Before I had learned to read a book, I was able to listen to a classical piece and decipher if it was Tchaikovsky or Mozart.
Every Christmas Grandma and I would take a special trip to the Powell Symphony Hall to listen to the St. Louis Symphony perform Handel’s Messiah. My little hand would be clasped in my Grandmother’s hand as we both sat speechless, mesmerized by the melodic sounds that enveloped us.
One year, when I was about 5 years old, we stood to leave after the Handel concert and I tugged on her arm. She bent over and put her ear next to my face in order to hear me over the exiting crowd.
“Grandma, what is the shiny, silver instrument that sticks out to the side?” I asked her.
“That is a flute,” she responded.
“I like how shiny they are. When I grow up I want to play the flute,” I declared.
She smiled and patted my hand, “I think that will be a very fine instrument for you to play,” she said, not knowing that in a decade she would be sitting in a concert crying as she watched me play my first flute solo in high school.
After I graduated high-school I began referring to her as my “City Grandma.” She enjoyed restaurants and museums. She taught me to cross-stitch, play piano, appreciate the fine-arts, and un petit de français.
All of these skills, knowledge, moments, and memories became woven into my DNA. They shaped and sculpted me into what many would describe as an “old soul.” I was the 21 year-old who would prefer to stay at home cross-stitching while drinking tea and listening to Edvad Grieg’s “Peer Gynt” than go to a bar or dance club.
My family and friends all knew that I was an old soul, the “Assistant Mom,” the reliable person who was knowledgable enough to know which fork to use for the cheese course. Which is why it was completely devastating to them, and to myself, when I turned my back on it and my whole world fell apart.
I remember the chaos of that day. My in-laws had come into town and were packing their SUV to the brim with my children’s stuffed animals, clothes, pillows, blankeys, and a stack full of DVD’s to keep my 2 and 3 year olds occupied for the three-hour drive to their home. I was excited and nervous. The butterflies fluttered around in my stomach as I threw my own clothes into a suitcase.
“Honey, the plane is leaving in 2 hours. Have you finished packing?” I yelled to my husband.
At that moment Abby, my 2 year old, walked in my bedroom, “Mommy I can’t find HEFFALUMP!” she wailed.
My husband peeked into the room and there was a look, a silent agreement between us. In that moment, it was understood that it would be faster to search for the missing stuffed animal, Heffalump, and cram it into the car with approximately 100 of its stuffed friends than it would be to try and reason with our 2 year old and explain why Heffalump didn’t get an invited to this party. My husband grabbed Abby’s hand and off they went to investigate the missing Heffalump. I returned to packing my own suitcase.
My husband had been offered a job in Clearwater, Florida. It was a beautiful area near one of the best beaches in the United States. While the kids headed out for a long weekend with Grandma and Grandpa, we were catching a plane and scouting out our new life. He was excited, this was his dream job. But we would be leaving behind friends, family, and our entire life we had built in our 6 years of marriage.
“It will be worth it,” I said out loud, as convincingly as possible to the empty room. The words echoed in my ears. The butterflies came back. I closed the suitcase.
Little did I know, the move to Florida would be the beginning of a decade long journey into an abyss of darkness, fear, and insecurities. It would leave me bruised and battered, trying to cling to anything that could save me from the nightmare of my life all while I hung just inches away from death.
My phone began to ring as I was hauling my luggage out of the bedroom. I looked at the phone. It was my Mother.
“Hello,” I answered breathlessly as I scooted the luggage down the hallway. Abby ran past me screaming with excitement while clinging the newly found, oversized, Heffalump to her little body. The entire scene reminded me of the movie “Home Alone” and I was almost certain we would land in Florida only to discover that my 3 year old was sitting alone in our kitchen rolling out marbles to keep intruders away.
I heard a mumble come through the phone but couldn’t make out the words.
“What?” I yelled into the phone. “I can’t hear you.”
There was a long eerie silence and I stopped walking and set my luggage on the floor. I felt my body go numb. Everything within me instinctively knew that something terrible had happened.
“Mom?” I coaxed her to speak again.
She cleared her throat. “Don is dead. He committed suicide.” The words didn’t register with me. Her tone was too calm…almost casual. It didn’t make sense. I remained silent while trying to reconcile what she had said with how she had said it.
“Don is dead. He committed suicide,” she repeated herself a little louder, assuming I hadn’t heard her.
My response came slowly, “You…..you mean….your brother, Don?” I asked her, still reeling from confusion.
There was another long pause. “Yes,” she finally replied, her voice cracking with emotion. It was as if the reminder that she hadn’t just lost him, but she had lost a brother, was the chink in her armor that allowed her emotions to spill.
The next few weeks, months, and even years were suffocated with the unanswerable questions, of ‘why’ and ‘how’. Why would he feel this was his only choice? Why would he do this? How did it get so dark and painful that he felt his only hope was death? Why would he do this to my Grandpa, my City Grandma, his younger brother, and my Mom?
I no longer thought the the term ‘suicide’ should be used. We’ve become too desensitized to it. It is murder. Self-murder. It includes all of the emotions of murder, but without having someone else to blame for your pain.
Anger, sadness, frustration, and helplessness each took their turn at the forefront of my Mother’s emotions for years after he had been buried. I resented him for what he had done to his family…to my family.
Five years after his death I was reminded of him again when I came face-to-face with my own dark shadows that relentlessly pursued me. They finally caught up and corned me in the most frightening places of my life. It was then that I understood how easily self-murder can wear the mask of freedom and hypnotize you into its trance of salvation.
My paternal Grandmother was born in the back hills of Kentucky. She shared a two-bedroom cabin with her parents and seven siblings. There wasn’t any flooring in the house, just dirt.
Her dirt-floored cabin in the back woods of Kentucky was everything a person would imagine it would be. It was hard work, stressful, cramped, dirty, with no money for anything beyond the necessities. Her father, my Great-Grandfather, worked in the coal mines. From the stories I have been told, he was a gruff man who was abusively strict with his children.
Grandma never spoke much about her father or their level of poverty. She did tell the story of how her cousins come visit them for Christmas one year when she was a little girl. The cousins brought baskets of fruit with them to share with the family. Grandma would tell that story with a hint of a glow, like a child’s face lighting up at the first sight of a snowfall each year.
She said she was given an orange from her cousins and she remembers it being the most amazing, magical Christmas of her childhood simply because it was the first, and only, time received a gift for Christmas in her youth. An orange.
I can’t help but look around during the holiday season and think of Grandma. Children with lists a mile long of what they want for Christmas. Playstations, Legos, newest iPhones, more clothes to stuff in their already over-stuffed closets, the list grows longer and more expensive each year.
As a child, Christmas was my favorite holiday. I would stay up past bedtime looking at all of the twinkle lights on our streets. It was magical and everything that Christmas was meant to be for a little child. We always had presents under the tree, baked cookies, scented candles that smelled like evergreen trees, and Christmas music playing at all hours of the day.
The divorce changed Christmas for me. No longer did I see it as magical but instead, as a stress-filled time to try to purchase decorations, baking supplies, and gifts without any money. As an adult, I understood that the judgement of whether or not I was a “good parent” did not have anything to do with the presents under the tree on Christmas morning. Which, was easy to say…until I was the single parent facing the thought of my kids waking up without any gifts on Christmas.
Somehow, someway, I was always able to get something under the tree for the kids. They never knew about the sleepless nights, the cold sweats, the waiting-until-the-last-minute-to-shop-and-hoping-my-check-arrived moments that surrounded Christmas each year. They never knew that I would have rather not put up decorations and it would have been easier for me to pretended the holiday never existed.
Despite all of that, there was always an orange in my kids’ stockings each year. It was my subtle reminder that the magic of the season can be found in something as small of a piece of fruit.
My paternal Grandma became known as my Country Grandma. She showed us how to catch frogs with our bare hands, how to fish, and how to make Southern Sweet Tea the right way (use brown sugar). Next to her bible was her second bible, The Farmers’ Almanac, which controlled her schedule. Everything from when to plant her turnips to when to schedule a dentist appointment would be consulted with The Farmers’ Almanac.
Pepsi was her favorite soda to drink. One hot July afternoon she loaded me, my brother, and my sister into her car and headed to the gas station to treat us to a soda. Sodas were reserved for special occasions at our house. To have one purchased for us on a random afternoon was quite exciting.
On the way home, my tiny little Grandmother let out a belch that would have put a 350-pound man to shame. It was loud. It was obnoxious. And because I was a 10-year old kid…It was AWESOME.
With a smile on her lips and looking in the rear-view mirror at my 8-year old brother, she challenged him to see if out-belch her. We were all competitive kids and probably came as close as we’d ever want to come to throwing up simultaneously in Grandma’s car. We chugged Pepsi as fast as we could and forced ourselves to try and out-belch our Grandma. We laughed so hard that tears were coming down our faces. There was no contest. Hands down, Grandma won.
At 80-years old she was playing baseball out in the back yard with her great-grandchildren. She would chase them around the house while simultaneously cook dinner or wash dishes. There was nothing that would slow her down.
She taught us that it was okay to get our hands dirty, that there was always room for more people at the dinner table, and that a long walk after dinner was the best way to help solve any problem.
When she passed away, she left behind 5 children, 11 grandchildren, and 11 great-grandchildren. She was small, but tough. The matriarch of the family. The glue that held us all together.
As children, my sister and I were completely oblivious to how fortunate we were by having two opposite women influencing our lives. Because of our City Grandma, we enjoy dressing to the nines, throwing on a pair of heels, and attending live theater. Because of our Country Grandma, we aren’t afraid to tackle a mud obstacle course race or be the first in line to attend any sporting event.
My Country Grandma did not get the chance to travel much. It wasn’t until after she had Great-Grandchildren before she took her first airplane ride. One of her first airplane experiences was coming to visit me, in my new home, in Florida.
Tea Connoisseur☕️ | Jetsetter✈️ | Book Worm📚 | Lover of French Cuisine🥐 | Writer✏️ | Tech Nerd🖥 | Wine Drinker🍷 | Single Mother of Two Incredible Kiddos👩👧👦 |
Favorite Quote: “Do not create a Plan B. It will only distract you from Plan A.” -Will Smith
Katherine Keller: has always had an entrepreneurial heart but nothing prepared her for the whirlwind of starting her own business as a single Mom of two young kids. Aside from the steep learning curve of how to manage a business, build a social media following, and actually MAKE money, she had to overcome huge obstacle of fear and anxiety. She finally figured out that the biggest obstacle was her lack of confidence in her ability to be successful. After focusing on building her confidence and reading everything she could on how to become a success, her business began to skyrocket.
In less than a year she built a following of over 100,000 people on social media and her website catapulted to a #4 page ranking by Google.
After working with women business owners around the globe, Keller realized that there was a common theme of females being too fearful to start their own business, too overwhelmed with trying to figure out which business is right for them, and struggling to figure out how to manage the day-to-day tasks of becoming a success.
Keller now works one-on-one people who desire to become successful entrepreneurs. She removes the stress by managing, organizing, and building step-by-step process to help them create the business they deserve.
She works with clients in 9 different countries and coast-to-coast across the United States who want to start and build their own businesses. She is a weekly contributor to Entrepreneur Magazine, Association of Network Marketing Professionals (member), and National Association for Professional Women (member).
Our mission began with our owner/founder, Katherine Keller, starting her own marketing and graphic design business from home. Her clientele included home-based business owners from around the world who needed help with understanding and organizing their marketing strategies.
As a single mother, juggling life and work began to take its toll. While her business began to take off, she felt overwhelmed and unfulfilled. Her physical health began to decline and she lost the passion she once had for helping women. Working 14-16 hour days plus running the kids to various activities was wearing her down.
CLIENTS’ LOW BATTERIES
Simultaneously, she felt the strain from her clients as well. As their businesses were growing, they too were overwhelmed and losing the passion for their dreams. They wanted to build businesses for the freedom it would bring to their lives. Instead it became a heavy weight on their shoulders. They were missing time with their kids and the stress and overwhelm made them want to turn off the computer and quit everything.
“I was a single mom. Quitting wasn’t an option for me. I had to provide for my kiddos. I’d like to say that I’m stubborn when I decide I want something. I’d like to say that it was my grit and my ‘can do’ attitude that got me through that rough period. But it wasn’t. The only reason I didn’t quit because there wasn’t another option at that time. But trust me, it frequently crossed my mind.”
“The straw that broke the camel’s back was when I was up at 3am to have a conference call to an Australian client, then worked and ran the kids around all day, grabbed takeout for a late dinner, and then realized I had missed a live stream chat with a group of my clients. By the time I got on the call I was 20 minutes late. Instead of giving a quick apology, I broke down and cried. I shared the overwhelm, the stress, and worst of all…the guilt. It all came streaming out.”
That break down was the start of a new movement. The live-stream chat turned into a conversation that lasted more than 3 hours. Women were sharing their stories and how they too had began to lose their passion for a business they once loved. At the end of the conversation they all agreed that it wasn’t time to quit their business, but it was time to make some radical changes in their lives.
“For several weeks I thought about what I could do to change my life and help the other entrepreneurs around me. But every idea I came up with required more. More training. More to-do lists. More tasks. More, more, more. The reason we were in this mess was because we kept adding more. Then I came up with an idea….what if I was able to teach people to do less?”
After that evening, Katherine took off two weeks of work.
I began letting go of things in my life. Things that I thought were almost as necessary as oxygen. And a crazy thing happened, the world didn’t end. So I began to let go of more things, and more, and more.
Katherine began experimenting with what she could let go of, what could she delegate, and what really required her attention. With this in mind, Katherine removed all of her trainings and teachings from her website. The new goal, in every aspect of her business, became focused on helping people minimize their workload, maximize their efforts, and begin a life of balance and pursuant of their dreams.
While I have continued to increase my business, I have learned how to decrease my workload. I only work 3 days a week and have increased my income by 40%. I actually enjoy my work again while simultaneously began pursuing my “someday” dreams that I kept putting off.
Every time you invest in your life and business through our work, you’re also creating positive change in the world. With every product or training you purchase, you support a female in need.
I have gone through periods in my life where it would have felt like such a blessing to have an extra $10. Like many people in those situations, I thought that money was the key to happiness.
I would listen to speakers and trainers say that the key to success and happiness is in your ability to GIVE. I would nod my head in agreement. Everything they said made sense. But on the inside, my emotions vehemently disagreed. I’d been without money and I never wanted to experience that again.
Whether it came with age, experience, or both, I finally wised up to the truth that there is more to life than just collecting money. My heart has always been a philanthropist, but I finally got my mind on board as well.
I consider it an honor every time you choose to employ this business and therefore with every program, training, product, seminar, and commission, we choose to support those around the world who are in need.
Therefore, when you purchase our products to help change your life and business, you really are helping to change the world.
I was immediately captivated by Malala Yousafzai’s book, “I Am Malala.” A short time afterwards, my daughter read the young readers’ edition. Together, we decided that investing in education of girls around the world is one of the best investments we can make for our future.