DEMDACO Appreciation Week + the big deal giveaways (every day this week)!

Jun 20, 2011 | Entrepreneurship, Life in Progress

dave k quote

I’m so excited about this week I can hardly stand it. It’s been in the works and in my heart for a long time and I’m thrilled to kick it off TODAY which happens to also be my 36th birthday. There will be daily giveaways (big ones, including the one today – more information below), fun stories, videos, but more importantly this week is all about celebrating DEMDACO, my licensing partner responsible for all the awesome products that have entered the gift market these last couple of years. This week I’ll share the story of our partnership and I’ll introduce you to a few key players who I work closely with. You’ll get an inside glimpse of how it all works, the people involved, the process. I’ll take you behind the scenes to show you how + where the products are actually made, and so much more. If you’re an artist who is interested in licensing your work, or if you’re just a fan of the products, you’ll learn a ton and be inspired by the stories that weave in and out throughout the culture of DEMDACO, the process of product development, and more.

I AM SO EXCITED! I want this week to celebrate their company and all of the good work they do celebrating artists and changing lives.

The story of how we came to partner is a great story and one that celebrates the idea of taking big risks – more about that later this week. Today, I want you to know how I feel about this company because in a world where we often hear about the greed and the unethical ways of so many big companies, DEMDACO stands out to me personally and to so many others as an example of how I want to grow + conduct my own small business and my actual life. As you will see, they are all about heart, soul, doing the right thing, and offering up products to the retail market that align with their mission: to lift the spirit. They even have a full-time employee with the job title of “Cultural Conversation Leader” – that’s how seriously intentioned they are to uphold the remarkable culture of their company.

I had the great opportunity to have a conversation with Dave Kiersznowski (you can call him Dave K), the founder and co-owner (with his bride, Demi) of DEMDACO. We talked about many things including the breakfast we had together a couple of years ago that completely and totally changed my life (I wrote a tiny bit about it here), how DEMDACO was founded on the groundbreaking view that business is “a human endeavor and not a financial endeavor” and so much more. Our conversation is about 30 minutes long – listen to it while doing the dishes, folding the laundry and be prepared to be INSPIRED.

Their company culture and Dave K’s thoughts/views will astound you. It will inspire you. It will make you think about your own small businesses (and your life) and how all the micro and big decisions you make throughout the day can lead to a soulfully fulfilling mission. Whether you’re offering pot holders or meaningful art, you can instill a culture within your business/life that speaks to the heart of all that is good. My goal with this video is for you to feel how I felt after having breakfast with him: inspired with endless possibilities, and uplifted.

Big thanks to Jonathan Jones at Demdaco for editing our skype conversation!

mb giveaway

OMG! To kick off “DEMDACO appreciation week” here on the blog, the good peeps at DEMDACO offered something pretty amazing giveaway: A DAY WITH KELLY RAE! They are offering one lucky commenter (comments are open, friends) a chance to win an ALL EXPENSE PAID ADVENTURE to the DEMDACO headquarters with me!!!!!! The trip includes airline fees, all meals, a semi-private workshop with me, and more. With me by your side every step of the way, you’ll get a personal tour of DEMDACO, a sneak peek of behind the scenes and never before seen upcoming Kelly Rae products, an intimate (just a few of us, just for FUN) workshop led by me where we’ll get our hands messy with glue and paint, an original painting by me, and more.


Okay, here’s how you can win the ALL EXPENSE PAID TRIP + ORIGINAL PAINTING:
1. You must be 21 or over
2. You must live within the continental US (international peeps, we love you so be sure to keep reading on how you can win something too!)
3. You gotta be willing to travel to Kansas City sometime within the next few months (we’re flexible!)
4. You have to leave a comment in this post. Telling us why a trip like this would be valuable to you. Tell what you love about Demdaco. Anything goes! Did you get something out of the video chat? Tell us! Do you have a favorite product from the Demdaoco line? Your answer can be super short, super long, anything goes!
5. Just one comment per person, please.
6. Go! Go! Go!

And just for fun, I’m also going to give away an additional original painting to one lucky commenter who may not qualify because you don’t live within the continental US. International friends, I’m so grateful for you! Please be sure to comment and I’ll pick an additional lucky commenter to receive the additional original painting up for grabs – my treat to you! Go, Go, GO!

Up tomorrow: Demdaco Appreciation Week continues with more giveaway fun!

Sending much love,

Show/Hide Comments (972 comments)
  1. Kristin Dudish

    Wow – Holy Cow! I've been away from the computer for a little bit and I feel like I've missed so much! What a wildly generous and fun adventure that would be!!! Mondo Beyondo, indeed!

    Happy (Belated) Birthday – I hope it was wonderful 🙂


  2. jOBi

    Wow, lots of comments!
    Random is what I have to say about our paths crossing two years ago. I found your book on a random day, painted with a friend and your book on a random day, found my way to painting in a such a random way, received one of your paintings from a friend on a random day. Took your Taking Flight e-course and now I'm thinking none of this is random at all. Thank you.

  3. Becca

    This is a great giveaway! I would love a chance to have a little workshop. I went to artfest for the first time 2 years ago and it was amazing. I just had my first baby and have loved all the posts here about your journey!

  4. Debby E

    You and your book, Taking Flight, have taught me that I, too, am an artist. For that alone, thanks is not nearly enough! The more I learn about Demdaco the more I like them! What a great philosophy and how wonderful that they seek out artists who live their art!

  5. Katie @

    I LOVED this interview. Have listened twice now. I am also totally intrigued by the frequent references to Montana.

  6. Constance Mueller Rawlins

    I want to believe that it isn't too late to be creative — that in the final third of my life I can leave behind the analytical and let my creative soul sour. I've been following you for almost a year — and you truly are an inspiration — but you're so young and I'm so not young.

  7. Island Soul

    I really could be happy with just the original artwork….but to have a chance at a small workshop with you??? Wow, that would be amazing!!

  8. June Pfaff Daley

    First off, happy birthday week Kelly Rae! My wish for you is that each birthday only gets better with more laughs and less worries!

    Your journey (which I've been following for many years) is simply amazing. Along with the recognizable style of art you've created, I particularly admire how candid you are. It's hard not to guard our hearts out of fear of being judged, stomped on or having something taken away. Your ability to be honest and 'you' is admirable and inspiring. Another gift I've taken from your blog is to be true. It's easy to be tempted to create something seen elsewhere, but work created from a place other than our own hearts won't last. Artists who find success have defined themselves by discovering their unique paths. It's also easy to get caught up in other artists journeys. To compare and beat ourselves up when personal journeys fail to yield similar results in the same amount of time. While I've been working hard to get where I want to be, licensing contracts are still only a dream. I often need to remind myself how my path is my own. Time is not as important as being authentic. I'm "dreaming big" regardless of the number of rejections and knock downs. Even when the odds seem pretty ridiculous (975 comments?!), success is impossible if we don't keep putting ourselves out there. We must have faith in who we are and what we can do. Speaking of being true, I wouldn't comment in the first place if I didn't whole heartedly believe (without a smidgen of reserve) in all that Demdaco and Kelly Rae stand for. Thanks so much for keeping it real.

  9. ten_33

    In a perfect world, I would be the winner. Reality is… many of us can only sit on the sidelines, wishing. Zero budget for pieces of pleasure such as you create. Someday, I am sure, the economy will turn around.

  10. Jolene

    Winning this trip would be amazing! I LOVE learning and watching other artists' processes and would so enjoy learning with you, in real life. As I drove through Portland yesterday, on our way home to Idaho from the coast, I was thinking, "I wonder what Kelly Rae is doing right now." How funny is that? If I was on a trip with you, I wouldn't have to wonder. 🙂

  11. bethy

    🙂 🙂 🙂

  12. eliz burton

    How amazing it would be to spend the day with an artist that I find so inspirational. It has been such a difficult year (we lost our house) and I am an artist who works in a non artist job that hosts a negative life suck. I want to be able to connect with someone who knows what it is like to have an artist hidden inside just waiting to get out. I want to use the gift that god gave me to help others and help my family move towards a more stable and creativly positive atmosphere. Your art makes me have that feeling in my gut that says "you can do this, you can be someone whom others look for inspiration, you can make a difference," What a great opportunity you have earned. thank you for sharing with an open heart.

  13. Suzanne

    What an incredible giveaway! I sure would love to win a trip like this. A little getaway like this would be so wonderful. I've had a ton of stress over the past couple of years. Things are starting to get better now but it's all left me feeling drained. I neglected myself so much for so long, I'd love the chance to get away, have some fun and recharge my spirit and creativity!

  14. Lori Yardley

    So, my power went out a couple of days ago….Panic! You see we have a bundle-phone (land line), internet, and cable all together, running through one box. A box that needs electricity! Then I remembered my cell phone. OK…no problem! Right? Wrong…picked it up, no service! Is it the end of the world? No, blue skies, birds chirping…
    What am I going to do without reading, learning and watching about art! (ok, playing angry birds too). Not seeing what everyone is doing at places that are miles and miles away. I can’t watch someone doing an art journal page the same time as I’m playing with my watercolor pencils. Reading a blog and seeing all the wonderful new ideas that everyone has come up with.
    That is what you do Kelly Rae, you inspire, challenge and teach all of us! Now, with your art + Demdaco quality of their products = wonderful, new products! You both give us inspiration to become better. To work harder, to dream bigger! Maybe one day we can be part of a great team that you have become fortunate to be a part of.
    This trip that you are offering is a once in a lifetime opportunity for many of us….thanks you!!
    Many thanks to you both,
    Lori Y
    Ps: the cell service came back in about half-an-hour, the power, in about 2 hours. I still don’t know what caused the interruptions, but it was nice and quiet…hello angry birds, how I missed you.

  15. Laura Haviland

    Hey Kelly Rae,
    I am from Canada too.
    Truly would treasure and adore one of your artful paintings. Wow !!!
    I wanted to share how I enjoy your book,the words you shared touched my heart greatly.
    The art work was awesome .. Fabulous artful book !!!
    Thank you, Hugs Laura. xoxx
    I listen to my little whispers because of you. : )

  16. joyf

    I love love love that Demdaco as a company views business as human flourishing. As an artist and former social worker it really strikes a cord with me- I believe we are better, more successful individuals by helping and appreciating others. It feels so rare to here that from a fairly large corporation.
    I have not had time until now to sit down and listen to the video cast so I am commenting on the first "contest" last. I mention in some of my other posts that my goal is to open up a place called "Studio Be."- an open art studio for people to come and express themselves. I would like it to be minimal in cost, believing that art is therapeutic and everyone is entitled to create. And I think to accomplish this the shop will need a retail aspect. When this dream comes to fruition, Demdaco (and the KRR collection) will definitely be one of my vendors.
    I have recently taken the Mondo Beyondo ecourse- loved it! And I am now in the process of listening to those dreams and making them into my reality… moving to Austin,TX from Wyoming in a couple months. Studio Be will happen one day and I have you to thank for opening the door to all of the creative possiblilities out there. Your blog has such fantastic links to wonderful places. And I found you and your artwork at a local boutique that I have worked at on and off since age 20. I picked up a demdaco canvas and read your bio on the back- a fellow social worker turned artist! Immediate connection! Thank you so much for all you have given!!! And I wish you a very Happy Birthday!

  17. Single Stone Studios

    I was so inspired by Dave K. I found the interview to be incredibly insightful and motivating. Would love to be have the chance to meet you and Dave and the rest of the folks at Demdaco. The whole crew seems pretty amazing.

  18. Deena

    Happy birthday Kelly Rae… thanks for sharing all this love for Demdaco. Would love to hang out with you and win the mondo beyondo. I so enjoyed the interview with Dave… several times I just stopped the video to just "think". I've loved this week on your blog!

  19. laura gaffke

    It was incredibly generous of you to share all of this and so interesting to learn more about DEMDACO and their mission. It makes me think even more highly of your collaboration with them. You inspire me to live my creative dream and I would LOVE to have the opportunity to meet you!

  20. Martha

    After may years as a school counselor I am going to also be teaching art this year. I cannot wait to find ways to help my students dream and explore and create. I want to inspire them to understand how meaningful it is to have a creative outlet in their lives. I am so scared and excited about this new, unexpected, chapter in my life!

    I can't wait to see the new DEMDACO line. Their products make my heart sing!

  21. Art In Real Life

    Love your work. Love your heart. Thanks for sharing the innerworkings of such a great company like Demdaco. It has been a great lesson to hear the owner speak of his vision and intentions in the business world. Would love the opportunity to meet and learn beside you. Partnering with a companies like Demdaco is pushing up against the edge of my dreams. Thanks and Happy Birthday (belated) Lindi


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I’m Kelly Rae Roberts

Before I picked up my first paintbrush at the age of 30, I was a medical social worker. I followed my creative whispers, and today I’m an artist & Possibilitarian. I’m passionate about creating meaningful art and experiences that awaken and inspire our spirits.

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