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Kelsey O’Connell

BELLE FORCE founder, ceo Fashion New York, New York
About Kelsey
I married my high school sweetheart at 22 (such babies!), we moved from the midwest to NYC at 25, and I worked in the corporate world as a fashion designer for almost 10 years before shifting gears to start my business, Belle Force. What started as a small idea I couldn't shake turned into a nights and weekends project, until I took the plunge 2 years ago and left my full-time job to pursue the opportunity further. I still hold a part-time freelance design position 2 days a week, and the rest of the time I work from the apartment / coffee shops - trying to build a small, scrappy, bootstrapping business into something successful and sustainable! This summer, after 10 years of marriage and 2 years into my business, we found out we were expecting our first child - a baby boy, due in March 2019! We're thrilled and it's not a surprise - we were trying - but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't also feeling really overwhelmed and intimidated by the idea of caring for a child while also tending to my baby business!

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”


― Jane Goodall

How many kids? Ages?

first baby due 2019 / Male / 2 months old

Interested In

Collaborating, Consulting, Finding a Mentor, Friendship, Mentoring, Networking

Words you live by/quotes you love

“You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.”


― Jane Goodall

What special skill, talent or gift would you like to give back to the community?

I am creative and collaborative, and I'm always scheming a way to connect people for mutually beneficial projects. I've built a number of events and programs through Belle Force that have been fun, effective, and successful!

What is your biggest business challenge right now?

Funding & Finance

Why do you want to be a part of heymama?

Throughout the process of starting a brand, I've realized the absolute necessity of having a strong community, and while I've been so lucky to connect with a number of generous, supportive female founders, I am still craving more of a "tribe." I am in awe of every woman that's managing both business and children, and I look to be inspired, connect, and hopefully return the favor to others as I continue to grow and learn!

xx Kelsey O’Connell

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