Kelly Kussman is the founder Cayla Gray, a luxury clean fragrance company that was named after her first child, who tragically died in 2017. “I really wanted to create a legacy that not only honored the beauty and heartbreak of this bittersweet experience, but also fueled my personal passion for fragrance. From this desire, the Cayla Gray collection was born.” Learn about Kelly Kussman…
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
First job: Cashier at a laundromat! First professional career job was an assistant buyer for fragrances.
Favorite ways to spend your free time in WI: Spending time with family. WI has so many beautiful places to spend time outdoors. My favorite place is Lake Nagawicka.
Your biggest accomplishment and why: Launching Cayla Gray during COVID. There were so many moments that could have caused me to stop progress but this company has been a dream of mine for so long that I knew I needed to keep going!
The biggest obstacle you overcame: Losing my two babies to ruptured ectopic pregnancy. I wanted to honor them by creating my company Cayla Gray (named after our first baby).
Someone who inspires you and why: My father. He was an entrepreneur, leads with heart and mind and has always encouraged all of his children and grandchildren to be humble and proud of who they are.
Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Be comfortable knowing you wont know it all. And hire help in areas of your weakness.
Favorite quote: “Between grief and nothing, I will take grief.” –William Faulkner
Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I have ADD and think its been a blessing to me.
What makes someone fabulous: Having integrity and being open minded is so fabulous to me.