STRATA Success – Lesley Kelly

STRATA Member Lesley Kelly – lil’ ol’ me

Lesley Kelly

After making a difference in the lives of children for 25 years in the daycare business, Kelly decided she needed to take her passion for helping children and creativity to a whole new level and make a BIG Difference! She started lil’ ol’ me, “cute n’ colorful, quality clothing and accessories”. Lil’ ol’ me is a statement, an attitude, a child’s right to be heard, “it’s all about lil’ ol’ me!” Kelly features organic lil’ ones, and toddler t-shirts as well as fun youth t-shirts and a teen line called LOM.

Kelly also started lil’ ol’ me Making a BIG Difference, a “foundation for the lil’ nation” that raises money through the sale of Lollipop Lane bracelets and fundraisers for kids to provide scholarships and therapy for children with autism. Kelly’s mission is to teach children the importance of tolerance and helping others with special needs as well as raise awareness among children about autism. She’s found when kids get involved with fund raising activities; it raises their self-esteem, gives them a sense of pride and purpose and focuses their attention on someone other than themselves. It also teaches them “if we all do a lil’ we can create something BIG”. Kelly read that 75% of children that volunteer do so as adults. What better way to create a better future for us all?

Lil' Ol' Me

After watching kids in her daycare with autism, Kelly learned more about it and slowly I became passionate about these children and this cause. She watched first hand the struggles both families faced, as well as herself, in her daycare with children with autism. Financially Kelly struggled as she lost kids in her daycare that were not tolerant of the children with autism. Families also struggle with the cost of services for their children, as most are not covered by insurance. This is why Kelly is so passionate to make a BIG difference in the lives of children and families with autism.

Being one of the many women without a college degree, Kelly used to think that limited her possibilities of a career. She found out that all she needed was the courage to follow her dreams, a lot of hard work and a lot of passion for the message that she is sending out.

Kelly launched her company in June 2010 and got her 501 (C) (3) in October 2010 for the foundation. Today is April 2010. Kelly has held 1 event at Chick-Fil-a this month where they donated 10% of the sales to her foundation. She has also partnered with Crazy Bands, the hottest selling kids product right now across the country. Kelly designed a “treats” package where a portion of the proceeds from each pack sold go to her foundation. They have already sold 10,000 packs in 1 month! As for Lollipop Lane, they have made their way to Bloomingdales as well as major chains like Learning Express, Pigtails & Crewcuts and 11 other stores. Lil’ ol’ me clothing is now in 4 stores.

Kelly has received Press from CBS Atlanta, Atlanta Intown, TD Monthly, Moms Like, Wob Wire, Career Apple, Mom Central, OC Family, LA Splash, and Kids Trends.

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