Meet Kelly Devera.
Born in the Philippines, Kelly's family moved to Brunei when she was 6. After 7 years in Brunei, they moved across the world to Edmonton, and many years later, after college, Kelly chose to plant her roots in Calgary.
Kelly Devera is now married to her husband, Patrick, of 6 years, has a beautiful 5 year old daughter, Valerie, and her 8 year old business, Lovesky Design.
If you were to ask young-Kelly if she wanted to start a business, her answer would have been a resounding "hell no!" After studying Theatre & Performing Arts and Film, Kelly moved to Calgary to pursue her dreams of being an actress. Looking back, she says "but it seems like fate had different plans for me!" In between acting gigs, Kelly became a Regional Visual Merchandiser for a large national clothing company, and after many years she decided to go back to school to learn Graphic Design, and the rest is Lovesky history!
Lovesky Design is a bespoke design studio based in Calgary that specializes in personalized & handcrafted wedding invitations and stationery. On top of the custom side of the business, Kelly now offers a wide range of products including greeting cards, prints, wax seal stamps, pre-designed wedding stationary, cake toppers, vow books...and the list goes on! Lovesky Design is a one-stop shop for life's milestones.
When I first met Kelly, the very first thing I noticed was her smile. Through her smile you can sense her deep joy for life, her caring nature and genuine kindness. All of those amazing attributes aside, Kelly is easy to love- she's quick to laugh at any joke (no matter how bad it is), doesn't take herself too seriously and isn't afraid to be silly in front of strangers, and she exudes a kind of warmth and transparency that is rare.
Two of Kelly's top values are compassion and kindness and she believes in her core that every single person in this world is deserving and worthy of kindness and respect.
"I'm the type of person that will come up to the shy person in the room and talk to them. I hate it if people feel left out or feel like they don't belong. I don't ever want anybody I come across to feel that way. I believe that we all have plenty of kindness for each other. I will always choose kindness and I hope more people do too. Now more than ever."
Kelly is not one to remain stagnant either. She loves to learn and is always eager to hone in on new skills and enjoys taking online courses, trying new workouts, listening to business related podcasts and reading books about self growth and development.
In March of 2020, Kelly found herself reaching for all the junk food she could tolerate in a day. From cookies, chips, ice cream...you name it, she was eating in an attempt to ease & forget her stress, worries and emotions of the time. At first she told herself that she'd only do this while the pandemic had us locked down, but as time went on, she thought- what if this last for months, or for a year...or longer?? And that's when it really sunk in.
How would you describe your style?
My style is classic and minimal. I'm attracted to neutrals so my closet includes outfits in black, greys, nude/skin tone colours. I prefer solid over patterned items. I like clean lines and barely wear anything super bright. If I did go for something with a pop of colour it would be green or yellow.
Kelly is wearing the Circle Necklace with the Everly Convertible Chain ; the Natasha Bracelets in Black and Gold ; and the Pearl Chain Drop Earrings
Why did you decide to start your business?
I wanted to do something that emulated love, beauty and stories. Wedding invitations to me embodies those elements. I was driven to start my business with love in mind. To do what I love, be creative, and design custom invitations that share a couple's love story.
Why is your work important to you?
I have the need to help others. I feel my business is a platform that I can use not just to do what I love but to also serve others. I want my work to bring joy and inspiration.
In the early days of starting your business, what was one of the toughest things you had to overcome?
Self-doubt. I think most of us go through that when you start something new and you feel out of place being the new kid on the block. As I gained more experience over the years, I realized what made my business special was me. There's a lot of options out there for wedding invitations and stationery but there's only one me. The kind of care and attention I give to my clients or the amount of love I put into my work is incomparable and could never be duplicated by someone else even if they tried. That's what makes us all unique and special and why every business is different even if we sell the same product or service.
What is something that you try to do daily/weekly/or monthly that is just for you?
I workout daily. I love to go running and test my strength with exercises. Knowing I'm doing something good for my body and well-being makes me happy. I believe in order to take care of others, you need to take care of yourself. Working out helps me physically and mentally. It helps me tackle problems with more energy. Plus, I love the endorphins after a workout! I feel like an athlete.
When your To-Do list is overwhelming, how do you get through it?
I take a break and go for a walk or do something that will take my mind off it. Sometimes it's better to just walk away from it and do something to de-stress yourself before tackling it again.
What makes you laugh?
My husband's corny dad jokes. They're so bad, but every time he makes one, I can't stop laughing.
When do you feel strong and confident?
After I workout even when I'm sweaty and smell bad! If I finished a killer workout that I didn't give up on, it gives me this high vibe. When I show up for myself and keep my promises, that's when I feel the strongest and most confident.
Why is it important to support local?
Supporting local gives your community strength. You're helping families and individuals who run these small businesses to be able to do what they love and serve others. What you purchase from local businesses are much more than the products. You're supporting a dream, a message, a purpose. Locals supporting locals makes us all stronger.
Are there any local businesses that you've looked to as a role model (either on a personal or business level)?
Cathy from Creative Weddings who also owns Someday Consulting. She has given me great advice over the years and she's always there to encourage me with everything I do. She has always been supportive of my endeavors and gave me great insight for my business that helped it grow.
Lesley from LP Events. I was in my earlier year in business. I didn't know anyone and I felt intimidated. She was the first wedding planner I met who made time for me. I'll never forget the kindness she showed me. She taught me to be brave. She has believed in me when I couldn't believe in myself. Everyone needs someone like that in their life.
Share your favorite quote :
"Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow know what you truly want to become." - Steve Jobs
What advice would you give to us?
Be yourself. I know it sounds easier said than done with all the pressures from society but if you just stay true to who you are, the right people and the right opportunities will come to you. You will attract the authenticity that you deserve. To be yourself in a world that tries so hard to want to change you is the biggest achievement.
What are your goals for the upcoming year?
I'm going to create more Lovesky products beyond wedding invitations. I want to make more greeting cards, prints and social stationery. I'm going to be brave and put this out in the universe that I want to create stationery that will change the world and make a difference. I don't know exactly what that looks like or how I'm going to do it, but I believe it's going to happen.
"I feel the most fulfilled when I know I have inspired someone to be better or if I helped them with something they struggled with. Even if I just made them laugh for a moment to forget their bad day! I believe we are all connected to each other and we're not meant to experience life alone. There is so much we can learn from each other."
Kelly has experienced a lot of changes in her life, including the change of goals, careers and dreams, and she has truly embraced them all with grace, joy and care. There is so much in Kelly's story that stands out, but here's a few things that I have learned :
- Plans can (and will) change, and that's ok
- We owe it to ourselves and our loved ones, to commit to taking care of ourselves- and this means taking care of our health and making it a priority. Keeping our promises to ourselves is just as important as keeping a promise made to someone else.
- Asking for help from those that are more experienced will give us a strong foundation to build on.
Thank you so much Kelly, for sharing your story with us! I'm excited to watch as you continue to grow and evolve Lovesky Design!
This second series of the YYC Local Love stories was accomplished by such an incredible team of other incredible local women working behind the scenes. While we're telling the stories of the four women in front of the camera, I got the honor and pleasure of working alongside more women that I'm inspired by on a regular basis:
Shoot Organizer & Co-Planner : Chelsea from Coco & Ash Weddings and Events
Photographer : Kaity Body Photography
Hair & Makeup : Priya from Beautymark Makeovers