Kelsi Ziemann

Fabulous People: Kelsi Ziemann

Kelsi Ziemann is the founder of Kelsi Ziemann Artistry, which provides makeup applications for all occasions, as well as KZA Cosmetics, carrying a line of vegan lip stains and glosses. “We also proudly donate five percent of all product sales to a network of charitable organizations in Iowa.” Learn about Kelsi Ziemann…

Hometown: Van Meter, IA 

First job: My first job ever was making homemade cranberry-based jellies and jams for a local small business. We would spend the week cooking and then sell it on the weekends at the farmer’s market. My favorite flavor was the jalapeno-cranberry jelly. It was great mixed in with meat to add some extra kick and flavor. 

Favorite ways to spend your free time in IA: I love getting a great facial or massage a few times a year. Skin by Knight in Inner Space is my favorite place to get a facial. Spavia in Ankeny is a fabulous spot for a relaxing massage. Outside of that, you can find me with my three dogs and my amazing fiancé. We love cooking at home, and our dogs are our world. We have a Great Dane, a Border Collie, and a German Shepherd mix. We also spend a lot of time at my fiancé’s shop, Off The Line Performance, and on the lake in Okoboji. We love working on cars, drifting and relaxing on the lake.

Your biggest accomplishment and why: My biggest accomplishment is graduating Magna Cum Laude from Drake University with my Bachelors Degree in Entrepreneurship and Marketing when I was 29 years old. I attended DMACC when I was 17 and flunked out because I wasn’t focused and I didn’t know what I wanted to do. It was a tough decision to go back to school as an adult, but it was one of the best decisions I’ve made. I thrived at Drake, and it completely changed the trajectory of my life. I was able to gain the business acumen needed to go on to compete in and win several big pitch competitions securing over $20,000 in awards and grants to start my cosmetics line and grow my artistry business. You do not have to go to school to be successful, but it was a life-changing experience for me. I think it’s also important to note that you can fail and go back and try again and do better. 

Kelsi Ziemann

The biggest obstacle you overcame: The biggest obstacle I overcame was making the shift to work for myself and start my own business. I was comfortable in my job that I had working for someone else. I made good money and had great benefits. I remember my last day there. I remember wondering if I would be OK without that job. Looking back, I’m so glad I had the opportunity to go out on my own. I learned so much in the first year working for myself, and I’m so happy with what I’ve accomplished. I’ve seen growth year-over-year. I have a team of extremely talented artists. I’ve had incredible opportunities, and I developed and launched a cosmetics line.  

Someone who inspires you and why: Tricia Rivas. She owns Trixie’s Salon & Spa, and she started Dream Catchers Foundation. Dream Catchers Foundation provides complimentary beauty services to women, men and children with chronic or terminal illness. I’ve always found Tricia to be such a ray of light and inspiration. It’s been amazing to see her success and positive impact on the community. 

Advice to someone pursuing a career path in what you do: Just start. It can be overwhelming to think of where you want to be in the next five to 10 years. Look at where you want to be in the next three to six months and set more short-term goals. You will be amazed at how fast you hit your goals and how fast all of those little goals turn into big achievements.

Favorite quote: “Actions express priorities.” This is a quote one of my good friends, Jolene Hull, told me decades ago. It’s simple but accurate. If someone wants to do something they will; if they don’t, then they won’t. You can’t change people to behave the way you want them to but you can manage your expectations of them based on their behavior. I’ve found it’s important to let in the people whose actions most closely align with your priorities and you will be much happier. 

Something someone would be surprised to learn about you: I really enjoy fashion design. I always find myself sketching or thinking about clothing I want to create in my free time. It is a huge goal of mine to put out a line of clothing in the next year. I also discovered that I really like working on old cars. My fiancé got me a 1977 Datsun 280Z that we are restoring together, and it is surprisingly relaxing and rewarding.

What makes someone fabulous: I think how you treat people matters and anybody who has the ability to make people feel good about themselves is fabulous! You don’t have to be a huge business owner or be super successful to make a difference in people’s lives. The motto I try to live by is:  Be Kind. Add Value. Give Back. Everybody has the ability to do this and you would be surprised at the big impact it makes to just be kind and gracious to one another. 

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