Editor’s note: This is part of an ongoing series of stories about women in Cache Valley.
Donning her handmade green overalls and cotton tops, Kelsey Keller Weller would run around her elementary school as a child, inviting friends to come over to her house after school or to join in on a new project she had just dreamed up.
Not much has changed in the last couple of decades, other than the fact that Weller’s wardrobe is now shaped by her own clothing boutique and her sphere of influence has extended beyond her hometown of Weston, Idaho.
While Weller feels her life path has been a bit scattered, her initiative and identity as a “doer” has stayed consistent.
“Instead of having an idea and thinking, ‘Oh someone should do that,’ We need those people to just do it. You be the someone,” Weller said.
Combining her love for people and her desire to express herself through her outfits, Weller created Moonbeam Apparel, a boutique in North Logan dedicated to “clothing for women and girls who are light-givers, shakers & magic-makers.”
“Kelsey was always really imaginative,” said Weller’s mother and fashion icon Camille Keller. “She was always thinking up things to do with her siblings, cousins and friends.”
Although Keller disputes the fashion icon part of her description, Weller said the time her mom spent making clothes, quilts and other fabric crafts is the reason Weller loves fashion and is doing what she is now.
“I have always loved prints, patterns, lace, all of it. Each one tells a story,” Keller said.
Keller sees her daughter having the same relationship with fashion as Weller tries to help people find their voice through the outfits they choose. Weller assists people by using many of the lessons she learned along her journey to find her own voice.
At USU, Weller gave her all to being a broadcast journalist. Traveling around Cache Valley, gathering stories for news stations down in Salt Lake City, Weller was all-in. However, after an assignment took her to the home of a family who just experienced a tragic loss, she became progressively more disenchanted with the ‘Lois Lane at The Daily Planet’ career path.
“I began to question whether I was really cut out for this,” Weller said. “I wanted to bring people good, happy things, and I was questioning my ability to do that.”
After four years with the Cache Valley Media Group, Weller stepped off that path slightly, dabbling in marketing and public relations for a local clothing boutique.
“I have always loved clothes but I had this mentality that it was not important,” Weller said. “When I started working in it though, I realized how passionate I was about it.”
Weller began taking note of discrepancies in the industry and wanted to do something about them.
“There is nothing wrong with being a size 0 and 6 feet tall, but that is just not representative of everyone,” Weller said.
While working for this company, Weller was occasionally asked to model some of the new clothes. Again and again, Weller was sent back in to pose for new pictures with instructions to pose differently followed by comments about her broad shoulders.
“I just remember thinking that if I felt that there was something wrong with me and how I looked, I can’t imagine how many other people feel this way,” Weller said. “I don’t want people to not wear what they want because they don’t see their body types wearing those clothes.”
With that mindset, some tips from her husband and support from her family, Weller decided to enter the saturated boutique landscape and try offering women a new experience.
“Fashion is such a fun and important way for people to express themselves, but it isn’t always fun for everyone,” Weller said. “Body positivity is a trending topic but it takes a lot more work than just saying ‘self-love.’ There is a lot that goes into changing an entire mindset.”
Weller knew that changing that mindset starts with having options for every person and making people feel comfortable.
“The way Kelsey goes about doing business is inspiring to me,” said Nanyal Rout, a USU student who occasionally models for Moonbeam Apparel. “A lot of her values line up with mine. The inclusivity, diversity and the overall environment they have created is really special and really needed.”
With the moon as the symbol, Weller said the goal for the boutique is to remind people that bodies go through phases similar to the moon.
“We are more than just a clothing store,” Weller wrote on the Moonbeam Apparel website. “We are a community of women supporting and empowering one another.”
Now over two years into running her business on that premise, Weller is more committed to the concept than ever before. Having felt out of place or uncomfortable in different phases of her life, Weller reaches out physically, over social media and through her online store, to many different people in the community to be involved.
“Some boutiques only want models who look a certain way, so to be involved with a business who offers clothes for people of any size and color range makes me so happy,” Rout said. “I have worked with people at Moonbeam who never saw themselves as models but Kelsey has given them that opportunity.”
On the Moonbeam Apparel Instagram page, which has over 6,000 followers, Weller doesn’t shy away from topics such as cellulite, beauty standards, or stress and bad days. She said she recognizes that there are bad and sad things in the world, but celebrating magical clothes and the women who wear them can help.
“I was able to be a part of the Moonbeam swimsuit shoot, and it was one of the most uplifting experiences that I will have in my heart forever,” said Hannah Bowen, another frequent model for Moonbeam Apparel. “We need more positive forces for good and inclusivity. Kelsey embodies those ideals to a T.”
Weller said it is her customers and the people she works with that really keep her going.
“When women come together and empower one another, it can change lives,” Weller said.
To learn more about Moonbeam Apparel go to moonbeamapparel.com or visit the Instagram page at moonbeam_apparel.