The facts… her name is Elise Kellett, she’s 28 and from Parramatta, Sydney, Australia. We first met at the Bondi Markets on a sunny Sunday and fell in love with her spirit and passion for life (and amazing Wolf Tattoo!). This is Elise’s journey as an influencer, public figure and all round good human. Here’s what she has to say…
“We’ve all had experiences that have shaped us but weirdly enough working in retail was mine. Loving it and hating it at the same time, what I loved about it was meeting people constantly and hearing about their stories. For me though, I felt by working in retail I wasn’t helping people enough.”
Cut to Elise quitting her job and shipping off to America where she found… well nothing much it turns out, but it was a journey with deeper meaning.
“When I came back home I didn’t have a job so I wanted to start volunteering. This is when I found the Starlight Children’s Foundation. From this I discovered a passion for helping young people with illnesses ranging from treatable to chronic. I knew I wanted to do this for the rest of my life!”
So she went out and got a University degree, studying Therapeutic Recreation and Health Promotion which is basically the skill of teaching people how to live their lives again after sickness or mental illness and helping them believe they can achieve things that they never thought possible. What a legend.
I feel like the words ‘inspire to be inspired’ really sum up what Elise is all about. In her journey she then started a business called Project Elise. What is that you say? I’ll let her tell the story…
“Project Elise started through a small business that I’m moving away from now but through one way or another I started public speaking at forums and conferences that allowed me to voice all of the things that I believe in and had been studying. It was important for me to create a platform through social media that I could be myself. When I was younger I never thought that I would exist in society the way that I do today. I don’t wear a suit and tie, so I wanted people to also aspire to this notion of just being yourself. In regards to Instagram, it’s perceived that it’s a look at me platform. So I wanted to flip the attention and ask my followers questions to try and engage in a different way.”
On the Sunday that we met Elise we also met her Dad. A man of few words, but showed a very strong and special connection with his daughter. We knew that to get to know Elise, we needed to also understand her roots.
“My dad is a soft soul, so one of the things that he taught me was the importance of giving. I never used to finish my food and still don’t! Dad would encourage me to box up anything I didn’t finish and give it to the homeless. It wasn’t just the act of giving but stopping, taking the time and sharing a meal with someone less fortunate and listening to what they had to say. I still do this to this day. He also believes that no one should be judged by their circumstances, as different situations and decisions (directly and indirectly) have brought disadvantaged people to where they are.
He also taught me that as long as you keep trying you can achieve whatever you want. He’s a paramedic, but it took 3 times before he passed and then was the dux of his class. The same for me at University, it also took me 3 times before I was accepted and then passed with flying colours! “
Anyone who follows Elise on Instagram (you should if you don’t!) knows she has a bunny called Arlo, this is how they met and became the bestest of friends…
“Arlo and I met at a really important time of my life. I live alone which is great but sometimes this can be a little isolating. I was going through a lot mentally and a friend of mine noticed this. One day I got a knock at the door and all of a sudden I had this tiny baby rabbit that could fit in the palm of my hand, and that was it.”
It also turns out that rabbits have infinite wisdom.
“The best thing about her is that she has two ears, she’s always there to listen and I probably talk to her more than I do with anybody else. Another thing is that you don’t realise how important it is to have something in your life that lives, breathes, survives and is happy because of you. To think about something aside from yourself is incredible and there’s a lot of life lessons that can be learned from that.
As an influencer, Elise is the perfect mixture of down to earth, natural beauty, opinionated, shy, and intriguing. She considers ‘influencer’ a dirty word, so we won’t mention it again *smiley face.
“The way I see it, we are all influencers, our interactions with people and the posts we make do impact people whether we know it or not. Because of that I believe it’s important to speak with purpose and intention and not put people down or change what you’re doing to fit the norm. Let’s simply exist for a good purpose.”
Aside from a short stint in America, Elise professes to not having travelled much but…
“I’ve been to New Zealand and absolutely love it. The people are beautiful, the grass is green, that water is amazing and as a country it’s quite resilient, especially after everything that’s happened. If I could go anywhere, it would be Canada. I hate the cold but it seems like somewhere I would love purely because of the nature. Also, to have the opportunity to be around wolves would be amazing!”
But of course!
Elise has a couple of quotes she lives by, one even being inked on her body…
“Rise by lifting others.”
Her style is totally on point (I mean she likes Wolf & Bear Collective right!?). Jokes aside, she lets us in on her wardrobe world and what inspires her choices…
“This is going to sound really weird, but I hate the idea of walking down the street and seeing
someone else wearing exactly what I’m wearing. I really like expressing who I am which can
differ throughout the day. I really like wearing vintage clothes because they’re unique and
At the end of the day, if money wasn’t a thing we asked Elise who she would give her gold to. The choice was obvious, The Starlight Children’s Foundation.
Finally, it’s always uncomfortable asking about people’s feet, but in this instance we only wanted to know how she tries to lessen her environmental footprint *wink…
“I relay this back to vintage clothes and the simple recycling aspect of this. Additionally, I love the skill of sewing and knowing how to fix your clothes instead of chucking them out. What I love doing is getting a bunch of friends together and throwing our clothes in the middle of the room and swapping. There is a lot of pressure in society now to behave in a certain sustainable way, which is important, but there’s so many little things that we can do day to day that are skills based that we can all benefit from too!”
Thanks for the deep and meaningfuls Elise.
High fives and more chats soon!
You can follow Elise on Instagram @elise_project
Check her out!
Stay wild. Stay fierce.
Wolf + Bear