Meet the Maker – Kelsie Macray of Beast + Babe

Chloe Tate

Mee the Maker - Kelsie Macray of Beast and Babe

This week in our ongoing Meet the Maker series, we’re getting to know Kelsie Macray of Beast + Babe, a brand of dog collars and leashes that are handmade using artisan and vintage fabrics in Los Angeles, California. Welcome, Kelsie!

LBC: What inspired you to take your leap as an entrepreneur?

Kelsie: I had made some cool dog leashes just for fun. I was in one of my favorite stores in Venice, Animal House, and was admiring some really vibey bags (Vaalbara) and the shop owner struck up a conversation. She told me that the owner/designer of the bags was a local girl, and now she sells all over the country and even employs a few people. That was the first time it dawned on me that the people who start these rad companies were not that different from me.

LBC: When you first got started, how did you envision your business would be defined?

Kelsie: By celebrating the magic between beasts and babes.

LBC: How would you describe what you create?

Kelsie: Specifically, we make rad dog goods; but I think creating an authentic brand is knowing what you stand for, and creating an identity and philosophy that truly represents you and what you chose to stand for. So down the road, maybe we’ll do some cool tee’s? But that’s fine – as long as they are line with what we stand for.

Mee the Maker - Kelsie Macray of Beast and Babe

LBC: Where can we find your products?

Kelsie:,, Healthy Spot and curated independent boutiques and dog stores from New Zealand and Vancouver to Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

LBC: Walk us through your typical work day.

Kelsie: Wake up and spend 5-20 minutes meditating on gratitude. Walk my dog around the block before taking out my *three* different planners and plan the three most important tasks for me to do that day. (I was not born organized, so it has been a slow process of me figuring out what I need to do to feel like I have a grip on my otherwise very chaotic – albeit often creative – brain.) Spend 20 minutes organizing and tidying up the studio (which it always needs, and has become a meditation of sorts).

After that, I just have at it and  let myself “go with the flow” in terms of doing emails and all the other things that come up unexpectedly throughout the day – all while trying to honor my time blocks and important tasks. It’s a balance that involves trying to minimize the amount of times I respond to things like my email, Instagram or an ongoing group text that can be *very* distracting (but I also adore).

LBC: What are 3 things makers should think through when they initially decide to start a business?

Kelsie: 1) Do you really love this item?

2) Are you doing this because you think it’ll be a “make money” scheme, or because you really think that what you create makes peoples lives better?

3) What is it that you believe in; why should this company exist?

LBC: When you’re overwhelmed, what brings you back to focus?

Kelsie: I’m so lucky to be able to work with my dog, because honestly, it’s Yogi (my dog). We have anywhere from one to four dogs in the studio at any given time; and they are always so in the moment, so good at celebrating life, and so in-tune with being part of the journey and not the destination.

Mee the Maker - Kelsie Macray of Beast and Babe

LBC: Tell us about a few of the best business decisions you’ve made to date.

Kelsie: Maybe this is obvious, but it wasn’t to me at the time. A baby brand, like a baby human, has so much to learn and need so much space to grow and change. You can’t plan out where the kid is going to college and what he’ll be studying when he doesn’t know how to walk yet. So we started small – doing our sewing in-house instead of downtown. We made things by hand instead of ordering a thousand of something we might’ve decided no longer fit in with the brand 2 months down the line.

This was all done because we didn’t have a lot of money, but ended up being such good moves because it allowed us to stay flexible and accept changes often.

Also, deciding to really stand behind our quality and what we believe in, even if it occasionally costs us money, has been such a good decision and has won us a really strong fan base – that have also become our friends in many cases.

LBC: Please share one mistake or obstacle from your business experience. How did you bounce back/overcome it?

Kelsie: Hmm. So many to chose from! Overcomplicating things is something I’m always working on. I spent weeks working on our first website and putting off launching it because I was trying to do something that was too complicated, instead of starting with something super simple. Regardless, you need to change everything a month or two in –  and always once you start getting feedback.

LBC: Is there a cause or organization that you contribute to that you’re particularly passionate about?

Kelsie: YES! Peace Animals. They’re this awesome non-profit that runs a spay and neuter clinic in Mexico and educates the public about caring for their animals. With every item we sell, we are able to provide treatment for fleas, ticks, worms and mange to an animal that was spayed or neutered.

Mee the Maker - Kelsie Macray of Beast and Babe

LBC: What are 3 essential resources in your business toolbox that you can’t do without?

Kelsie: 1) Audible (I listen to a lot of business books).

2) Creative friends, professionals and consultants whose work I respect to bounce ideas off of.

3) Journaling, or taking time to reflect.

LBC: Suppose we had a time machine. If you blasted ourselves forward a few years, where would we see your company?

Kelsie: I don’t like to look too far ahead, other than the heart I want the company to still have; that’s most important to me. Otherwise, maybe producing few different lines of really rad goods…and more money. That would be nice – haha!

LBC: Share one of your guiltiest pleasures.

Kelsie: Watching hot surfer dudes at the beach.

Mee the Maker - Kelsie Macray of Beast and Babe

LBC: If you could hire someone to do just one thing that you sort of loath doing, what would it be?

Kelsie: Updating my website!

LBC: What’s your spirit animal?

Kelsie: Wolf-Lion-Lighting Bug.

LBC: What’s your favorite quote and who said it?

Kelsie: I love all kinds of quotes. Right now, I’m really into the stoic philosophers like Marcus Aurelius and Seneca. I love this one from Seneca: “A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.”

LBC: If you were given a million dollars, but were not allowed to keep a single penny for yourself, friends or family, how would you spend it or give it away?

Kelsie: A giant animal rescue farm!

Thank you, Kelsie, for sharing your talent with us!  We absolutely love your work and we look forward to all the wonderful things ahead for Beast and Babe! We’re cheering you on…

Want to see your brand featured in our continuing “Meet the Maker” series? Drop us a line: hello AT Please use “MEET THE MAKER” as the subject line and be certain to include your web address. We look forward to hearing from you!

About the Author

Chloe Tate

Once described as “relentlessly cheerful,” Chloe is a lover of all things colorful and practically every fruit known to man. She lives in Atlanta and divides her time between supporting Lucky Break clients, keeping shop at a local artisan market, and event planning for business conferences. She’s also working on the launch of her skincare line while finishing her degree in Organizational & Leadership Studies. True story: Chloe shares 50% of Lela’s DNA and is poised to inherit her obscenely large shoe collection.

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