The energy of Kayla Pearcey is hard to describe. She makes others feel included and heard, she is open about her struggles and doesn’t squander her strength just because the acquisition of it was, at times, painful, she pushes herself both personally and professionally (and is crushing it by the way)—she sparkles. If you’ve ever been curious about who built the Ace brand, look no further than this week’s Women of Ace. Meet Kayla Pearcey.
Ace: What are you up to? ( Your current hustle )
Kayla: I'm the “Keeper of the Brand” aka Brand and Marketing Manager of The Ace Class, basically my dream career. I have to pinch myself sometimes (haha). I'm one of the founding employees, so I have been a part of Ace since the very beginning, doing the work to dream and scheme all that makes up this magical brand. I also have a side business that supports small to medium-sized brands take their vision from concept to reality through graphic design, branding, marketing, and consulting services. You may occasionally find me at Adorn Boutique amongst all the pretty things, too.
Ace: Why is this important to you? ( Where did this passion come from? )
Kayla: Empowering and supporting girls and women has always been a core of my identity. This began very early for me in my childhood when I recognized that people treated others poorly who looked a bit different, or had different personality traits or quirks. The beautiful wallflowers. I told myself that I would always do my part to make everyone feel included and heard, no matter what. It's so important, especially in today's filtered world, to do the work to peel back those layers in getting to know someone else's story on a deeper level. I have my own baggage in how my light has been dimmed along the way, we all do really. It's in my core to help women realize their fullest potential, and to start seeing themselves as the true goddesses they are. If we rise together, we all come out brighter.
On the other side—throughout my career, design has been the only constant; my North Star. Creating and strategizing is where I feel most myself. This passion for design and branding comes from the desire to connect people through storytelling and visuals. The real beauty here for me is learning the differences in perceptions that people have of your creations, but no matter your viewpoint, there's always a connection. Visuals connect us and that's straight up powerful—it's what keeps me going.
Ace: What was your dream job growing up? How do you think this has influenced who you are today?
Kayla: My dream job growing up was to be a Fashion Designer or an Editor in Chief at a magazine. Layouts, designs, concept-to-reality, storytelling through visuals, this is what made me excited from the very beginning. I studied fashion all throughout high school, I made my own garments, and learned the theory behind each piece. I loved every second of it, I felt empowered. My superpower is curiosity, so I would often search up the various roles in this industry and what these women were doing in these roles. You could say I was obsessively curious. This dream has completely influenced who I am, I'm naturally drawn to visuals, illustrations, lines, textures, colours, culture. I see things in a creative way and often question why they are that way. A blank canvas has never scared me, it's only ignited me with the inspiration to create.
Ace: If you could describe yourself in only three words, what would they be?
Kayla: Passionate, curious, unicorn.
Ace: Who’s your biggest inspiration and why?
Kayla: Mandy Balak. It's a no brainer really. She's fierce and puts her whole heart into everything she does. She’s challenged, empowered, inspired, and lead me to step into who I am today. Self-doubt and imposter syndrome has been a huge uphill battle for me to overcome (still a work in progress), and Mandy has shown up for me every single time to bring me out of this. She raises you up with her, and instills the confidence in you that you can do it, despite what your mind says. She leads with pure vulnerability and strength, and is a true game changer.
Ace: What does the term “Boss Babe” mean to you?
Kayla: A boss babe is a woman who is on the fearless pursuit to living a fulfilling, empowered life. She takes no shit, she owns who she is, and she lifts others up with her.
Ace: How do you empower other women?
Kayla: I'd like to think that I empower other women by prompting them with the questions to uncover who they are themselves. There is nothing like supporting someone through their own mental process. Often we can untangle the inside workings of our brains with a little help talking it out. I love mentoring and being there as a sounding board for women discovering who they are, and what path they want to take in life. I'm currently an active mentor in the mentorship program at Mount Royal University and regularly volunteer at Making Changes to empower teenage girls through dress and styling. Above all, I make sure I'm there to really take the time to actively listen, nothing else.
Ace: What is the best advice you’ve ever received from another woman?
Kayla: “You're braver than you know.” A friend told me this when I was stepping outside of my comfort zone to do something I was absolutely terrified of. Her sharing this with me instantly gave me all the feels, and made me snap out of this negative self-talk and step into a place of bravery. It's now a statement in my vocabulary that I say to myself when I need an extra push into that brave, “I got this” mindset. We all get in our heads, we're all our own worst critics, but if we take this fear and channel it into bravery, we are unstoppable. Do it even if you're uncomfortable, it's where the most growth happens.
Ace: Can you share the biggest lesson you’ve learned from a failure?
Kayla: To be gentle on myself, to focus on the lessons, and to silence the noise around me for clarity. Things get messy, things may break, but with every failure comes with it a beautifully tied bow of learnings—embrace them.
Ace: When you are feeling overwhelmed, what do you do to find peace?
Kayla: I offload my brain and put all the chaos to paper (or the notes on my phone). I make lists and Pinterest vision boards to focus my mind on something that's familiar to me. I like order, so these things help me come back to a place of harmony and grounding amidst the chaos.
Ace: What legacy do you hope to be remembered for?
Kayla: I hope to be remembered for making a true difference in women's lives. Whether big or small, whether it's because I stopped a woman on the street to compliment her, or I took the time to really hear a woman's story and struggles, I want to be remembered for those little moments that make the biggest differences in our lives. I hope to be remembered for my grit and grace, the creative work I put into the world, and that I do everything 200%. Oh, and that I wear a lot of pink.
Ace: Where can we find out more about you so we can continue to support you?
Kayla: Come hang out with me IRL at Ace events or give me a follow at my handles below! You can also pop by my website to scope out my work here: designsbykay.co. If you ever need any branding or design work done, you know where to find me. 🙋 I hope to connect further with all of you that read this, it would mean the world.