Grace Kee

Written by Liz Hodges

Grace Kee has some great advice that I’m sure all of us can take to heart. And it goes something like this: to be successful, you can’t pay attention to the nay-sayers. You know who we’re talking about. We all have them in our lives, whether they be family members, friends, or new acquaintances at a cocktail party. And they have a million little reasons your new business idea, venture or ongoing project just can’t quite hack it. And sure, most of them do mean well. But you can’t let them get you down. Grace says that what you have to do is actually use their negativity to fuel your desire for success. You have to prove them wrong, and if you stick with it you will.

Born in South Korea and raised in Memphis and Southern California, Grace landed in Santa Cruz in 2014. Her husband had lived here in his 20s and the draw of the beach and ocean brought them down from the Bay Area. Post-separation with two daughters, Grace had to come up with not just a plan B, but a C (and D). Between teaching English to International students at San Jose State and becoming a consultant for Rodan and Fields, Grace managed to get two friends to go in on a start-up with her.

Her idea came to her back in 2015, in the middle of our drought. She was thinking ways to save water, and reflected back to her time in South Korea (she had moved back for eight years in her thirties). With her oldest just born, her hands were always full and she enjoyed being able to turn water on with a step of her foot rather than having to turn a tap with her hand, as we do here. Then it dawned on her that this was not only a convenience and a sanitary advantage, but could also be a great way to save water.

Thus ecopedal was born, a hands-free appliance that turns water on and off with one step of the foot. Now several years in the works, it’s ready to launch. You can find out more on their facebook page @ecopedalcalifornia, or go to http://www.ecopedal.com/. There may even be future opportunities to try the pedal in-home for free!

Grace found out about the Socialites a couple years ago at an event while representing Rodan and Fields, and was at our Little Black Dress event just last fall, so some of you may remember her. When she’s not wearing one of her many hats (which isn’t often), Grace likes to do yoga, and she recently picked up a new emerging skill—hula hooping! She says, “It came into my life out of left field.” She’s only been at it for about a month, but we hope to see her hooping it up at a future event (wink).

All kidding aside, Grace is woman of the week for the spirit, strength and determination she embodies. She knows what it’s like to be crushed and get discouraged at times (as we all do), and if she hadn’t held on to her vision it would have been easy for her to quit. But she says to surround yourself with positive people and energy and to pay attention to your gut. If you listen to your instincts, you can’t go wrong. “What you know to be true in your heart, that’s what you’ve got to go with.”

Thanks for the encouragement and words of wisdom, Grace!

Extra special thank you to our blogger: Liz Hodges of  Verdant California

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