Taking up her space | Shop Local | Chicago Reader

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Taking up her space

Kelley Moseley’s daring accessories will not go unnoticed.


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"My designs are unapologetically bold," says Kelley D. Moseley, 42, about K-FLEYE, her accessory line. Pronounced "kay fly," Moseley's label offers handcrafted jewelry, reclaimed leather bags, hats, and other kinds of adornments. Her designs feel organic and earthy, yet very festive, exuding a sense of joy and adventure in each item. "I like to have fun when it comes to creating and designing," Moseley says. "I don't like looking like everyone else, and that is why I create unique pieces." The materials she uses are unique as well: "I reclaim, repurpose, and reimagine materials that may have been discarded but were once loved. Working with reclaimed materials is challenging and rewarding. The materials often dictate what they want to be."

Freedom permeates Moseley's work, inspired by "conversations, music, and nature." "I love to dance, so oftentimes you will find movement in my work," she says. Her signature mismatched earrings clearly reflect that aesthetic. Moseley's creative process begins with prayer and positive affirmations, in order to clear her mind. She makes her accessories in a home studio in Bronzeville, and mostly does everything by herself—with a little hand from Vision, her four-year-old son who helps her paint and loves to create objects with her. She also mentions a few mentors who assist her when she gets stuck on a project: "I am thankful I have a supportive art community," she says.

Founded in 2004, K-FLEYE was a way for Moseley to make some extra money to buy a couch: "I relied on my skills and talents and created jewelry. I then sold it at a family reunion—fast forward almost 20 years later and I am still happily creating and doing what I love." She has since collaborated with Nike, sold her collection at Macy's, and received the FashioNEXT People's Choice award at the Chicago History Museum. But Moseley says her biggest success is that after all these years as a full-time artist, she is just getting started. "So many great things happen to me daily. It is not easy but it is so worth it." She says she wants to encourage and inspire others to take up space, and to keep going and growing. "People can be discouraging, but as long as you are clear with who you are and what you want, you can and you will make it happen. If you don't see what you want, create it. Build a community that supports your dreams and goals and be supportive of others' dreams and goals. I will find a way or make one."   v

  • Isa Giallorenzo
  • Isa Giallorenzo
  • Isa Giallorenzo
  • Isa Giallorenzo

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