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Alumni Stories

Business Services Coordinator

Kellie Forrest
Marlborough, NH

January 2009 - I never thought that as soon as I graduated college I would be working a steady nine to five job for a company that sells children's bedding. As an undergraduate student, I had lofty dreams of writing as I traveled the world with a journal and camera, documenting my increasing worldly knowledge and returning home to be published in a world-renowned publication. But as the end of my college career loomed ahead, and the impending doom of "the real world" crept up on me, I began to realize that as unglamorous as it might seem, I needed a job. Student loans are no joking matter, and there was no way I could pay them on the income I was envisioning.

Reading and writing has always been a passion of mine, but I was never entirely sure how I would utilize my skills after graduation. As I began to think more about my immediate future, I contemplated a job in the business world.

After searching around the area, I heard about a company called Olive Kids, and I decided to interview for a position. Driving up the winding dirt driveway in Marlborough, New Hampshire, I could tell that this was not a typical big business. The company was founded and is run by artistic husband and wife Russell and Anita Brandwein. When they began decorating the room of their first child ten years ago, they were looking for bedding and accessories that were not covered with cartoon characters. After searching without finding what they wanted, they decided to go into business. Olive Kids is the proud manufacturer of unique children's bedding and decor including personalized art prints and clocks, with accessories from placemats to bookmarks. After I learned what Olive Kids was all about, and how the company was run, I was hooked.

Russell and Anita still run the business out of their home, although the barn on their property has been transformed into the art and production departments. I work at the offices and warehouse down the street, helping to keep our customers happy and promoting the Olive Kids name. My job is in the business services department and I work as the business services coordinator. My position includes overseeing purchase orders for our many online retailers, corresponding with customers, researching new outlets for selling, analyzing how Olive Kids is promoted, and writing newsletters and emails on a daily basis.

After working at Olive Kids for a few weeks, one of my coworkers commented on the clarity of a letter I had sent out. She marveled at how I said exactly what she was thinking, but in written form. A few days later, my boss pulled me aside and said he was most impressed by my ability to communicate clearly both verbally and in written form. I realized that without a doubt, my skills as an English major have influenced my abilities beyond the classroom. Communication is a vital aspect not only in the world of a traveling novelist but in the everyday working world as well. Regardless of what job I hold, or where I might travel, the skills I learned in the English field have helped to propel me forward with success and self-confidence. 

Kellie Taylor Forrest graduated in 2008  Magna Cum Laude  from Keene State College with a Bachelor's degree in English. When she is not busy working, she enjoys reading memoirs and fiction, going for walks or runs, playing fetch with her cat Roxy, and cooking delicious risotto with her fiance. She plans to someday write a cookbook after traveling to far and unique corners of this small globe.