Jen Dede Kelly – Create the Life You Want to Live!
Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Beneath the stage lights, a rush of adrenaline surges through your body. The unique thrill of performing before a crowd is palpable, up until the moment you step off stage to feel a wash of gratifying relief. It is there, backstage, that another kind of magic lingers. As a performer, Jen Dede Kelly has always been awed and inspired by the collaboration and camaraderie that thrive behind the scenes of a successful production. Ever since she first experienced that feeling of unity, Jen has sought out support systems that enrich her life in the same way.

Jen loves that her business has empowered her to create the highest vision for her life!

Jen loves that her business has empowered her to create the highest vision for her life!

Setting the stage

As a young girl, Jen watched her parents build their dreams from the ground up. Her father was a pharmaceutical professional and her mom owned a dance fitness studio. Jen loved to dance. She spent countless hours in the studio, where all of the dancers and staff were like one big happy family. Everyone’s willingness to help out and support one another, on and off the stage, was heartwarming. As she grew older, Jen continued to identify with supportive environments.

In college, Jen pursued her passion for the arts. She enrolled in a conservatory program at DePaul University and earned her BFA in acting. After graduation, she set out to establish a career for herself in the Chicago theatre community, eventually working with several renowned companies. “My experiences with those groups taught me discipline and resulted in many wonderful life-long relationships. It reminded me of that tight-knit studio community I grew up with.”

While performing in her first professional play in Chicago, Jen met her husband, another actor in the cast. “We’ve defied the familiar stereotype that actors have short-lived relationships. We’ve been together for 16 years and married for ten,” she laughs. Equally supportive of each other’s dreams and passions, Jen and her husband moved to California in 2001 to explore the world of television and film, branching out from the theatre. “Pursuing a creative career in a place like Los Angeles taught me that you can’t sit around waiting for opportunities to find you. You have to put yourself out there because no one is coming to save the day. There is only now, and you have to prioritize what’s important to you and take risks to get where you want to go.”

Jen on set--she is so grateful that R+F works around her life as an actor and creative person! It is the ultimate freedom being able to do what she loves without stress!

Jen on set–she is so grateful that R+F works around her life as an actor and creative person. It gives her the ultimate freedom to do what she loves without stress.

Taking on new roles

As an actor, Jen learned what it takes to follow an individualized career path. She also found that strategic planning, combined with self-motivation and discipline, were crucial for success. “For an artist, jobs come and go. There isn’t a lot of stability; the only thing that’s predictable is the unpredictability of finding work.”

During slow periods in between acting gigs, Jen found and created other jobs for herself. She started writing and producing her own projects, but she still needed to earn a living to support her acting dreams. “I never wanted to take any side job just for the money. I wanted everything I did to connect to my creative side and align with my integrity.”

However, when Jen and her husband decided to start a family, a reliable income became a greater priority. Jen longed for a work-life balance that would allow her to continue acting and writing without suffering financially. She kept an open mind and hoped for an opportunity that would allow her to save for the future without compromising her creative goals.

Jen and her husband, Tom, are passionate about traveling and thanks to R+F they are now able to get away more often.

Jen and her husband, Tom, are passionate about traveling and thanks to R+F they are now able to get away more often.

Becoming part of the cast

When Jen started undergoing costly fertility treatments, her and her husband’s financial situation grew even more complicated. Around that same time, Jen learned about the Rodan + Fields® business opportunity from her friend, who had built her own business alongside a full-time acting career. “I was intrigued because I knew how busy she was, yet she was successfully managing both. Her business was supporting her dreams, and I saw my ambitions reflected in the life she was living. It made me want to tackle this exciting opportunity for myself.”

It was a stressful time and, at first, Jen wasn’t sure if she could handle adding the responsibility of a business to her schedule. “Undergoing fertility treatments can be emotionally and physically draining and can feel like a full-time job in itself—it can also feel very isolating.” But, as she researched the Company, she felt confident that she would have the support she needed from the R+F community. She took a leap of faith and enrolled as an Independent Consultant in January of 2014. “My business helped me through a very tough year in my fertility journey. It took the focus off of my personal challenges and, instead, motivated me to reach out and connect with others. It showed me that opening up to others can help get you through difficult times. Knowing you have support, emotionally and financially, is so comforting.”

Jen and Rachel Cannon met 12 years ago in acting class and have been supporting each other's lives and careers ever since! She absolutely loves that their businesses have brought them even closer!

Jen with Rachel Cannon, her business partner and dear friend. They met 12 years ago in acting class and have been supporting each other’s lives and careers ever since! She absolutely loves that their businesses have brought them even closer!

Getting into character

Jen started by devoting 15 hours a week to her business, whenever she could fit it in, and by the fourth month of her business, she achieved Level V. “It’s incredible how much our financial situation has changed in just one year. But more than that, my business has brought so much richness, joy and laughter to our lives, through the relationships and the support system we’ve gained.”

As she grew her team, Jen remained focused on the bigger picture and never let her vision get clouded by petty minor details. Instead, she focused on the possibilities ahead. “Life may not be what you planned, and things don’t always go the way we envision on our timeline. But we can get through it by focusing on what is happening, rather than what is not happening, allowing for the possibility of something even better than we imagined.”

Jen is so proud to be part of such an incredibly supportive and successful team! Jen with her Level V teammates at Rachel Cannon and her sister Lacy Cunningham's Lexus Celebration!

Jen is so proud to be part of such an incredibly supportive and successful team! Jen with her Level V teammates at Rachel Cannon and her sister, Lacy Cunningham’s, Lexus Celebration.

Landing the perfect part

Today, Jen loves that she can take her business with her wherever she goes. That freedom gives her the ability to create and live the life she wants. She has the flexibility to take on the jobs she wants and feels passionate about—not just the ones that promise the most money. “Amidst all of the other unpredictable things in life, it feels good to have the stability of my business. It feels very connected to my creative dreams because it allows me to create a foundation for my family’s future. And it’s not just a side gig; it’s something that can run alongside our artistic lives without compromise.”

Jen remains committed to cultivating an environment of support, just like the one she first experienced in that dance studio as a child. She encourages her family and her team to reach outside of themselves to connect with those around them. “This opportunity has become an extension of what I’ve worked hard to foster in all areas of my life. It’s giving me a way to create the life I want to live, and it’s allowed me to grow a network of unwavering support. When you have that, anything is possible.”

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8 responses to “Jen Dede Kelly – Create the Life You Want to Live!”

  1. Suzanne Beyerlein says:

    Jen, what a beautifully written, inspirational story! So glad to have met you on this journey, pretty lady. XO

  2. Melinda staab says:

    Love this story and this woman!!! ❤️

  3. Tina says:

    Beautiful story, well deserved. You’re my inspiration, Jen!

  4. Hayley Kohler says:

    I love everything about this, Jen! Congrats on such a successful R+F journey!

  5. Karen says:

    Incredible story. I love that Rodan + Fields has given you supportive friendships and a tremendous opportunity to be true to yourself and others.

  6. Maggie Storm says:

    Jen, you are amazing!!!!!

  7. I feel so LUCKY and BLESSED that Jen is my direct! She is a fantastic friend and leader and she’s been a great inspiration. I’m about to embark on a completely new chapter in my own life and I could not be more grateful to have Rodan + Fields (brought to me by Jen) and the support of our Upline to assure me that everything is going to be okay. Bravo JenDede…love you!

  8. Jules knorr says:

    Jen
    You have such an amazing gift. I’m so happy you are able to share your spirit and creative side with so many people. I am so proud of you!! Go Get Your Lexus!!

    Love,
    Jules

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