Q&A: Detroit Money and Career Coach Launches Work-Focused Subscription Box

Dorethia Kelly

The subscription box industry is booming with options from meal-planning kits to kid science projects to book-club boxes, all containing products meant to appeal to the customer and encourage them to run to the mailbox for their next order.

Detroit businesswoman and career coach Dorethia Kelly is jumping into the mix, adding her work- and productivity-focused subscription box business to the industry. The result is Work • Space • Spark, and it promises to serve as a welcome addition to the subscription box market.

Dorethia Kelly

Kelly serves as the Founder and CEO of Work • Space • Spark, which also serves as an online community for working professional men and women. For more than a decade, Kelly has led professionals through career training, personal branding and financial growth in a way that’s actionable and builds confidence.

Her inspiration for starting this new business? Experience and her entrepreneurial eye. One of the courses she teaches that was a surprise hit was a session on career and money. This chat, called “Rock Your Career, Rock Your Money” really hit a nerve with participants, Kelly said.

“I’ve been doing the financial and business coaching for more than 10 years and I also work full time, so I understand the (challenges and opportunities) from both the role of an individual contributor and a leader,” Kelly said. “When I was doing that class, I saw the missing link: Everybody wants to make more money, but how do you get there? It’s about the soft skills: Manners, great eye contact, a great office.”

These things that make people like and relate to you can help you grow in your work, Kelly believes. So what you put on your desk and on your walls can help people connect with their peers and employers. In other words, you need to project success – but not everyone has the time to go shopping for those items that may put you in the right position when an opportunity arrives.

Her subscription box does exactly that – she curates unique items for men and women that are attractive and useful at the same time. They are focused on building people’s work lives as well as offering something special as well, such as a necklace or new earbuds. Everything is well designed for utility as well as an attractive addition to people’s lives.

Best of all? It all comes to your home or office once a month. Well, right now, everything comes to people’s homes. Kelly said it won’t be easy to launch such a new business during the quarantine, but she hopes that people feel inspired when they receive such a box and that they’ll keep coming back for more with a long-term subscription.

“The purpose is to help people grow in their careers,” Kelly said.

Q: What was your inspiration for this box?
A: The idea hit me after colleagues would come by and rave about my office space, I thought about all the effort I put into my work space at home and at work to make it a happy and productive environment for me and how as a result, my personal brand stood out and my performance at work excelled.

Q: How does it fit into what you’re already doing with coaching, personal finance?
A: I do trainings and keynotes on career and money. One key thing I noticed was that everyone wants to move upward in their careers and make more money, but some just didn’t know how to navigate the corporate environment successfully, negotiate for more money or lacked the soft-skills necessary for advancement. So I teach on these things and then how to manage the money when you begin earning more. It all aligns perfectly.

Q: What was it like to get it from dream to reality?
A: It is a very proud moment. This industry is different than what I’m used to and it didn’t come easy, it’s a ton of work and a million moving pieces. I did a lot of research and am still learning. I worked with coaches, had focus groups, met with other subscription box entrepreneurs and so much more. This is a very proud moment for me as a Founder and CEO to now be live with what I’ve worked so hard on over this past year and a half. I’m elated!

Q: What are your hopes for the next 18 months to five years?
A: First of all, I hope to help people gain a clearer direction for their careers and finances. I want people to be able to adjust to change in their workplaces and seamlessly maneuver in their corporate worlds so they are able to earn what they are worth, build relationships along the way and then help others on their way up. Of course, I want my business to grow with subscribers and various collaborations. I’m excited about the future and know there are no limits on the success we will experience.