We had the good fortune of connecting with Brian Kelly and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Brian, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
My talent and experience lead me to a highly specialized profession that I can offer to many clients. Since I perform the service alone, it made sense to start my own business.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I began years ago with a passionate love of theater. Stating out as an actor (major in college), I found my talent for set design more marketable especially when I chose to move to New York City in the early 80’s. I plied my way in NYC for years working in theater which migrated into television and film. Some highlights include designing for the Yiddish theater (one production on B’way), PeeWee’s Playhouse TV show and designing a Rolling Stones music video. At one point, Preston Bailey was looking for someone like me to join his team designing high end weddings and events for which he had acquired international fame. After five years with Preston I moved to San Diego where I made a living doing photo real renderings for corporate events produced by various destination management companies around the country. I liked it because I could work from home and deliver my work product via email.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
When someone visits me from “back east” we start our tour at the Point Loma Seafoods which, in my opinion, offers the best fish sandwich on the planet. From there it’s just a short jaunt up to the Cabrillo National Monument where we enjoy the spectacular view of San Diego. Sometimes I would take them whale watching with the Tailwalker Whale & Dolphin Adventure (near Sea World) which is a great way to kill a few hours with sailing fun. Then we’d hit the harbor where we would climb the USS Midway, explore the maritime museum which includes a Russian submarine and the Star of India ( an old time tall ship) and sometimes a Hornblower cruise. Usually on the last day I would take them out to Coronado where we’d spend the day at and around the iconic Del Coronado Hotel. I can usually sneak them into the beautiful Crown Room which is a huge wooden ceiling-ed ballroom designed by L.Frank Baum who wrote the Wizard of Oz. Other places I like to hang out include the West Coast Tavern in North Park which has great Moscow Mules, The Big Kitchen in South Park where we could enjoy a fabulous breakfast served to us by eccentric owner Judy the Beauty and Stout Public House downtown which feature the best Ruebin sandwich I’ve had since I left NYC. We would also stop at some point at an In n Out just to treat my visitors with something wonderful we have here they don’t back east.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Preston Bailey, international event designer

Website: thespecialeventsketch.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shmenkie
Other: brooklynartdept.com

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.