Meet the women behind Extract Labs’ look. Hailing from outside the Kansas City area, Kelly Harkins is our talented brand manager and graphic designer who works at the speed of light (and shares her snacks with the entire office). Kelly can mock up an Instagram post or design a new logo by the time most of us have finished our first cup of coffee.
Her quickness comes from years of training. Before starting at the company over a year ago, Kelly worked as a production artist for Grandstand Glassware and Apparel screen printing company for eight years after graduating from college.
“I honed in my Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop skillz there,” Kelly says. “The company mainly dealt with breweries, which was a fun environment for me to be in during my 20s–I got to attend several beer fests.”
After the long stint printing pint glasses, adjusting logos, and forming her digital design prowess, Kelly decided it was time for something new.
“I made the biggest change of my life by moving to Denver from the KC Metro area. After months of searching, I happened to find the designer job posting on Indeed and it sounded too good to be true: everything I wanted to do all in one place–marketing, packaging, merch,” she says. “After my interview, I barely made it five blocks when I received the call with the job offer. My interview and job offer both happened on my birthday, so it just seemed meant to be.”
Kelly was interested in the position for other reasons besides the matching skill set. She’s been a cannabis enthusiast for years, even though she says the topic remains taboo in Kansas, where marijuana is still illegal.
“After a serious car wreck that left me on crutches and in physical therapy for three and a half months, I wanted to explore alternative options for medicine,” she says. “I was put on several medications for PTSD and trauma that didn’t make me feel like myself or allow me to have my normal bubbly personality. I wanted to find more natural methods for anxiety, pain, and inflammation.”
“The D8 gummies are soo good! They help me sleep without waking or give me a nice high without making me TOO high,” she says. “The CBC softgels have become part of my new regimen for pain. If I have a headache or knee pain, etc., I take the CBC instead of Ibuprofen. It works wonders for me. I haven’t bought or taken Ibuprofen in at least a year.”
Q&A with Kelly
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: I like to read sci-fi/fantasy novels or play with makeup. I recently read “A Discovery of Witches” a fantasy series that makes a lot of references to alchemy. I also recently finished the “Chronicles of Nevernight” series about a girl who goes to an assassin school back in gladiator days after her parents were killed then becomes the world’s greatest assassin.
Makeup is a relaxing hobby for me and, with my art background, it’s been a passion of mine. Halloween looks are my favorite, though they can be very time-consuming. I also do graphic design on the side for friends or family. I’m currently making my cousin a business card for his welding business.
Q: Name a book or film that had a major impact on you?
A: “Blood and Chocolate.” I read it for the first time in 6th grade. It’s about a teenage girl in high school who struggles to maintain a normal life as a 16-year-old with her other life as a werewolf and the responsibility to her pack. In the end, she accepts who she is and her pack obligations. To me, it represents self-acceptance and being comfortable with who you are. It’s what I based my sleeve off of.
Q: What’s the best thing you’ve ever watched on Netflix?
A: “Demon Slayer” or “Schitt’s Creek”. “Demon Slayer” is an anime focusing around, well, assassins training to kill demons known as Demon Slayers. If you’re into anime, I definitely recommend this! (Keeping my description short so I don’t give away any spoilers!) “Schitt’s Creek” is just great for a good laugh. I want to be friends with David. His facial expressions are everything.
Q: What advice would you give to someone looking to start working in the hemp industry?
A: Prepare for the industry to always be changing. Something may be all good and legal one day, then the next day laws get changed causing products to get pulled, different labeling, etc. But reading all of the customer’s comments and seeing how our products truly help those with health concerns makes all the chaos worth it. That’s the most rewarding part for me.