My name is Kiah Twisselman and I am a creative entrepreneur and life coach based out of San Luis Obispo, California. If you would have asked me what I was going to be when I was younger, I would have told you a teacher or a nurse. I knew that one day I wanted to help people, but I would have never guessed I’d be doing it with a paint brush and a computer.
I grew up on my family’s seventh generation rural California cattle ranch (www.temblormountainpacktrain.com) before heading north to attend college at the University of California, Davis. I took my first college chemistry class and quickly realized that medicine probably wasn’t the path for me. Thankfully, I chose an agriculture university and re-immersed myself into the industry, realizing my passion for ag never went away.
After a few changed majors, obtaining my college degree, and moving abroad to Germany for a year as part of a cultural ambassadorship program for young professionals, I landed my first “big kid” job the summer of 2015 at the Kentucky Beef Council as the Director of Consumer Affairs. It was the perfect job to blend my passion for agriculture and people into one, leading consumer communication campaigns on behalf of Kentucky’s 38,000 beef farmers.
From grilling steaks on the Capitol lawn with the Governor, to whipping up seasonal recipes on live morning television, hosting influencers on pasture-to-plate tours, and creating digital beef campaigns, working on behalf of the Beef Checkoff gave me so many opportunities to learn both personally and professionally. It was through my role with the Beef Council that I discovered more of my creative talents and realized the career opportunities that existed because of them.
In the summer of 2018, my boyfriend Brent and I started Burley & Barley (www.burleyandbarley.com), a creative and editorial business. Our business name was a tip of the hat to our agriculture roots, Brent having been raised on a burley tobacco and grain farm and myself on a cattle ranch where we also grew barley. It began as a side-hustle while we both worked full-time jobs, and was a creative outlet for us to to support small businesses in agriculture, like the ones we both grew up in, with branding and marketing.
Fast forward to February 2019, Brent landed a job in my home county in California as the Executive Director of the San Luis Obispo County Farm Bureau. We packed up our bags, headed west, and I started my full-time role as a “solopreneur” with Burley & Barley. Most of my clients are small businesses all across the country, primarily in agriculture, that I help with logo design, custom watercolor illustration, photography, social media consulting, writing and more. While I learn something new with every project, lately, watercolor illustration has been what lights my heart on fire the most! I only started watercolor painting a little over a year ago, and it has been so fun to lean into my creativity to bring my clients’ big ideas to life.
While navigating running my own business, I also embarked on my journey to better health. After battling with weight my entire life, I finally decided to make a commitment to myself to figure it out no matter what it took. I promised myself I wouldn’t commit to anything I wasn’t willing to do for the rest of my life – no fad diets, no “magic” pills, just simple food and exercise
(and plenty of beef!). In just one year, I lost over 100 pounds and finally found what was missing every time I tried losing weight before: self-love and a mindset for success.
What I never expected was how showing up for myself would allow me to show up even more for the people I love around me. After several requests and a bit of soul searching, I decided to make the leap and become a life coach and weight loss coach in addition to my creative business. I officially launched Coach Kiah (www.coachkiah.com) in August 2019 with a mission to empower others, especially women in rural America, to love themselves to health and happiness, too.
I might not be the teacher or nurse I imagined when I was younger, but I feel so fortunate to be creating my dream career from home and helping others along the way in ways I couldn’t have ever imagined.
Thanks so much to the K Rose team for the opportunity to share my story! You can find me on Instagram (@kiah_twisselman and @burleyandbarley) and over on Facebook (Coach Kiah and Burley & Barley). I would love to meet you!