The Style at a Certain Age (SAACA) family is growing! Today, we’re proud to announce SAACA’s newest regular contributor, my daughter-in-law, Kelly Djalali. Some of you might remember Kelly from a few years ago: she ran a weekly cooking column over here on the blog Kelly’s Kitchen. She stepped away in 2020 to start her own successful blog Djalali Cooks. But I asked her back to take on a much-expanded, camera-facing role. Here’s why.
My long-time followers may remember that March is our blogoversary. Seven years ago, I started Style at a Certain Age in 2015 with my husband, Mr. Style. The blog was a way to share and talk about fashion with women of a certain age.
And then Mr. Style passed away in 2019. I was left at a crossroads: should I keep the blog going at all?
I decided yes and kept the blog going.
But my path eventually forked again and I was confronted with a new question: should I grow SAACA?
Not an easy question to answer, for a variety of reasons. But in an attempt to do so, I spent some time last year crafting the core values that govern SAACA. One of those values is fresh: our content is ever-changing, ever-evolving, and is always fresh.
In that spirit, we are expanding the blog beginning today: Kelly is back as a camera-facing contributor. In addition to all of our current content, she will provide us with three additional posts per week, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays. That means you’re getting double the posts 3x per week.
On Tuesdays, Kelly will be posting an entry to our Daily Looks feed. She’ll post an OOTD and you can shop those outfits easily through the shop widget below the photo. Being of a smaller stature, at 5 feet tall and 105 pounds, Kelly will create fresh looks with a focus on classic style for petites.
On Thursdays, Kelly will be contributing a full-length fashion-related post. Whether she’s modeling outfits or giving you tips on how to build her capsule wardrobes, you can expect the same great content you’ve come to expect from SAACA.
Kelly will be reviving her Kelly’s Kitchen column on Saturdays. Each week, you can expect a delicious, easy-to-follow recipe.
So, let’s introduce Kelly properly.
A born and raised Northern California girl, Kelly has spent her adult life moving to and from San Francisco. After years spent living in Alaska, St. Louis, and Tennessee; Kelly is settled with her husband and three dogs, happily staying put in Athens, Georgia.
In her 20s, Kelly was an early member of the indie band Deerhoof. She helped co-found the record label, Free Porcupine Society, and was a founding member of the band 7-Year Rabbit Cycle.
Kelly obtained her BFA from Webster University in St. Louis.
With a varied work history that started in the restaurant industry, Kelly embarked on a career in advertising, eventually landing in tech marketing in Silicon Valley as an onsite manager at Apple. In 2019, Kelly took a sharp left turn and decided to go back to her roots in the food industry. This time as a content creator and the Djalali Cooks blog was born.
We’re also taking today as an opportunity to revive our Over, Under interview series. I sat down with Kelly and asked her a few questions. Here’s what she had to say.
Are you over or under the age of 40?
I am over 40.
Everyone has to start somewhere. What was your first job?
My first meaningful job was at Escape From New York Pizza on Haight Street, in San Francisco.
What do you think of first impressions?
I think if you are the type of person who is in touch with your gut feelings, first impressions are important. That said, I try to have an open mind and give people opportunities for second and third impressions.
Tell us about the backstory of your blog Djalali Cooks?
Starting a cooking blog was not the career I had imagined when I left Silicon Valley. But, working with Style at a Certain Age gave me insight into what blogging entails; and I realized that a blog could be the vehicle for sharing my vision to demystify recipes for home cooks and inspire them to enjoy cooking.
What challenges have you faced unique to being a female entrepreneur?
Blogging is a women-dominated industry, so I can’t say I have run into challenges unique to being a woman entrepreneur in this space. That said, I have encountered plenty of gender-related challenges in the food, music, advertising and tech worlds I have worked in.
What advice would you give your 20-something self if you could?
Do not waste time worrying over the things you cannot change or the problems that have yet to materialize.
Do you have a motto?
Not really, but I have always felt three Fs can be applied to many situations: Fair, Firm and Friendly
Ocean, lake, or pool?
I love all three, but the ocean will always be my favorite.
What three words describe your current life?
Quiet, Content, Creative
What advice would you give to a woman looking to venture out on her own?
Be sure the subject of your business is something you are truly interested in and has room to grow and expand.
Understand your chosen field or industry and the viability of your business.
Be honest with yourself about your level of commitment.
In addition to SAACA, you can find Kelly:
No. I am only taking a more active role in the blog and continuing to expand my content across all channels.
Yes, absolutely. Marlene is continuing on with a focus on home and garden design. You can expect the same great content from her every Saturday morning.
I started this blog in my 50s. I’m now in my 60s. Kelly is in her 40s. You might be able to see where this is all going…